UPDATE: Saunders was optioned to Tacoma, while Koplove and Speigner were both re-assigned to minor league camp - I expect them to be with the Rainiers to start the season. That leaves the Mariners with 41 players in big league camp with 31 roster players and 10 non-roster invites.
Ok, it appears as thoughOF Michael Saunders
,RHP Mike Koplove
andRHP Levale Speigner
were sent to minor league camp today. We haven't gotten official confirmation from the Mariners yet. But Saunders was saying his goodbyes to teammates after a long meeting with manager Don Wakamatsu.
Saunders seemed to be a little upset. But really if you looked at the amount of innings he was playing, he had to know that something was up.
Saunders appeared in 10 games, hitting .222 with a .263 on-base-percentage. He had four hits in 18 at-bats, including a double, a triple and a home run.
He's still in the process of re-tooling his swing and the Mariners simply can't afford to have him learn on the job. Besides, he was looking at a fourth outfield position at best and he needs to play every day, which he will do for the Rainiers.
I can't help but like Koplove. It's amazing how he gets guys out. He doesn't throw very hard, but he's effective.
Koplove made five appearances for the Mariners - six counting the intrasquad game. In the Cactus League games, he threw 5 1/3 innings scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out four hitters.
Speigner, who signed as a minor league free agent, made four appearances, pitching five scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.
Also today, the Mariners completed an earlier trade, sending RHP Miguel Celestino to the Boston Red Sox as the "player to be named later" in the trade that sent 1B Casey Kotchman to Seattle and IF Bill Hall to Boston.
Celestino is 20 and listed at 6-foot-5, 170 pounds. He posted a 5-3 record for the rookie-league Arizona Mariners. He made 13 appearances (12 starts) and threw 66 2/3 innings with a 4.73 ERA. Before that, he played in the Dominican Summer League in 2007 and 2008.
Let's get to a few links ...
Wakamatsu said last night that Bradley thought there were three outs after getting rung up. Lookout Landing had this video of it.
Alex Remington of Fangraphs addresses the Cliff Lee suspension.
Mel Antonen of USA Today plays Fact or Fiction with the Mariners.
The Sporting News released it's Mariners preview.
Former Bellarmine Prep standout and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester wants a ban of maple bats.
Oakland A's closer Andrew Bailey has tennis elbow and will be shut down for a while.
Meanwhile, Angels reliever Scott Shields is continuing to work his way back.