I Think We Have An Opening Day Roster For The Mariners!

Nothing is official, of course. There could always be a last-minute transaction, or a surprise injury or something. But, barring anything crazy, I think we have a 26-man roster.

The Starting Pitchers

  • Luis Castillo
  • Robbie Ray
  • Logan Gilbert
  • Marco Gonzales
  • George Kirby

This all checks out, right down to the order. Teams love the righty-lefty-righty back and forth, and this is about as perfect as it gets. I know we all love George Kirby and see him as having really explosive potential in his second year in the bigs, but the team is smart to protect his arm a little bit. Hold him back, let him ease into the season, maybe skip a start here and there. If all goes according to plan, Kirby will still get some play in the post-season, with hopefully a still-fresh arm.

I’m excited to see what we’re able to get from this unit. The Mariners will go as far as their pitching takes them, so we’re going to need these guys to stay healthy and stay dominating. That’s going to be a tough proposition – considering how healthy they all were last year. Odds are against us that they stay healthy again. But, if they do? Watch out!

The Relief Pitchers

  • Andres Munoz
  • Paul Sewald
  • Matt Brash
  • Diego Castillo
  • Matt Festa
  • Trevor Gott
  • Penn Murfee
  • Chris Flexen

It’s hard to argue with the sheer arm talent of this group. I know, relievers are volatile. But, I find it really hard to believe that all or most of these guys will take steps back. Maybe one or two, but that’s fine because we also have a lot in reserve down in the minors. There’s no shortage of impact arms in this organization, who will all cycle through at one point or another.

I am interested in what Chris Flexen brings to the table. There was talk heading into Spring Training that the Mariners might go with a 6-man rotation. Maybe I misunderstood, and they were just talking about how we had 6 viable starters on our roster. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what his workload looks like. He didn’t play a ton after he lost his starting job last year. You would think in the early going, there will be more opportunities, as most starters aren’t in mid-season form yet. But, by the same token, you hope there aren’t more opportunities, because there’s a 50/50 chance that means we’re getting blown out. The less Flexen pitches, the more we’re using our high-leverage pitchers, which means the more we’re either winning or tied in a particular game.

The Starting Nine

  1. Kolten Wong (2B)
  2. Julio Rodriguez (CF)
  3. Teoscar Hernandez (RF)
  4. Ty France (1B)
  5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
  6. Cal Raleigh (C)
  7. Tom Murphy (DH)
  8. Jarred Kelenic (LF)
  9. J.P. Crawford (SS)

For what it’s worth, that’s my official prediction for an Opening Day lineup. I feel relatively confident about the top six; I feel least confident about Tom Murphy. But, I’ll say this, he’s got tremendous power, he’s a veteran, and with the third catcher, this really doesn’t hurt us if someone goes down mid-game. In a game that figures to be low scoring, one big swing of the bat might make all the difference, and maybe that swing comes from Murph.

The Bench/Platoon Bats

  • A.J. Pollock (OF)
  • Sam Haggerty (UTIL)
  • Cooper Hummel (C/OF)
  • Tommy La Stella (INF/DH)

These guys have probably a month to figure out who belongs and who doesn’t, before Dylan Moore (hopefully) returns from the IL. I don’t think Pollock is going anywhere, he seems pretty entrenched as a platoon partner for Kelenic. I also don’t think Haggerty is going anywhere unless he is in an absolutely miserable slump; but odds are he won’t be playing much outside of late-inning pinch runner duty. La Stella seems like the favorite to be cut, but I also wonder how much he’s even going to play in the early going? He might get a DH start here and there, but I could also see this team playing Pollock at DH along with Murph (and the other starters we opt to give some rest).

If La Stella can get off to a hot start, though, maybe we hang onto him a bit in favor of sending Hummel down to Tacoma. Doubtful, but you never know.

Top to bottom, 1-26, this is a quality roster. With, encouragingly, lots in reserve to come up and help in a pinch. I can’t wait for tomorrow night!

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