PEORIA, Ariz. — Despite not officially announcing early Wednesday morning or even waiting until the 10 a.m. Thursday morning deadline, the Mariners have essentially finalized their 28-man roster for Opening Day. of the Major League Baseball season with roster changes made ahead of Tuesday’s Cactus League Finals at Goodyear Ballpark.
Seattle moved to right-hander Wyatt Mills in Class AAA Tacoma and reassigned right-handed reliever Devin Sweet and outfielders Billy Hamilton and Steven Souza Jr. to minor league camp.
Souza is expected to report to Cheney Stadium on Thursday. Hamilton is waiting to see if a team could add him to their 28-man roster as an additional outfielder. Otherwise, he’ll end up showing up in Tacoma
With these roster changes, 32 players remain in the major league camp with Seattle. Four of those players – first baseman Evan White (sports hernia surgery), outfielder Kyle Lewis (2021 knee surgery) and right-handed pitchers Casey Sadler (shoulder surgery) and Ken Giles (strain finger tendon) – will start the season on the injured list.
The remaining 28 players will bring the team charter to Minneapolis on Wednesday morning. The Mariners opted not to fly after the game and travel on the day off, avoiding a practice session at Target Field that had a good chance of being canceled due to weather conditions.
Tuesday afternoon forecast for Thursday’s game has temperatures ranging from 37-39 degrees with winds of 15-18 mph for wind chill below 30 degrees. There is also a high chance of precipitation from Wednesday through Thursday evening.
“I have the impression that we will wake up Thursday morning and that there will be snow on the ground,” said manager Scott Servais. “We will make a decision then. That’s the beauty of scheduling that day off the next day, just in case. But the fact that we’re playing these games in Minnesota at this time of year, you’d think we’d be smarter than that. It’s crazy.”
The forecast for Friday is slightly more favorable with temperatures in the 40s but no precipitation.
On the roster side, Servais will keep 15 pitchers and 13 position players, including three receivers.
Start spin (5)
- Robbie Ray, LHP
- Logan Gilbert, RHP
- Marco Gonzales, LHP
- Chris Flexen, RHP
- Matt Brash, RHP
Remarks: Ray will make the first opening day start of his career on Thursday or Friday. With his last Cactus League start on April 3 and his MLB debut slated for April 12, Brash kicked off an extended bullpen session on Monday and will throw two more to try and stay sharp before taking the mound for open a three-game series against . the White Sox to the guaranteed rate field.
- Paul Sewald, RHP
- Drew Steckenrider, RHP
- Sergio Romo, HRP
- Erik Swanson, RHP
- Diego Castillo, RHP
- Andrés Munoz, RHP
- Yohan Ramirez, RHP
- Matt Festa, RHP
- Anthony Misiewicz, LHP
- Justus Sheffield, LHP
Remarks: With the dispatch of Mills, that means right-hander Matt Festa has made the team. Festa was actually kicked from camp on March 29 and reassigned to minor league camp with Devin Sweet. Both pitchers were brought back to camp when Ken Giles was diagnosed with a finger injury. Festa made his MLB debut on July 14, 2018 at Coors Field, being called up from Class AA Arkansas to the big leagues. He made eight appearances in 2018 with varying success. Performances were similar in 2019 when he shuttled from Tacoma to Seattle, making 20 appearances with a 5.64 ERA. Elbow issues during spring training 2020 ultimately led to Tommy John’s surgery on March 11.
After rehabilitating largely on his own due to the pandemic, Festa returned to the mound for Class AAA Tacoma. He made 10 appearances to close the 2019 season, making three saves with a 1.26 ERA, with eight walks and 11 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings pitched.
As an unregistered player, he attended the Mariners minor league minicamp during the lockout and continued to pitch well this spring. He has allowed just one point in five appearances.
- Jarred Kelenic, CF/:LF
- Mitch Haniger, RF
- Jesse Winker, LF
- Julio Rodriguez, CF/RF
Remarks: The Mariners plan to use a rotation between Haniger and Winker as the designated hitter, based on pitching games and general rest. Winker has been plagued with nagging injuries for the past few seasons and has never played more than 115 games in a season. The Mariners are hoping the DH days will keep him healthy.
- Ty France, 1B
- Adam Frazier, 2B
- J. P. Crawford, SS
- Eugenio Suarez, 3B
- Dylan Moore, Utility
- Abraham Toro, Utility
Remarks: Toro played a good part of the first base late in the game and will provide valuable assistance on the bench. Moore will be the backup outfielder late in the game and the pinch runner in certain situations.
- Tom Murphy
- Louis Torrens
- Cal Raleigh
Remarks: Servais hasn’t really specified yet how he intends to allocate playing time. But it’s obvious, Torrens is still a total liability from a defensive point of view. He didn’t seem to improve his receiving and blocking abilities this spring, which was considered a priority. He’s on the roster for his bat. How they plan to bring it to bats will be interesting.