The Mariners have released the rosters for all minor league clubs today, and there are some semi-interesting things to note. Here's the AA and AAA rosters, courtesy of Greg Johns at MLB.com, where the rest of the rosters are as well. Let's take a quick look at how things have shuffled.
Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)
Pitchers: Logan Bawcom, Jeremy Bonderman, Andrew Carraway, Danny Farquhar, Steven Hensley, Danny Hultzen, Bobby LaFromboise, Yoervis Medina, D.J. Mitchell, Brian Moran, Jhonny Nunez, James Paxton, Brian Sweeney.
C: Jesus Sucre, Mike Zunino.
IF: Nick Franklin, Alex Liddi, Scott Savastano, Nate Tenbrink, Carlos Triunfel, Rich Poythress.
OF: Denny Almonte, Endy Chavez, Carlos Peguero, Eric Thames.
DL: OF Joe Dunigan, P Erasmo Ramirez, INF Stefen Romero, P Anthony Vasquez.
Jackson Generals (AA)
C: Brandon Bantz, John Hicks.
Erasmo Ramirez opens the year on the disabled list, along with Stefen Romero. This may be a blessing in disguise, as it helps set back Ramirez's innings for year, making him potentially available to pitch later in the season after the team inevitably shuts down Brandon Maurer at whatever innings cap they deem appropriate. Andrew Carraway or Brian Sweeney will fill out the packed AAA rotation, joining Hultzen, Paxton, Mitchell, and Bonderman.
Zunino skips right up to AAA and appears to still be fast-tracked to the majors. Nick Franklin remains in AAA while Brad Miller opens the year in AA. Denny Almonte earns a trip to Tacoma after spending all of last year in AA Jackson. Rich Poythress also earns his first trip to AAA after a solid year in AA, and will hope to find his home run power again to combine with the outstanding plate patience he demonstrated last year. Eric Thames and Endy Chavez round out the AAA outfield.
On the AA side, Vincent Catricala finds himself back at the level he once dominated after an extremely disappointing 2012 performance in AAA. Hector Noesi has found himself also demoted all the way down to AA, and Chance Ruffin joins the AA rotation as a starter. Taijuan Walker will begin the year at AA once again, where he will be joined by Forrest Snow, who struggled mightily as a starter in Tacoma last year. No word on whether Snow will continue to start or if he'll be moved back to the bullpen. John Hicks has earned himself a full-time catching role in AA, moving up from High Desert.
There aren't too many surprises in this year's minor league opening rosters, and we'll see how things shake out when Ramirez and Romero come off the disabled list. With Brad Miller quickly rising through the system and Liddi, and Franklin in AAA, Carlos Triunfel may find himself struggling to get at-bats as the year goes on.