Five more roster moves leave Mariners in position for a surprise name on final 25-man roster.
His name wasnt the biggest surprise on the list, because it was going to take severe machinations to get the first baseman/left fielder on the roster.
However, left-handed reliever Royce Ring, who was widely expected to make the roster, was assigned to the clubs minor league camp, along with outfielder Mike Wilson, right-hander Denny Bautista and right-hander Justin Miller.
The series of moves means the Mariners have 35 players left in camp, eight of whom are non-roster players. Some of those come out of Sundays move with more reason to smile than others, and chief among them is left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez. Hes had a rotten spring, despite one shutout inning Saturday, and it was widely assumed that hed be the loser when Ring made the roster.
But Ring is a non-roster player and Jimenez is on the roster and it seems at this point the Mariners aren’t willing to take a chance that they’d lose Jimenez on waivers, which they’d have to offer if they tried to put him on the Tacoma roster.
And infielder Josh Wilson, one of the absolute favorites among his teammates, is still alive and kicking despite the Mariners obvious inclination to go with non-roster infielder Adam Kennedy as the No. 1 backup. Wilson could still find himself left out, but now the Mariners have openings for a roster surprise to start the season, and he could be the man.
It seems more likely than ever that center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will not be on the opening day roster. He is not in Sundays lineup. He has not played in more than a week.
The Mariners, who thought theyd gotten definite answers to Gutierrezs stomach problems two weeks ago, have seen Gutierrez continue to struggle with his health. They have yet to get results of the latest set of tests on Gutierrez.
Gutierrez will be one of five players to start the season on the DL pitchers David Aardsma (hip surgery), Shawn Kelley (Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery), Nate Robertson (elbow bone chip removal) and infielder Matt Mangini (quad strain).