There's nobaseball game today, because the Seattle Mariners are boarding an airplane and flying to Japan. It might seem like a funny time for an entire team to take a vacation with the regular season approaching so quickly, but fear not - this is a business trip. The Mariners are going to Japan, but they're going to play baseball there. Two of the baseball games are going to count, and more, those two baseball games are going to count as road games even though it's the Mariners who will have three Japanese players on the roster and therefore probably most of the fan support. Thank you Bud Selig!
Before the Mariners could fly, they had to whittle down their roster. Not all the way to 25 guys, but to 30 guys. As such, the following players will not be traveling:
Before today, some of these guys might've thought they'd be going to Japan. None of them are going to Japan, and as much as the Mariners simply needed to make decisions, that sure seems cold-blooded. "You might be in for the experience of a lifetime! You might be in for the experience of a lifetime! Haha just kidding you can go ahead and unpack, we're gonna leave you in Arizona."
Six of those players are just not traveling. Jimenez is special, in that he's not traveling, and he's also been outrighted to Tacoma. That means he's been removed from the 40-man roster, which is now down to 37 players. With Munenori Kawasaki and Kevin Millwood and maybe Erasmo Ramirez set to make the team as non-roster invitees, that space is needed. I've made fun of Cesar Jimenez before because he's lingered without being particularly good, but now that I take a closer look at him, last year in Tacoma he struck out 81 batters in 71 innings. He seems like a useful reliever, for Tacoma.
Today's moves didn't actually clear up that much. We don't know how the Mariners are going to fill out their bullpen. We don't know if Casper Wells will make the roster from the get-go, or if Eric Wedge will get to play around with Carlos Peguero for some reason. We'll have greater clarity in a few days, when the Mariners drop to a 28-man active roster. That roster will include Kevin Millwood, who is also not traveling. And of the 28, only 25 will be eligible to play against the A's, as is the rule.
I mentally exhausted myself trying to figure out all the roster rules and I think I know less now than I did before. It's complicated. Greg Johns has an explanation. Three of the players going to Japan will be re-assigned before the opener. Three more players will be re-assigned when the Mariners are back in Arizona before the regular season continues. I don't know why this has taken me so long to write. This isn't insightful, interesting, or creative. I'm less efficient than Jonathan Sanchez.