Mariners roster cuts show a commitment to the youth movement.
The Mariners will be leaving the Peoria complex on Thursday the 22nd with 30 players in tow for the opening series in Japan against the A’s. The Mariners currently have 38 men in camp after cutting Cesar Jimenez, Hong-Chih Kuo and Shawn Camp.
Only 25 men can be on the roster for Seattle for the two MLB games and so, the Mariners need to get their roster ready before they leave.
Here is what you should know about the latest Mariners cuts:
Hong-Chih Kuo was an all-star caliber pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. In 60 innings he held an ERA of 1.20 and even picked up 12 saves.
However, in 2011 this Taiwanese native struggled with the mental aspect of his game and his ERA dropped to 9.00. The M’s picked him up from free agency during the off-season, hoping that a change of scenery would help propel him back into form.
However, his spring outings did not instill a lot of confidence and he was released.
Cesar Jimenez was once a promising prospect for the Mariners, coming out of the Dominican Republic where he had a 7-1 record with a 0.83 ERA as a reliever. He was first called up to the big league club in 2006 but his performance was less than spectacular and he was optioned back to the minors.
Then came a series of injuries that have kept his performance level on the unproductive side of things. Jimenez was out of minor league options and so he was released on outright waivers.
Shawn Camp, at 36 years old, is an 8 year MLB veteran had promising spring numbers where he held a 2.16 ERA in seven games. His career ERA however is 4.40 which is a turn off for someone offered a major league contract.
There is a risk in taking some of the unproven players over a veteran, but the M’s have shown a commitment to the youth movement.
A move like this is not completely unprecedented.
In order for the team to pick their 25 man roster, they must first make room for each of these players on the 40 man roster. Each of these three was taking a space on that roster, with Kuo and Camp with major league contracts and Jimenez still in the farm system.
There are many things to be considered when making roster moves, including contracts, minor league options and age.
Seattle didn’t have much to lose with any of these three that they let go.
The likely scenario is that three pitchers off the roster would indicate three more being added. All indicators seem to point to adding Kevin Millwood to the starting rotation and Erasmo Ramirez to the pen.
The other interesting option is if they continue to show favor to this year’s rule five draft pick Lucas Luetge, who was drafted to the brewers by none other than current Mariners General Manager Jack Z.
If you want to learn how the rule five draft pick works read here: The Mariners Rule Five Draft Pick: Lucas Luetge
As I finished writing this Mariners blog post MLB news came down on the M’s that they’ve announced their starting five for 2012. Click the link to read it now on our M’s forums.