Mariners Insider Blog

Today's challenge: A Mariners infield, 2012

We've put together a new Seattle Mariners starting rotation, worked up their 2012 outfield, and today we're going to tackle the infield they'll have - barring trades or free agent signings.

What seems a lock at glance may not be, though at least three  infield positions - four, once we include catcher - have incumbents returning.

It would be easy enough to say C Miguel Olivo, 1B Justin Smoak, 2B Dustin Ackley and SS Brendan Ryan keep their jobs. And they may well do that. Still, there are options.

Let's take a look at the player candidates for 2012.

At first base: Smoak, Mike Carp. At second base: Ackley, Kyle Seager and Chone Figgins. At 3B: Seager, Alex Liddi, Figgins. At SS: Ryan, Nick Franklin, Carlos Triunfel.  At C: Olivo, Adam Moore, Josh Bard, Chris Gimenez.

Seager showed promise at third - he can also play second base and shortstop - and the Mariners have asked him to get stronger this winter, believing his opposite-field power can be greatly enhanced. Liddi, too, showed potential - natural power, solid defense but way too many strike outs in a small sample size.

Clearly, the Mariners think Franklin has a future at short, and Triunfel has been in the organization since 2007 and is still only 21-years-old.

This can be a slam dunk or we can think outside the box a bit. Feel free to present an infield and the reasons for it.