The Mariners largely solidified their 25-man roster Friday by making several moves, principally optioning INF Nick Franklin to AAA Tacoma while also sending down former starters Brandon Maurer and Blake Beavan and relievers Lucas Luetge, Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Zach Miner and Ramon Ramirez. The Mariners also designated SS Carlos Triunfel and OF Xavier Avery for assignment.
Seattle’s roster stands at 28. Starting pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker and reliever Stephen Pryor will be on the 15-day disabled list prior to Sunday’s roster deadline. With Opening Day Monday in Anaheim, the Mariners roster looks like this:
- Starters (5): Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, Roenis Elias, Chris Young.
- Relievers (7): RHPs Fernando Rodney, Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen, Yoervis Medina and Hector Noesi; LHPs Charlie Furbush and Joe Beimel.
- Catchers (2): Mike Zunino, John Buck.
- Infielders (6): Justin Smoak, Robinson Cano, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager, Willie Bloomquist, Logan Morrison.
- Outfielders (5): Dustin Ackley, Abraham Almonte, Michael Saunders, Corey Hart, Stefen Romero.
Franklin saw action in 102 games for the Mariners last season and performed reasonably well, hitting 12 home runs but with a .225 batting average. But he lost his job at second base over the winter when the club signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract. Switched back to shortstop, his original position, he battled Brad Miller for the spot all spring, but Miller won the job outright with a .439 batting average and 17 RBIs in Cactus League play.
With Iwakuma and Walker on the disabled list, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton and Roenis Elias, a rookie, will fill in behind No. 1 starter Felix Hernandez. The No. 5 rotation slot goes to veteran Chris Young, 34, inked off the discard heap Thursday after his release by the Washington Nationals.
Iwakuma, No. 3 in the Cy Young vote last season, and Walker are expected to rejoin the club by mid-to-late April.
The Mariners added Beimel and Elias to the 40-man roster Friday, moves that resulted in Triunfel and Avery being cut. The 36-year-old Biemel, an 11-year veteran, pitched for Pittsburgh last season. The Mariners signed him as a free agent Jan. 17.
Seattle will play its first seven games on the road (three in Anaheim, four in Oakland) before returning to Safeco Field April 8 to face the Angels.