5 Players Who Will Not Make Seattle Mariners’ Opening Day Roster
5 Players Who Will Not Make Mariners' Opening Day Roster
After their fourth consecutive losing season in 2013, the Mariners were aggressive during the offseason. They signed the biggest free agent on the market in Robinson Cano, and they also acquired other quality players in Fernando Rodney and Corey Hart. The Mariners expect to be competitive in 2014, and it will be interesting to see who makes their opening day roster. The club has a lot of options, and they will have a lot of interesting positional battles during spring training.
The signing of Cano creates a crowded middle infield for Seattle. Nick Franklin, the Mariners' second baseman last year, will likely compete with Brad Miller for the starting shortstop position. The Mariners also have a lot of competition in the outfield with Corey Hart, Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley and Abraham Almonte.
There are also a lot of pitchers vying for a spot in the rotation. Outside of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, no other slots in the Mariners' rotation are guaranteed. Top prospects Taijuan Walker and James Paxton will compete for a rotation spot, and so will newly acquired free agent Scott Baker. They also have returning starters from last year in Brandon Brandon Maurer, Erasmo Ramírez and Blake Beavan who will compete for a startling role.
With so many positional battles this spring, it is tough to predict who will make the Mariners' opening day roster. However, there are a few players who appear likely to be excluded. Here is a prediction of five players who won’t make the Mariners' opening day roster.
5. Blake Beavan
2013 was a major step back for Beavan. He was hammered for an 8.27 ERA in the month of April and demoted to the minor leagues. In 16 starts for AA Tacoma, he performed poorly with a 5.55 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. After a disastrous season, Beavan will not crack the Mariners' opening day roster.
4. Xavier Avery
The Mariners acquired Avery late last season for Mike Morse, and he will likely start the season in the minors. Avery is an athletic center fielder, but his bat is questionable. He hit just .237 with two home runs in AAA last year, and he struggled offensively in a brief stint with the Orioles in 2012.
3. Brandon Maurer
Maurer won a rotation spot in spring training last year, but he won’t do so again this season. With a 6.30 ERA, he struggled immensely for the Mariners in 2013. He is unproven, and he is not as talented as the Mariners' other options like Walker and Paxton.
2. Nick Franklin
Brad Miller will eventually win the starting short top position, and Franklin will either be traded or sent to AAA. After a fast start to his major league career, Franklin struggled in 2013. He hit .225 with a .303 OBP, and he stuck out an alarming amount of times. However, Franklin was a first-round draft pick, and he was considered a top prospect the last two seasons. His trade value is still fairly high, so there is a strong possibility that he gets moved.
1. Jesus Montero
Not too long ago Montero was considered an excellent prospect. However, his career has derailed with Seattle. He has hit poorly, and he was suspended last season due to his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal. Montero also reported to camp overweight and out of shape. While he once had a very bright future, these factors will prevent him from making the Mariners' opening day roster.
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