Seattle Mariners 2014 season preview: The 25-man roster

Staff writerMarch 30, 2014 

Hello Cano Baseball

Once again, the Seattle Mariners pitching staff is led by the dominant right arm of ace Felix Hernandez.

TONY GUTIERREZ — AP

The Seattle Mariners' 2014 opening day 25-man roster.

SEATTLE MARINERS

2013 record: 71-91, fourth place in the American League West Division

STARTING PITCHERS

The skinny: The first order of business is to stay competitive until Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker make their anticipated mid-to-late April return from the disabled list. Felix Hernandez is an unquestioned ace at the top, but then it gets iffy. Can Erasmo Ramirez and rookie Roenis Elias maintain their spring form? Can James Paxton pitch to his potential? Does newcomer Chris Young have anything left? That’s a lot of questions and, remember, the Mariners open the season with 16 straight games against the Angels, A’s and Rangers.

No. Name Throws-Hits Ht. Wt. Born 2013 stats
34 Felix Hernandez right-right 6-3 225 4-8-86 12-10, 3.04 ERA
50 Erasmo Ramirez right-right 5-11 200 3-18-90 5-3, 4.98
65 James Paxton left-left 6-4 220 11-6-88 3-0, 1.50
27 Roenis Elias left-left 6-1 190 8-1-88 Rookie
53 Chris Young right-right 6-10 255 5-25-79 4-9, 4.15 (2012)

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney was signed in the offseason to take over the closer role. (AP photo)Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney was signed in the offseason to take over the closer role. (AP photo)

The skinny: This unit might be the Mariners’ great unknown and, let’s face it, the relief corps must improve significantly for meaningful late-season games to be a possibility. Free-agent closer Fernando Rodney was signed to fix the back end. It might not mean anything that he didn’t have a great spring, but… well, it better not mean anything. If Rodney clicks, the remaining mix of arms should be good enough. Righty Tom Wilhelmsen and lefty Charlie Furbush could be/should be an effective set-up tandem.

No. Name Throws-Hits Ht. Wt. Born 2013 stats
65 Fernando Rodney right-right 5-11 220 3-18-77 5-4, 3.38 ERA, 37 saves
54 Tom Wilhelmsen right-right 6-6 220 12-16-83 0-3, 4.12, 24
41 Charlie Furbush left-left 6-5 215 4-11-86 2-6, 3.74
40 Danny Farquhar right-right 5-9 185 2-17-87 0-3, 4.20, 16
31 Yoervis Medina left-left 6-3 205 7-27-88 4-6, 2.91, 1
97 Joe Beimel left-left 6-3 205 4-19-77 1-1, 5.33 (2011)
45 Hector Noesi right-right 6-3 205 1-26-87 0-1, 6.59

 

CATCHERS

Entering his second season, Mike Zunino is expected to take over the catching duties full time. (AP photo)Entering his second season, Mike Zunino is expected to take over the catching duties full time. (AP photo)

The skinny: Talk to non-Mariners baseball insiders, and the consensus view is Mike Zunino was rushed last year to the majors after just 96 minor-league games — and that it showed. It’s also worth noting those insiders generally believe the skills that resulted in Zunino’s selection as the third overall pick in the 2012 draft will blossom with experience. The question is how soon does that happen? This season would be nice. Newcomer John Buck provides a veteran presence as the backup.

No. Name Throws-Hits Ht. Wt. Born 2013 stats
3 Mike Zunino right-right 6-2 220 3-25-91 .214 BA, 5 HR, 14 RBI
4 John Buck right-right 6-3 245 7-7-80 .222, 15, 62

 

INFIELDERS

2014 will likely be a make-or-break season for first baseman Justin Smoak. (AP photo)2014 will likely be a make-or-break season for first baseman Justin Smoak. (AP photo)

The skinny: Start with the obvious; adding the game’s best second baseman, Robinson Cano, is a tide that raises all boats. But it might be time to keep an eye on third baseman Kyle Seager, who showed little in camp after batting just .183 over the final two months of last season. Brad Miller, in contrast, had a strong camp while holding onto his job at shortstop. Some scouts believe he has star potential. At first, Justin Smoak gets one more chance to reach his potential.

No. Name Throws-Hits Ht. Wt. Born 2013 stats
17 Justin Smoak left-both 6-4 230 12-5-86 .238 BA, 20 HR, 50 RBI
22 Robinson Cano right-left 6-0 210 10-22-82 .314, 27, 107
5 Brad Miller right-left 6-2 200 10-18-89 .265, 8, 36
15 Kyle Seager right-left 6-0 210 11-3-87 .260, 22, 69
8 Willie Bloomquist right-right 5-11 190 11-27-77 .317, 0, 14
20 Logan Morrison left-left 6-3 245 8-25-87 .242, 6, 36

 

OUTFIELDERS

Dustin Ackley and the Mariners are hopeful his hot spring will continue into the season. (AP photo)Dustin Ackley and the Mariners are hopeful his hot spring will continue into the season. (AP photo)

The skinny: Dustin Ackley looked like an increasingly good fit in left as the spring unfolded. Center fielder Abraham Almonte didn’t hit in Arizona, but he showed the ability to range into both gaps. The Mariners signed Corey Hart, who missed last year because of knee surgeries, to be their right fielder and to help balance their lefty-heavy lineup. His knees seem fine, but the bat looks rusty, and a sore forearm is likely to make him the DH. That positions Michael Saunders and Stefen Romero for split duty in right.

No. Name Throws-Hits Ht. Wt. Born 2013 stats
13 Dustin Ackley right-left 6-1 195 2-26-88 .253 BA, 4 HR, 31 RBI
36 Abraham Almonte right-both 5-9 205 6-27-89 .264, 2, 9
27 Corey Hart right-right 6-6 230 3-24-82 .270, 30, 83 (2012)
55 Michael Saunders right-left 6-4 225 11-19-86 .236, 12, 46
7 Stefen Romero right-right 6-2 220 10-17-88 Rookie

 

MAJOR LEAGUE STAFF

No. NAME POSITION

  • 23 Lloyd McClendon manager
  • 33 Trent Jewett bench coach
  • 47 Rick Waits pitching coach
  • 10 Howard Johnson hitting coach
  • 84 Rich Donnelly third base coach
  • 43 Andy Van Slyke first base coach
  • 48 Mike Rojas bullpen coach
  • 25 Chris Woodward infield coach
  • 62 Jason Phillips bullpen catcher
  • 89 Scott Budner batting practice pitcher

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