Diving into the depths: Seattle Mariners

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Seattle Mariners
Rotation
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Cliff Lee
3. Ryan Rowland-Smith
4. Ian Snell
5. Luke French
6. Garrett Olson
7. Doug Fister
8. Jason Vargas
9. Yusmeiro Petit
10. Ryan Feierabend
11. Gaby Hernandez
12. Andrew Baldwin
13. Dan Cortes
The Mariners have five legitimate options for the fifth spot in their rotation, but I can’t say I’m particularly fond of any of them. I still think it makes a lot of sense for the Mariners to go out and grab an upside guy, perhaps by re-signing Erik Bedard. It’s their only remaining need, and they should have the cash left to get something done.
Bullpen
1. David Aardsma
2. Mark Lowe
3. Shawn Kelley
4. Brandon League
5. Sean White
6. Jason Vargas
7. Yusmeiro Petit
8. Garrett Olson
9. Chad Cordero
10. Doug Fister
11. Cesar Jimenez
12. Anthony Varvaro
13. Kanekoa Texeira
14. Ricky Ortz
15. Josh Fields
The Brandon Morrow-for-League swap was controversial, but I think it could pay real dividends this season. I see League as the Mariners’ best reliever.
The top five should be locks, and Vargas figures to have a spot unless he’s in the rotation. After that, the Mariners will have to decide whether they prefer Petit’s ability to eat innings or Olson’s ability to serve as a second lefty. Alternatively, they could bring in a veteran lefty, perhaps Joe Beimel.


Catcher
1. Adam Moore
2. Rob Johnson
3. Josh Bard
4. Eliezer Alfonzo
First base
1. Casey Kotchman
2. Mike Carp
3. Jose Lopez
4. Tommy Everidge
5. Jack Hannahan
6. Brad Nelson
Second base
1. Jose Lopez
2. Matt Tuiasosopo
3. Josh Wilson
4. Chris Woodward
Third base
1. Chone Figgins
2. Jack Hannahan
3. Matt Tuiasosopo
4. Josh Wilson
Shortstop
1. Jack Wilson
2. Josh Wilson
3. Chris Woodward
There’s really no chance of Carp sticking as a backup, but he should get a crack at the first-base job if Kotchman fails to deliver. The alternative would be to have Lopez move to first, something he’s made clear he doesn’t want to do.
Left field
1. Milton Bradley
2. Michael Saunders
3. Ryan Langerhans
4. Ken Griffey Jr.
Center field
1. Franklin Gutierrez
2. Michael Saunders
3. Ryan Langerhans
4. Corey Patterson
Right field
1. Ichiro Suzuki
2. Michael Saunders
3. Ryan Langerhans
4. Corey Patterson
Designated hitter
1. Ken Griffey Jr.
2. Milton Bradley
3. Mike Carp
4. Tommy Everidge
5. Brad Nelson
If Saunders impresses this spring, it’s possible he’ll win the left-field job, pushing Bradley to the DH spot and Griffey to the bench. That’s probably the ideal scenario for the Mariners. Even if Saunders doesn’t win the job outright, it’d make sense to keep him around and give him three or four starts per week over Griffey and Bradley.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

John McCoy/Getty Images
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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.