Hello and good morning. In case you do not have internet connection (wait) or are continually late to the game (no wonder you never get invited anymore) there has been some fresh, sweet, hot news this morning regarding the 2016 Seattle Mariners 25 Man Roster:
Servais tells us Felix, Zunino and Aoki in, Rollins, Robertson and Sucre out.— Mike Salk, 710 ESPN (@TheMikeSalk) July 20, 2016
Well, how-dee-do-dee folks and welcome to being .500 on July 20th. The major news of the day, as we've all known for some time now, is that Felix Hernandez is back for the first time since May 27th (ages ago) to throw hopefully many good pitches against the Chicago White Sox as the Mariners look to win the rubber match. In somewhat but not really surprising other news, Norichicka Aoki and Mike Zunino find themselves back on the Mariners roster after being recalled from AAA Tacoma.
Norichicka Aoki was always bound to come back, despite starting the season in quite a funk. He's been on a small tear as of late and with the team looking around, pointing at an empty space on the bench, and Daniel Robertson being there and somehow wandering into left field, Aoki may present an upgrade. Actually, scratch that, there is almost no doubt in my mind that Aoki is better than Daniel Robertson and, if Nori can reclaim the player he once was, there's a chance the outfield may start to look a little bit nicer than the high desert it's been of late.
Jesus Sucre going down in favor of Mike Zunino may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but when he was sent down after being called up when Steve Clevenger broke his hand, the front office made it relatively clear we'd be seeing more of Mikey Z in the second half of 2016. What's more is that Chris Iannetta is in some kind of funk at the plate, making it ever more important that the organization looks for production from the position, which will never be Jesus Sucre. It's a move with the future in mind, that they're hoping pays dividends immediately.
There was a lot of speculation last night as to who the call ups might be, if the exciting Guillermo Heredia would potentially replace D-Rob. Those thinking the season lost, at .500 on July 20th, would see this as a sensible choice for the organization to make, instead of trying to retread Aoki. However, Aoki has another year with the team that automatically vests in about 200 more AB's and if the team is serious about winning now, they'll need Aoki for the final run in. Heredia looks a very likely, if not automatic, September call-up with the expansion. As for the M's FO and how they see themselves, well, here's this from Dutton this morning:
Given the way the #Mariners' officials talk, they're far from giving up. https://t.co/u5S510rYVI— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) July 20, 2016
They aren't dead yet.