Despite the flurry of moves today that appeared to bring the final 25 man roster just about into full view there could still be surprises. To recap, the Mariners sent down Luke French, Josh Bard and Chris Gimenez and released Josh Wilson. They purchased the contracts of Chris Ray, Jamey Wright and Adam Kennedy and added them to the 40 man roster which is now full.
There are 31 players remaining in camp but of those 31 David Aardsma, Shawn Kelley, Matt Mangini, and Nate Robertson are injured and with Franklin Gutierrez expected to start on the DL in reality the number is 26 healthy players. The contracts of Luis Rodriguez and Ryan Langerhans are expected to be purchased soon and two corresponding 40 man moves will have to be made. This leaves the final battle to make the team up to pitchers Tom Wilhelmsen and Cesar Jimenez. Both are on the 40 man roster.
The team could place Mauricio Robles on the 60 day dl which would free up one spot but at a minimum it looks like one player will have to be dropped from the 40 man. Cesar Jimenez is out of options so if he does not make the final 25 man roster he would be taken off the 40 man roster and would have to clear waivers in order to be sent down.
Eric Wedge after today's game said we should know by tomorrow afternoon what the final 25 man roster is barring any surprises which are not out of the question. As I have mentioned earlier the team is watching the waiver wire and a source tells me that they specifically are looking for a right handed bat. This would impact either Langerhans or Rodriguez.
The team has until 9am PST Thursday to set the final roster.
Also announced today was the starting rotation. No surprises there as they have been in this rotation almost from day 1 of spring games. Felix will start Opening Day and be followed by Vargas, Fister, Bedard and Pineda.
News and notes...Jason Vargas was knocked around a little by the Rockies today going 5 innings giving up 5 runs on 11 hits. He walked 1 and struck out two while throwing 83 pitches, 54 for strikes in his final outing of the spring...Many of you have asked and the Mariners have delivered. The Dave Niehaus Memorial Patches that will be worn by the players this season will be available for sale beginning April 8 at the Mariners Team Stores with proceeds benefiting the Food and Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network...Final Cactus League Report comes your way at 6pm tonight on 710 ESPN where guests will include Adam Moore, Adam Kennedy, Michael Pineda, Doug Fister, David Pauley, Robbie Thompson and Tom Wilhelmsen...