By Shannon Drayer
Without reading too much into something I saw on the board this morning in the clubhouse -- oh heck, I am going to read into it.
The pitching assignments have been changed a couple of times over the weekend. Originally Brandon Maurer was supposed to back up Joe Saunders yesterday. When Jon Garland opted out, Maurer got the start today. Erasmo Ramirez was slated to back up on Wednesday, then there was talk of throwing him in a minor league game that day and now he is back on the board for Wednesday in the Cactus League game following Felix. Not a lot of innings to be had in that game, and Ramirez is coming off a two-inning appearance after which Eric Wedge said they could stretch him back out later if needed. Doesn't look like he will be stretching out on Wednesday with Felix getting that start.
So it is not a stretch to say that the final two spots are down to Blake Beavan, Brandon Maurer and Jeremy Bonderman. Beavan and Maurer would not require 40-man moves but Bonderman would. It is hard to believe that Bonderman could be in competition after not pitching in a big league game since 2010, but he has shown steady improvement all spring, appears to be healthy and strong and is scheduled to throw 90 pitches tomorrow. Would the Mariners start him in the big league rotation? We will know in less than a week. Interesting stuff to say the least.
Lineup vs Reds