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Dan Cortes, Chris Smith Sent To Minor League Camp

Members of the pile now have room to graze
Members of the pile now have room to graze

The Mariners came to camp with a pile, but that pile couldn't last forever, and on Thursday they've extricated another two bodies and placed them on the conveyor belt to minor league camp. The names to those bodies:

Chris Smith. I can't tell you anything about Chris Smith. The numbers say he's made three appearances to date, walking one and striking out zero in 2.2 innings, but I remember none of his games, and I know nothing about his previous track record off the top of my head. I don't know if he's short or tall. I don't know if he's left-handed or right-handed. I don't know if he's 25 or 35. But I'll bet he throws a fastball in the 88-91 range with a decent if inconsistent breaking ball and a show-me change just for the hell of it. He just sounds like that generic of a reliever. He never had a shot of breaking camp, quite unlike the guy shipping off with him.

Dan Cortes. Cortes comes as more of a surprise, since coming into camp I think most of us saw him as a near-lock for the roster. We certainly saw him ahead of Josh Lueke on the depth chart. But Cortes and Lueke have gone in opposite directions, with Cortes throwing way too many balls. He only made four appearances, but he walked five guys and at no point really looked to be in control of himself. He'll come back. There's little doubt that he'll occupy a spot in the Mariner bullpen before too long. This is a guy, though, who still has a lot of work to do, and perhaps we should blame ourselves for expecting too much too soon from a hard-throwing pitcher with a long history of not throwing enough strikes.

There are still way more people in camp now than there will be in a week and a half, but finally the picture is drawing a little more clear.