PEORIA, Ariz. – Although they won’t officially announce Wednesday morning at the earliest or even wait before the 10 a.m. deadline on Thursday morning, the Mariners have essentially finished their 28-player roster for MLB season opening day with the roster moved ahead of the Cactus League Final on Thursday. Tuesday at Goodyear Ballpark.
Seattle Wyatt Mills selected AAA right-hander Tacoma and reassigned right-back Devin Sweet and defensive tackle Billy Hamilton and Stephen Souza Jr. to the minor league camp.
Souza is expected to report to Cheney Stadium on Thursday. Hamilton is waiting to see if the team can add him to their 28-player roster as an extra. If not, he will eventually report to Tacoma
With these existing moves, 32 players remain in the Major League camp with Seattle. Four of those players – first baseman Evan White (sports hernia surgery), defensive back Kyle Lewis (knee surgery 2021) and right bowlers Casey Sadler (shoulder surgery) and Ken Giles (finger tendon strain) – will start the season on the injured list.
The remaining 28 players will take the team’s charter to Minneapolis on Wednesday morning. The Mariners chose not to fly after the game and travel on their rest day, avoiding a workout at Target Field which had a good chance of being canceled due to the weather.
As of Tuesday afternoon, expected temperatures for Thursday’s game are between 37 and 39 degrees and winds from 15 to 18 miles per hour for wind chilling below 30 degrees. There is also a high chance of rain starting Wednesday and continuing into Thursday evening.
“I have a feeling we’re going to wake up on Thursday morning and there will be snow on the ground,” coach Scott Service said. “We’ll make a decision at this point. That’s the beauty of scheduling that day out for the next, just in case. But the fact that we’re playing these games in Minnesota at that time of year, you might think we’d be smarter than that. That’s crazy.”
The forecast for Friday is a bit more adaptable with temperatures in the 40s but no rain.
For the roster, Servais will keep 15 throws and 13 players in position, including three players.
start spinning (5)
- Ruby Ray, LHP
- Logan Gilbert, RHP
- Marco Gonzalez, LHP
- Chris Flexen, RHP
- Matt Brach, RHP
Notes: Ray will start his first opening day of his career either Thursday or Friday. With his final start in the Cactus League on April 3 and his MLB debut scheduled for April 12, Brach threw in an extended session on Monday and will throw two more in an effort to stay sharp before taking the hill to open a three-match series versus. The White Sox is in a guaranteed rate field.
- Paul Swald, RHP
- Drew SteakinRider, RHP
- Sergio Romo, RHP
- Eric Swanson, RHP
- Diego Castillo, RHP
- Andres Munoz, RHP
- Johan Ramirez, RHP
- Matt Vista, RHP
- Anthony Misievic, LHP
- Justus Sheffield, LHP
Notes: With Mills sent, it means Matt Vista has made the team. Festa was effectively cut from camp on March 29 and reassigned to minor league camp alongside Devin Sweet. Both shooters were sent back to camp when Ken Giles was diagnosed with a finger injury. Festa made his MLB debut on July 14, 2018, at Coors Field, where he was called up from Class AA Arkansas to the major tournaments. He made eight appearances in 2018 with mixed success. Shows were similar in 2019 when the shuttle rode from Tacoma to Seattle, appearing 20 times with a 5.64 ERA. Elbow issues in the 2020 spring training eventually led to Tommy John’s surgery on March 11th.
After rehab largely on his own due to the pandemic, Festa is back on the hill for the Class AAA Tacoma. He played 10 games to conclude the 2019 season, scoring three saves with 1.26 ERA, with eight walks and 11 hits in 14 1/3 runs.
As an unlisted player, he went to the Mariners junior league camp during the lockdown and has continued to play well this spring. Only one run was allowed in five matches.
- Jared Kielnik CF/: LF
- Mitch Hanniger, RF
- Jesse Winker, LF
- Julio Rodriguez, CF/RF
Notes: Sailors plan to use the rotation between Haniger and Winker as the designated hitter, based on alternation between matches and overall rest. Winker has struggled with bothersome injuries over the past few seasons and has never played more than 115 games in a single season. The sailors hope DH Days keeps him healthy.
- T France, 1 b
- Adam Fraser, 2 b
- JP Crawford, SS
- Eugenio Suarez, 3 b
- Dylan Moore, Benefit
- Abraham Toro, Benefit
Notes: Toro plays a fair amount of first base late in games and will provide assists with strike strikes off the bench. Moore will be the backup defensive player late in the games and the hacker runner in certain situations.
- Tom Murphy
- Louis Torrens
- Cal Rally
Notes: Servais has yet to explain how he plans to allocate playtime. But that’s very clear, Torrens is still a complete liability from a defensive standpoint. It appears that he has not improved his receiving and blocking skills this spring, which was said to be a focus. He’s on the list for his racket. The way they plan to get it at bat will be interesting.