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If You Didn't Support Pokey Before'll probably like him even less after reading today's Larue piece:

Optimistically, Seattle put shortstop Reese in its lineup against Kansas City, but it didn't work out.

Reese, sidelined the previous two days by a tender shoulder, tried to get loose during pre-game workouts but could not.

"I'm closer," Reese said. "We'll try again (today)."

In his place, Willie Bloomquist started at short. If Reese is still ailing when the season opens, the Mariners could place him on the disabled list - retroactive to his last spring game - and recall an infielder from minor league camp.

 Who should be added to the 25-man roster?

A: Greg Dobbs
B: Ramon Santiago
C: All of the above

Although it's speculation at this point, we know that Reese has an injury problem, and it's something the team will have to deal with over the course of the season, even if he's healthy by Opening Day. Certainly, it will fuel the pro-Lopez argument, because the alternative choices for shortstop - Bloomquist and Santiago - are every bit as bad as Pokey at the plate, but don't make up for it in the field.

If management is serious about keeping Lopez in AAA - which, by all indications, they are - then failing to bring in decent Reese insurance over the winter was a bad (non-)move, because injuries are a consistent part of his game, and having to plug in someone like Ramon Santiago for a dozen games (or more) is a problem.

It's also worth mentioning that April has historically been Pokey's best month, and that starting the year off with a sore shoulder could render his offense even more worthless than expected.


DMZ pointed readers to the 2005 Diamond-Mind projections, released on Tuesday. Give those a look, but bear in mind that the system thought the Mariners would win 87 games a year ago.