Over the last few days the Seattle Mariners have made a crap-ton of roster moves. Can you keep them all straight in your head? I can not keep them all straight in my head, and so for my (our?) sake I’m going to sort through what’s happened and try to piece together just who is and who is not on this team right now. Maybe there will be some surprises! There will probably be some surprises.
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So as you may know, the M’s designated Willie Bloomquist for assignment. This is a good move, a much-needed move, and yet a move that may leave us all feeling more sad than anything else. Wee Willie Boom Boom! He hit .455 as a September call-up in 2002! There are a lot of memories associated with Willie Bloomquist, Seattle Mariner, and he was one of the last links to the team’s almost-glorious past. He’ll be missed, if only for that silly grin of his.
In his place the team called up Chris Taylor, who will not be taking *very many* starts away from Brad Miller. Miller’s having a very good year, whereas Taylor has yet to provide the M’s with much of anything. Miller’s the better player – he’s always been the better player – and so Taylor will be his backup. Maybe Taylor will get a chance to earn some playing time around the diamond. Maybe the Mariners will eventually have a roster of entirely utility players. Maybe one day Felix Hernandez will play left field.
That transaction was a clean swap: dump Bloomquist, call up Taylor. The M’s just wanted to upgrade their roster’s last spot, and so they switched their worst player for a minor leaguer of considerable acclaim who was a productive major leaguer not too long ago. That was the easy part! Now for the chaos.
With Hisashi Iwakuma set to return from the disabled list, it became clear that Roenis Elias wasn’t going to be able to save his spot in the Mariners’ rotation. After his start last night Elias was optioned to Tacoma – along with Vidal Nuno and Tom Wilhelmsen. There was no room for Elias, Wilhelmsen has hit a rough patch, and Nuno was displaced by a guy who the Mariners need to keep on the major league roster for procedural purposes.
David Rollins is back from the restricted list, where he was placed after testing positive for PEDs right at the end of spring training. That was really dumb of you, David Rollins. But he’s back now, and since he was a rule five pick he has to stay in the bigs or be offered back to the Astros. The Mariners don’t want to offer him back to the Astros – Rollins looks like he’s going to be pretty good, and the Astros would love to have him back. So he’s on the MLB roster.
The other guys who are coming up are James Jones and Mayckol Guaipe, both of whom have already seen time with Seattle this year and one (Guaipe) of whom was actually pretty impressive when he was up. Guaipe might stick for a while, but Jones is just here to give the M’s some bench depth until Iwakuma’s start on Monday.
So while Iwakuma’s not even here yet, he will be soon, and that’s the move that most of these moves revolve around. That, and the need to make room on the roster for Rollins. And Wilhelmsen’s struggles. And the fact that Willie is done. So a lot of things went into this, which explains why there were so many moves. This team has a lot going on right now. Don’t we all?
A recap. To Seattle: Chris Taylor, Mayckol Guaipe, David Rollins, James Jones. To Tacoma: Vidal Nuno, Tom Wilhelmsen, Roenis Elias. To DFA limbo: Willie Bloomquist. Soon to come: Hisashi Iwakuma, which will likely send Jones to Tacoma. And now you know your (current) Seattle Mariners!