Early Spring Training 25-Man Roster Checkpoint

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== Resetting the Field ==

Back in late January we took a 35,000-foot aerial view of the 25-man roster.  Let’s revisit the matter and see where things stand.

Once again, the assumption is 12 pitchers.

That means 13 position players, and here’s a look, with the “running total” in parentheses.  Non-roster invitees are in green and speculative additions are in red:

Catcher Mike Zunino (1) John Buck (2)
First Base Justin Smoak (3) Corey Hart (4)Logan Morrison (4) Logan Morrison (5)Corey Hart (5)
Second Base Robinson Cano (6) Nick Franklin (7) Willie Bloomquist (8)
Shortstop Brad Miller (9) Nick Franklin Willie Bloomquist
Third Base Kyle Seager (10) Nick Franklin Willie Bloomquist
Outfield Michael Saunders (11) Corey HartLogan Morrison
Dustin Ackley (12) Franklin Gutierrez (13) Abraham Almonte (13?)
Logan MorrisonCorey Hart Endy Chavez
Nelson Cruz [?]  Stefen Romero
DH Corey Hart Logan Morrison Logan Morrison Corey Hart
Nelson Cruz [?]

There have been some fairly big changes:

  • They seem determined to at least open the year with Corey Hart is the main right fielder rather than Logan Morrison, with LoMo getting more 1b/DH time.  Lloyd McClendon indicated Hart will be in the OF as often as his knees will allow.
  • Chances of signing Nelson Cruz seem to have faded.
  • Franklin Gutierrez decided to sit out the entire season due to health issues.

No Guti and no Cruz seems to open up a spot for Abe Almonte or Endy Chavez.  Almonte would have the edge there since he is already on the 40-man roster, and at least one 40-man move, and quite possibly two, is likely for a pitcher (Carlos Triunfel and Hector Noesi seem to be closest to the chopping block).

McClendon has already designated Bloomquist as a lock, and in fact indicated that Bloomie was the first guy he requested after getting hired.  Versatile veteran “glue” guy — sort of like, well, as it happens, Lloyd McClendon.

The “problem” with the roster as set up that way is no “true” right-handed hitter on the bench except the backup catcher (who doesn’t get used unless an emergency) and Bloomquist (who is, to put it kindly, not going to instill fear in any pitchers).  Almonte and Franklin are switch-hitters but stronger from the left side.  Same for longshot utility guy Ty Kelly.

All of which may create an opening for Stefen Romero, who is on the 40-man and has been added to the chart.

All of which also diminishes the chances of Franklin getting traded or starting in AAA.  If he ends up on the MLB roster as a bench player, I would guess that they might give him some playing time in the outfield.  He won’t really be getting any time at second base.

===

The pitching landscape:

Starters Felix Hernandez (14)
Hisashi Iwakuma (15, but DL to start year)
?? (16) Ubaldo JimenezChris Capuano
Ervin Santana
Scott Baker
Erasmo Ramirez
Brandon Maurer (or bullpen?)
Taijuan Walker (17)
James Paxton (18)
Closer Fernando Rodney (19)
RH Bullpen Tom Wilhelmsen (20)
Danny Farquhar (21) Stephen Pryor (injured)
?? (22) Yoervis Medina
?? (23) Hector Noesi
Logan Bawcom
Luis Ayala [?]
Carson Smith
    Dominic Leone
    Ramon Ramirez
    Logan Kensing
    Mark Rogers
    Matt Palmer
     
 LH Bullpen  Charlie Furbush (24)
?? (25) Randy Wolf
Lucas Luetge
Bobby LaFromboise
Joe Beimel
    Nick Hill

Major developments include:

  • Signing Fernando Rodney to be the closer
  • Scott Baker going from speculative addition to official non-roster invitee
  • Hisashi Iwakuma starting the year on the DL due to a mangled finger
  • Ubaldo Jimenez signing elsewhere and Chris Capuano emerging as the most-buzzed-about free agent signing
  • Randy Wolf coming in as a non-roster invitee touted as a probable LH reliever
  • McClendon possibly indicating he likes the idea of three lefties in the bullpen (though that might not mean anything)

All of which means …

  • Baker is probably a lock (early reports are positive), which (as mentioned above) requires a 40-man move
  • If they do not bring in Capuano (or Santana) then Erasmo Ramirez would be first in line for Iwakuma’s rotation spot in April
  • I believe Hector Noesi is out of options, so he’s very likely to be one of the 40-man moves
  • Brandon Maurer is very unlikely to make the rotation, so he’d probably take a bullpen slot ahead of Noesi anyway
  • They seem to like the idea of Wolf for the second lefty, though that would leave them without a late-inning or LOOGY lefty specialist.  I still don’t rule out Nick Hill grabbing that role eventually.
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One thought on “Early Spring Training 25-Man Roster Checkpoint

  1. I was just noticing we have a 29 Year old RH OF in camp with 3400 MiL PA of 13.4 BB&, 22.4 XBH+BB%, 17.2K%. He only has 2.56 HR% but has a reputation of being (1)a good corner glove who’s usable in center and (2) excellent on the basepaths which is evidenced by going 119 and 36 in steal attempts. He’s only received 189 MLB PA between 3 teams. Cole Gillespie was part of DC’s 2010-2011 offseason plan and now that we have him he’s gone mostly unmentioned and unnoticed.  I am curious how he’d look under Spec analysis. What I’m seeing looks like probably quite a bit of red would be on his chart.

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