Building a roster for Safeco

From the moment Jerry Dipoto became general manager of the Seattle Mariners, he’s emphasized the need to build a roster capable of taking advantage of the expansive Safeco Field dimensions. As I see it, the 48-year-old executive envisions a foundation of athletic and accomplished players, who are adept at reaching base and wreaking havoc through productive aggressiveness on the bases. Equally important are outfield defenders who can run down balls in Safeco’s spacious outfield. In Dipoto’s world, a run save is as valuable as a run scored. To be honest,…

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Good defense is catching on with Mariners

With 30 games behind them, the Seattle Mariners sit atop the American League (AL) West division standings with an 18-12 win-loss record. That’s right; the club that’s failed to be relevant for most of the last decade is actually off to a quick start. Every sophisticated baseball fan knows that a good record with less than 20-percent of the season completed means nothing — especially with the Mariners. For those not familiar with Seattle’s plight, the situation has become so frustrating that having a winning record on Mother’s Day is…

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Moving on from Montero

The odyssey of Jesus Montero and the Seattle Mariners came to a close on Monday. The centerpiece of the deal that sent Michael Pineda to the New York Yankees was claimed on waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays after four seasons in the Mariners organization. All Seattle has to show for it’s efforts are the $20,000 waiver fee and a handful of stories that include an ice cream sandwich. My initial reaction to hearing the news was disappointment after seeing, from a distance, how hard Montero has worked to get his life…

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The Mariners versatility matrix

Prior to his decision to sign a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers, I don’t recall any pundits suggesting former Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond as a good fit for the Rangers. I certainly didn’t expect that he’d end up with a team that already has Elvis Andrus at shortstop and Rougned Odor manning second base. On top of that, the organization has young middle infielders like Jurickson Profar and Hanser Alberto ready to burst onto the scene. The signing of the 30-year-old was a surprise, but how the Rangers…

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What to make of the Mariners’ spring thus far

We’re about halfway through the Cactus League schedule. The regular season begins in less than three weeks. The Seattle Mariners just got their ace, Felix Hernandez, his first official work in a spring game. The club’s position “battles” are well under way. Except position battles aren’t a real thing and spring results mean absolutely zero. Not kidding, spring training roster “battles” are not real, because the best “performer” isn’t the one that will necessarily win the job. In actuality they’re position “decisions” by the team and the results, as seen…

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Is Romero a dark horse for a roster spot?

In terms of positional flexibility and athleticism, this year’s iteration of the Seattle Mariners is much different than in previous years. Those are clearly traits that general manager Jerry Dipoto values and were apparent in the talent he accumulated throughout the winter. Among the offseason acquisitions was a new first baseman who perhaps, through no real fault of his own, stands out from the rest. Adam Lind‘s lack of positional flexibility — his outfield career ended in 2010 and shouldn’t be revisited — and large platoon split shouldn’t be held…

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Projected M’s 25-man Roster: Edition 1

Typically the majority of the jobs on a given big-league roster that are ‘open’ have a heavy favorite, and there are few ‘open’ job with which to begin. The Seattle Mariners’ roster is just about solved, but there are a few questions yet to be answered, including the following: Will the club carry a first-base platoon? as I have noted many times, it’s not a great idea, but if the club does carry one, there are several candidates in camp. Who will win the first-base platoon gig? The candidates are:…

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Preview Capsules: Infielders

Robinson Cano, 2B 2015: 156 G, .287/.334/.446, .316 BABIP, .335 wOBA, .116 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR Cano was awful last year through the first full week of June, then he started hitting rockets right at people. Finally, the second half of June, Cano started looking like Cano and he went all pre-Seattle Cano on the league, batting .331/.387/.540 with 15 home runs in 70 games after the All-Star break. The abdominal injuries, plural, and double hernia didn’t show prejudice, though, robbing Cano of a step on the bases and in the…

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