Bubble Watch:  M’s Will Have 25 Man Roster Decisions To Make

Multiple Players Will Not Make Mariners 25 Man Roster

As the first Cactus League action gets under way there are plenty of underlying stories  to keep an eye on as veterans and young players all try to scratch their way on to the Seattle Mariners‘ 25 man roster.

For some, not making the M’s roster means a trip into the M’s minor league system some place.  For others, it means the end of their time with the Mariners organization, possibly even the end of their baseball careers.

Here are the players that are likely feeling the pressure as their futures rest on top of the bubble.

Can the M's squeeze Bloomquist onto the roster with all of those platoons? (photo AllSportsPeople)

Can the M’s squeeze Bloomquist onto the roster with all of those platoons? (photo AllSportsPeople)

Willie Bloomquist

The multi-talented veteran utility man, Willie Bloomquist, certainly has to be a guy you have to wonder about at this point especially with Rickie Weeks on board.  So far, skipper Lloyd McClendon has indicated that Weeks is going to be sharing time in left field with Dustin Ackley in a platoon role and backing up Logan Morrison at first base.

Ok, sounds reasonable, but it also sounds like one platoon combination too many for a 25 man roster.

If you have Ackley/Weeks in left and Smith/Ruggiano in right and maybe even Taylor/Miller at short, how the heck are you supposed to have anyone on  your bench except for a backup catcher which Bloomquist is not?

Five starting pitchers, eight guys on the field, one DH, and seven guys in the bullpen.   That’s 21 names on the roster right there.  Throw in a backup catcher and that leaves room for just 3 platoons which I already mentioned.  Can Bloomie squeeze in somehow, someplace?  Maybe, if you eliminate one platoon but I just don’t see any other way.

Chris Taylor

Speaking of eliminating platoons, shortstop is the current platoon situation that has the most potential to change to one guy starting and one guy headed to Tacoma.  Brad Miller has been up and down but ended 2014 batting well.  I would expect barring an awful spring, he’d get the nod.

Don't count out Chris Taylor.

Don’t count out Chris Taylor.

That doesn’t mean you can count out Chris Taylor.  The young shortstop can play defense and hit the ball well in limited duty last year.  If he has a monster spring, he could certainly force the issue with McClendon.

Erasmo Ramirez

The M’s stocky right hander, Erasmo Ramirez, is in a big time battle this spring.  He is out of minor league options which means he has to make this 25 man roster or he’s going to be headed down the road to another team or possibly out of baseball.

He is pitching for one of two spots on this roster.  He’s battling Roenis Elias and Taijuan Walker for the 5th spot in the rotation and he’s likely also being considered for the long man spot in the bullpen along with Tom Wilhelmsen.

This is a tough, tough situation for Ramirez.  I just don’t see how he can win either of these two spots.

He is really going to have to impress people this spring or his bubble is going to burst.

Jesus Sucre and John Baker

The catcher situation might be the most interesting one to watch during the spring.  Jesus Sucre has the laser cannon arm and great glove, he just can’t hit a lick, at least so far.  John Baker has the experience, decent skills behind the plate, and probably is capable of hitting better than Sucre can, at least for now.

Who wins this battle?  It’s too early to know.  Sucre is going to have to hit during the spring or he is going to get sent down. 

On the other hand Baker has to show he can still hit at least .240 or the M’s might just let Sucre backup Zunino since Sucre is better defensively than Baker.   For Baker,  failure to produce means the letters DFA are going to appear if he can’t out hit his younger competitor.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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