Northwest Sports Beat

Five things to expect from the Tacoma Rainiers in April

Presenting…The M’s Future

The Tacoma Rainiers offer fans another exciting roster for 2012. During the past few seasons, the Rainiers have offered more potential than their parent club, the Seattle Mariners.  There have been a few times, rather than see a call up of one or two players, to see the whole line up get switched.

Of course the 2012 Mariners roster looks very similar to the 2010 Rainiers roster.

Does Tacoma have the same potential this season as well?  It is hard to know exactly what to expect with a fluctuating roster of a AAA team, but here are five things to look for from the Mariners top level farm team this April.

1.    Offense

With the Mariners deep into their rebuilding plan the roster in Tacoma is filled with players that are supposed to be difference makers for the organization.

It will be particularly interesting to see if Carlos Peguero, Trayvon Robinson, and Vinnie Catricala can continue their spring training successes.

2.    Versatility

Now that Seattle is starting to sort out what some of their most specific needs will be over the next few years, the Rainiers players may play a bit of musical chairs in various positions.

Vinnie Catricala

Can Vinnie Catricala continue his spring training hot streak?

This is particularly interesting in the case of Catricala, who has a bat the M’s could use immediately, but Vinnie is blocked at third base by Kyle Seager and Alex Liddi, beside the fact that his defensive skills have shown to be something to be desired.

3.    Strategy

In building an organization, the General Manager has to do more than look for “great potential” but look to which players will fit in best to the overall strategy of the club.  (i.e. Will the future M’s be more aggressive on the base paths?)

4.    Training

Fans should see Adam Moore, Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Carp in Tacoma on training assignments before being activated off the disabled list.

5.    Pitching

The Seattle bullpen is surrounded by question marks and the Mariners will be keeping a close watch on the Rainiers pitching staff as the season starts.

Shawn Kelley and Charlie Furbush were very close to making the Mariners 25 man roster and if their numbers are strong they could replace someone sooner rather than later.

Here’s a look at the 2012 Mariners roster.

 

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