BY SPNW Staff 04:24PM 03/15/2015

Mariners roundup: Hultzen among first cuts

The Mariners made their first significant roster moves of the spring Sunday, optioning LHPs Danny Hultzen and Mike Kickham and OF Julio Morban to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. The Mariners also re-assigned seven to their minor league camp, leaving the …

The Mariners made their first significant roster moves of the spring Sunday, optioning LHPs Danny Hultzen and Mike Kickham and OF Julio Morban to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. The Mariners also re-assigned seven to their minor league camp, leaving the club with 51 players, including 37 roster players and 14 non-roster invitees.

The Mariners sent RHPs Sam Gaviglio, Stephen Landazuri and Forrest Snow, Cs Steven Baron, Mike Dowd and Tyler Marlette and OF Jordy Lara to the minor leagues. In addition, Marcus Littlewood, who had been on extended loan, returned to minor league camp.

Considered one of the prime prospects in the Seattle organization, Hultzen has battled injuries the past two years. The Mariners selected him in the first round (second overall) of the 2011 free agent draft. The plan has been to put Hultzen at AAA so he can compete for a rotation spot in 2016.

“I think it’s something that we have to be right on with, making sure that this young man is healthy throughout the year,” McClendon told mariners.com. “I will say, if anything, we’re going to err on the side of caution with him — particularly with the number of innings, number of pitches per inning. But at the same time we have to treat him like he’s a healthy pitcher.”

Dodgers 5, Mariners 2

Starting pitcher Roenis Elias (0-1) was touched for six hits and two runs in 3.2 innings Sunday as the Mariners dropped 5-2 Cactus League decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Peoria, AZ. The Mariners are 6-7 in Cactus action and won’t play until Tuesday, following a day off Monday.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (2-0) picked up the win, allowing one run in 3.1 innings. The reigning National League MVP and Cy Young award winner allowed one run on four hits in his outing, walking three and striking out three. RHP Joe Wieland notched his first save of the spring.

Seattle relief pitchers David Rollins (1.1 IP, 2 K), RHP Danny Farquhar (1.0 IP), LHP Tyler Olson (1.0 IP) and RHP Justin Germano (0.1 IP) recorded scoreless outings.

Notes

The Mariners take on the Chicago White Sox Tuesday. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma will start for Seattle . . . Taijuan Walker leads qualifying Cactus League pitchers with a 0.00 ERA . . . The Mariners have hit 11 home runs this spring, by 10 players . . . LHP Tyler Olson ranks T4 in the Cactus League with eight strikeouts. Olson has faced 18 batters this spring (6.0 IP) in three relief outings, and has retired all 18 batters. The Spokane native and Gonzaga product combined to go 12-8 with a 3.46 ERA in 27 G/GS with A High Desert and AA Jackson last season.

Linkage

The MLB Tonight crew breaks down the impact that newly acquired Nelson Cruz will have on the Mariners offense.

SI.com’s Chris Corcoran identifies Seattle shortstop Brad Miller as one of the American League’s breakout players in 2015.

Thursday, comedian Will Ferrell suited up for 10 MLB teams, including the Mariners, as part of a special for HBO. Most were amused by Ferrell, but not legendary NFL coach/broadcaster John Madden, who ripped the stunt as a ridiculous charade.


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    Curious what the club will do with Erasmo Ramirez who’s been very inconsistent in his career but hasn’t seemed to last as a starter for an extended period of time. He’s out of options but the M’s could easily go with a four man rotation in April, keep him on the roster and try and work out a deal with someone. Think the Yankees will be willing again??

    • RadioGuy

      Good question. I like Erasmo and he’s had his moments, but not nearly enough of them. They guy has talent and (like a lot of players from Latin American countries) went through a lot to even get this far so it’s hard to question his heart, but I don’t see how he fits into the rotation this year…there are simply too many pitchers who’ve either done better or have more upside in camp.

      I think Jack Z will look to trade him but if there are no takers, I think he’ll get released unless injuries to starters ahead of him start stacking up. The numbers aren’t in Erasmo’s favor.

    • Da Kid

      As a friend of mine once quipped, “You can’t confuse potential with probability.”

      Ramirez has pretty much remained in the “dime a dozen” category. Great potential, not consistent enough to become a probable starter.