The Mariners are now twelve days from Opening Day. The days of swooning over Jabari Blash 500 foot dingers are gone (although if they returned I'd be just fine with that) and the Mariners are putting out lineups that appear quasi-regular seasonish. We're getting really close.
So when I look at the collection outfielders, converted infielders and "outfielders" the team currently has on its roster I am a concern and curiosity cocktail. There are plenty of ways that you can squint and see Lloyd McClendon deftly juggling the various strengths and weaknesses of the group. But there are at least as just as many scenarios where this is a disaster.
Most of the poll questions I post here ask you what you think will happen. This time I'm going to let you play around with yourself a bit and lineup-bate. But first, should any of you need it, a quick review of our candidates (ages in parenthesis):
Abraham Almonte (24): Plus speed, appears to be the team's best defensive outfielder in Spring. Good baserunner. Switch hitter who does not hit from the right side which limits versatility. Is generally awesome.
Michael Saunders (27): Can hit for power. Bat remains disappointing generally. Defensively at least league average in a corner position but most likely below average in Center over a full season. Good baserunner. Dreamy yet, like a dream, quite unfulfilling.
Dustin Ackley (26): Converted infielder. May project as a capable corner outfield defender but unfinished product in that regard. Bat has been a disappointment. Has swung the bat well in Spring. Good baserunner. Arm is a question mark (but improving). In my opinion the hardest outfield candidate to project over a full season.
Logan Morrison (26): Has been an above average hitter in his early 20's (.346 wOBA in 2011). Is still young and bat may have room for growth. Almost certainly a disaster defensively. A giant lummox on Twitter who should have his fingers electrocuted every time he touches a smartphone.
Corey Hart (32): Best offensive pedigree, by far, of any outfield candidate. 5 20+ HR seasons and 2 30+. Has handled the outfield in past seasons without embarrassing himself. Coming off a missed season and two knee surgeries. On the wrong end of the aging curve. Has hardly played outfield in the Spring (or hit, for that matter.)
Stefen Romero (25): Darkhorse candidate to make the roster out of Spring. Offensive ceiling is fairly low but floor appears relatively high. Converted infielder who's defense may limit him to utility role and spot starting. Fun and exciting because hey, young and unknown.
Endy Chavez (36): Can't hit, can field. Old. Should not regularly start but given that he may still be the 2nd best defensive outfielder on the roster (sigh) there is a decent case to be made for him making the roster as a reserve.
That should about do it. Please vote below and feel free to discuss in the comments, which you'll do even if I tell you not to because you never really listen do you?