One week is all that separates us from Opening Day, and with the Mariners hurrying to ready their team for the season’s debut, tonight’s game will be the final major league Spring game in Arizona until the 19th. It will also be the final time we’ll see the Mariners’ main players until the exhibition matches against the Yomiuri Giants on the 17th and 18th. Most importantly, of course, it is the final stateside game the M’s regulars will play before Opening Day on the 20th of March. The lineup looks almost exactly as we’d expect it to a week from now.
Moreover, the roster as a whole has essentially been settled, with the Mariners taking 30 players across, anticipating a 30-man group remaining in major league camp, of whom just 30 are healthy. That group is likely who will be making the journey to play in Japan.
I’ll save you the time: the names you won’t expect to see on the Opening Day roster are NRI’s LHP Tommy Milone and C José Lobatón. Both veterans are likely to travel, may play in the exhibition games, but will only be utilized and added to the 40-man roster in case of emergency. It’s possible a couple other players will travel, like recently-slipped-through-waivers UTIL Kristopher Negrón or (as hinted) OF Jake Fraley, but they too would be purely exhibition depth in all likelihood.
So tonight we’ll see the Opening Day lineup, potentially with Ichiro and Jay Bruce in flipped locations, but likely in the order expected. It’s not a bad offense, but it will be far stronger with Vogelbach in Ichiro’s spot, and stronger still if Healy, Bruce, and/or Dee bounce back to their career averages. Tonight’s the last time we’ll have M’s baseball on for a few days, so let’s make it count.
Game Time: 6:40 PM PT
TV: ROOT NW
Radio: 710 AM ESPN