One consequence of the big-league roster falling into place is that it simultaneously firms up the roster at Triple-A Tacoma and, in a snowball effect, the rosters at Double-A Arkansas, Hi-A Modesto and Lo-A Clinton.
Tacoma manager Pat Listach lost his projected starter for the April 6 season opener at Sacramento (Giants) when the Mariners recalled lefty Ariel Miranda on Friday to replace an injured Drew Smyly.
The Rainiers’ projected rotation is now Chris Heston, Chase De Jong, Cody Martin, Christian Bergman and Sam Gaviglio, although it seems likely that Dillon Overton could rejoin the mix by mid-April.
Dan Vogelbach will be Tacoma’s primary first baseman because the Mariners want him to continue to hone his defensive skills, a deficiency that played a major role in his failure to win a spot on the big-league roster.
Having Vogelbach in Tacoma pushes 2013 first-round pick D.J. Peterson into some combination of third base, designated hitter and, perhaps, outfield in addition to occasional duty at first base.
Club officials are hoping Peterson develops a Valencia-style defensive skill set and becomes a viable four-corner option in the infield and outfield.
Mike Freeman and Tyler Smith will be the primary second base/shortstop combination, although the two will flip positions on occasion. Zach Shank and just-signed veteran Gordon Beckham will draw duty at third base and elsewhere.
Veteran Tuffy Gosewisch and Steven Baron are the catchers.
The outfield projects as Ben Gamel, Tyler O’Neill and Boog Powell (once he serves the final five games in his drug suspension). O’Neill should see time in both corners.
Outfielders Dario Pizzano and James Ramsey should also be on the Tacoma roster.
The bullpen will likely shuttle relievers throughout the season between Seattle and Tacoma, but the Rainiers’ closer, initially, figures to be Aro, veteran Jean Machi or perhaps another just-signed veteran: Mark Lowe.
The lefty options should be Dean Kiekhefer, Nick Hagadone and Paul Fry, while the Rainiers also figure to get right-handers Emilio Pagan, and Ryan Weber.
Further changes are possible before the Rainiers and the other full-season affiliates break camp. For now, though, these are the latest roster projections:
DOUBLE-A ARKANSAS: Andrew Moore, Max Povse and Dylan Unsworth should head a rotation also expected to include Tyler Herb and Lindsey Caughel.
Hard-throwing Thyago Vieira will serve as the closer in a bullpen also likely to include Zac Curtis, Blake Perry, Peter Tago, Ryan Horstman, Brett Ash, Darin Gilles and Ryne Harper.
Tyler Marlene and Marcus Littlewood should be the catchers with a projected infield mix of Ryan Casteel, Brock Hebert, Joey Wong, Jay Baum, Kyle Petty, Adam Law and Justin Seager.
The Travelers’ outfield should be Ian Miller, Kyle Waldrop and Chantz Mack.
HI-A MODESTO: Nick Neidert is likely to front a Nuts rotation that should include Pablo Lopez, Anthony Misiewicz, Reggie McClain and Nathan Bannister.
The bullpen should include Joe Pistorese, Matt Walker, Joey Strain, Matt Festa, Spencer Herrmann, Lukas Schiraldi, Rohn Pierce and Art Warren.
Daniel Torres and Arturo Nieto are the catchers. Others expected on the club: Willie Argo, Braden Bishop, Jordan Cowan, Joey Curletta, Ricky Eusebio, Eric Filia, Chris Mariscal, Logan Taylor, Donnie Walton and Gianfranco Wawoe.
LO-A CLINTON: Brandon Miller, Ljay Newsome, Tim Viehoff, Nick Wells and Danny Garcia should form the LumberKings’ rotation.
Others likely to be on the staff: Jack Anderson, Matt Clancy, Ronald Dominguez Robert Dugger, Marvin Gorgas, Michael Koval, Jefferson Medina and Kyle Wilcox.
The projected catchers are Yojhan Quevedo and Nick Thurman. The infielders should be Rayder Ascanio, Bryson Brigman, Kristian Brito, Conner Hale, Jhombeyker Morales and Nick Zammarelli.
The likely outfield is Dimas Ojeda, Luis Liberato, Anthony Jimenez and Gareth Morgan.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners