Seattle Mariners: 2011 Opening Day Roster Has Been Finalized
Last night, like every other team in baseball, the Mariners had to turn in their finalized roster to the MLB offices.
While there weren't many surprises left at this stage and the look will change soon and often, this is what the team is going with to begin their 2011 campaign.
The starting rotation will go Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda.
The bullpen will consist of left hander Aaron Laffey and right handers David Pauley, Jamey Wright, Chris Ray, Tom Wilhelmsen, Josh Lueke and Brandon League.
In the infield, we'll see Justin Smoak, Jack Wilson, Brendan Ryan and Chone Figgins in starting roles, with Adam Kennedy and Luis Rodriguez as the backups.
The outfield will start Milton Bradley, Michael Saunders and Ichiro with Ryan Langerhans likely rotating in left and center until Franklin Gutierrez returns.
The catching duties will be split by Miguel Olivo and Adam Moore.
Jack Cust will serve as the designated hitter.
Gutierrez, David Aardsma and Shawn Kelley all start the season on the disabled list. Dustin Ackley and Dan Cortes will likely bump people as we go along, as well.
Aardsma, League and Figgins may be the biggest trade chips, depending how their seasons go. The team doesn't look to contend, so shedding some salary and picking up an interesting prospect or two could be a direction they decide to go.
I still have the team penciled in for a nine game improvement of 70 wins. That's more than some think, less than others.
It's nothing special, but considering the circumstances, it should be enough to earn a little faith from the fans that better days lie ahead.
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