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Mariners make moves to set their final 25-man roster

By Shannon Drayer

PEORIA, Ariz. – A ton of stuff came our way in the last hour so we will just get straight to it. For starters, the Mariners have a 25-roster. To be more accurate, they have 28 on the roster after cuts Friday morning but three who are on that list – Taijuan Walker, Hisashi Iwakuma and Stephen Pryor – are heading to the disabled list.

So the final 25-man roster would appear to be:

Starters

Felix Hernandez
Erasmo Ramirez
James Paxton
Roenis Elias
Chris Young

Catchers

Mike Zunino
John Buck

Infielders

Justin Smoak
Robinson Cano
Brad Miller
Kyle Seager
Willie Bloomquist
Logan Morrison

Outfielders

Dustin Ackley
Abraham Almonte
Corey Hart
Stefen Romero
Michael Saunders

Relievers

Fernando Rodney
Danny Farquhar
Charlie Furbush
Tom Wilhelmsen
Yoervis Medina
Joe Beimel
Hector Noesi

Nick Franklin, Blake Beavan, Lucas Luetge, Endy Chavez and a number of others were told that they had not made the club. Obviously this was tough news for Franklin, who did not have a bad spring by any means. Brad Miller just had a better one.

"Both played extremely well but Brad separated himself," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I would be a fool if I told you he didn't. We all saw it. He separated himself and played extremely well. He deserves the opportunity and he is getting it. Nick didn't lose the job, it is more of Brad winning the job."

Franklin will go to Triple-A, where he will play shortstop. McClendon said there was the possibility he could play some outfield, too.

The Franklin conversation was no doubt difficult to have. No manager enjoys sending a player down. They do enjoy, however, granting a player his big-league dream. McClendon got to do that with Roenis Elias, who was overjoyed to get the news that he made it to the big leagues.

"He was very happy. I don't understand everything that he said because most of it was Spanish, but I think in the end he tried to kiss me," McClendon said with a chuckle. "I figured he was happy at that point."

There are some who have expressed concern that Elias is jumping from Double-A to the big leagues and have pointed to what happened with Brandon Maurer, who made the same jump last year. In my opinion, both pitchers are talented, but have two different mentalities. While you never know what is going to happen until they get into a big-league game, Elias appears more ready in that aspect than Maurer did a year ago.

"Look, getting here was a major accomplishment," McClendon said, "and really I thought this was really important. You talk about the lights coming on, I don't think there is anything that is really going to phase this young man because he came off a boat where he was fighting for his life to get here. I think he is going to be just fine and I think he has got a bright future ahead of him."

One last note on the final 25-man roster: the pitching order listed above is the pitching order they will start the season with. Yes, they have lefties going back to back but it will be against different clubs the first two times through the rotation. They will most likely make an adjustment down the road.

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