A common stereotype of Seattle is that the people there are generally passive-aggressive. Stereotypes, of course, paint black-and-white pictures, meaning stereotypes paint inaccurate pictures, but it's certainly possible the city of Seattle is more passive-aggressive than most other big cities in the US. A passive-aggressive way of managing spring-training roster cuts would be to not cut anyone until the very last day, but to progressively field fewer and fewer of the players on hand. People wouldn't be officially cut; they'd just stop playing in games. On Sunday, the Mariners took a more direct approach, cutting players instead of just benching them. Four players have been cut without being passive-aggressively cut, which literally no one does. So it would be weird if Seattle did that.
Chance Ruffin. Ruffin allowed three runs in three innings this spring, with six hits and two walks. These numbers are meaningless. As recently as 2010, Ruffin was technically a first-round draft pick. The Mariners selected him on purpose in the Doug Fister trade, and in 2011 with Seattle he made 13 appearances. Last year with Seattle he made zero appearances, and he had 35 walks and 54 strikeouts with Tacoma in more than 70 innings. The wrong conclusion: Ruffin is done, because relievers are volatile. The right conclusion: Ruffin is not done, because relievers are volatile. Maybe he's toast! Maybe this year Ruffin puts himself back on the organizational map! Who knows! Relievers are volatile! Relievers are like benzene, only perhaps more highly carcinogenic.
- Brian Moran. Moran allowed zero runs in four innings this spring, with three hits and one walk. These numbers are meaningless. Moran is a lefty reliever, which the Mariners don't need right now, and he also has underwhelming raw stuff, but he's 24 and he just struck out 37 percent of opponents in triple-A so he could be an actual big-league reliever in a hurry. Moran is probably better than a lot of guys who'll be in major-league bullpens this April and May. He's good depth to have in the system.
- Jonathan Arias. Arias allowed two runs in four innings this spring, with three hits and one walk. These numbers are meaningless. I don't know a single thing about him. Apparently he's been in the system for years. Baseball-Reference tells me he's a converted position player, who hit two professional home runs. He caught, so he must have a strong arm and a live fastball and questionable secondary stuff. Arias might become nothing or something. Who knows! Relievers are volatile!
- D.J. Mitchell. Mitchell allowed two runs in 4.1 innings this spring, with one hit and three walks. These numbers are meaningless. Mitchell is a mid-rotation starter in triple-A, meaning he's not of much value to the organization, but he's the sort of guy who can help keep Mike Curto sane over the course of a long, dinger-happy summer, so he's far from worthless. Nobody wants an insane Mike Curto. Just call D.J. Mitchell "The Therapist". And if Mitchell eventually becomes a reliever, then who knows! Relievers are volatile!
These players were cut not by the Mariners organization, but from the Mariners' major-league spring training, meaning they've been re-assigned to minor-league spring training. They're still Mariners property; they'll just have to pack their bags and go on a very short trip to a presumably neighboring clubhouse.
Also for whatever it's worth, in other Sunday news, Michael Saunders was named the MVP of his World Baseball Classic pool, even though Team Canada was eliminated. Saunders flipped the hell out in three games and today he hit a dinger in a losing cause against the US. The WBC Pool D Most Valuable Player Award, I imagine, is a small rubber hand giving a thumbs-up.