Well, we're about two weeks from Opening Day for the Mariners, so it's time to look at what has transpired so far this Spring.
What to do with Jeremy Reed
This has to be one of the bigger stories so far, because nobody knows what the heck is going to happen with this guy. Manager John McLaren and GM Bill Bavasi apparently met this morning to talk about some issues, and it's rumored one of them was Jeremy Reed. Reed hasn't been used very much, only 13 AB, but has put up a .462 average (6 hits). No explanation has come out yet, but maybe the Mariners have already decided on Reed, and the verdict maybe that he will be cut withen the next two weeks. I didn't expect Reed to be in the starting outfield picture, but I thought that they would give him more of a serious look. Reed isn't out of options, so if he's sent down to the Minors, than he could still be brought up. Wasn't this guy the center piece of the Freddy Garcia trade a couple years ago?
Where Mike Morse will be Come Opening Day
Mike Morse is out of options, and it's unkown where he will be two weeks from now. I highly doubt that he would pass through waivers, but is there a spot open on the Mariners right now? I've gone over a few scenarios, and it's hard for me not to have Morse making the team for the first time in his career out of Spring Training. He is certainly making his case this season with his .581 average (18 for 31) that leads all major-leaguers this spring. Larry Stone of the SeattleTimes says that Morse's time to shine has arrived. This question may have an easier answer than Reed's, because Morse has shined in all of his oppurtunities, and can play almost everywhere. Like I said, it's hard to not see Morse on the team, and if Reed is falling out of the running, then Morse's spot on the team may be cemented.
Will RA Dickey Crack the Roster
RA Dickey was taken in the Rule 5 Draft from the Twins, and will go back if he doesn't make the team. The Mariners have liked the idea of having a knuckleballer on their team, and USS Mariner has loved it. Dickey has looked decent so far this Spring, a 2.00 ERA in 9 IP, giving up six hits and four runs. Probably the best thing about Dickey, is that he was a starter, and can pitch on consecutive days easily. He is in the running for the long relief role, and is in a good position to get it. The M's were thinking about going with a five man bench and 6 man bullpen, even though most of the time teams will carry 6-7 relievers because the starters will be warming up into regular season mode. I think that Dickey will be on the roster come Opening Day, but Cha Seung Baek is out of options, and will become a free agent if he is cut, so this may get a little interesting.
Where Wlad Balentien is Going to be
Wlad had found himself in a tough position behind Adam Jones, but now that he is gone, the doors are wide open for Wlad to make the team. He is having a solid Spring, hitting .324 (13 for 34) with a pair of homeruns and seven RBI. The Mariners have a tough decision to make with this guy, because you don't want to rush him, but at the same time, he could really help out your team. Brad Wilkerson was brought in, and the two may find theirselves in a platoon in right field. It would definitly be interesting to see how that would unfold. Any interest in Coco Crisp seems to have been a one day thing.
How Much More the Mariners want to Hold Up Jeff Clement
Jeff Clement appears to be ready to play with the big club, but Kenji Johjima is fine behind the plate, and the Mariners are fine with Jose Vidro as their DH. There are some scenarios with Clement playing DH, but I won't get into those right now. Clement will be called up at some point this season, you could bet on that. It's tough to say, because the Mariners will probably want to hang on to Joh, but Vidro is a free agent, so Clement may become the team's full time DH in 2009.
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