Daniel Vogelbach and the Mariners will begin training at T-Mobile Park on July 1. (Getty)
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto spoke to members of the local media on Wednesday to give an idea of how the M’s will work in the MLB’s 60-game season, which is about a month away.
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Here’s a guide to who, what, when, and why regarding the Mariners and the upcoming baseball season.
Where and when
All Mariners “Spring Training 2” activities will take place at T-Mobile Park. Players head to Seattle with Dipoto saying he has heard from 25 to 30 players and anticipates that everyone will report before July 1. He doesn’t expect any players to withdraw from the 60-game season.
All the players expected at the camp are currently in the country. The first group is expected to arrive this weekend. All players must undergo testing and receive a clean health statement before they are allowed to participate in activities. After the initial test, players will be evaluated at least every other day following the protocol established for all MLB teams. The first training at T-Mobile Park will take place on July 1.
Teams will be allowed a group of 60-man players to draw throughout the season with the final player groups and 40-man rosters to be submitted to the league by noon on Sunday. The opening day roster will consist of 30 players and will drop to 28 after two weeks and then to 26 another 14 days later. The rest of the team will form a squad of taxi players who will continue training at Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers, once the season begins. The taxi squad will be made up of players who may be injury substitutions and better prospects (more on the taxi squad later in this post).
Conducting a spring training for 60 players at T-Mobile Park will be a challenge. In Arizona there are multiple fields to train, cages to hit, and launch mounds more than enough for everyone. In Seattle, the Mariners will be limited to one field and only the main pitching mounds and bullpen. This and social distancing (the team will train in groups of 8-12 to start) will take longer days to get all the necessary work.
Mariners will spread throughout the building, utilizing the home, visitor and auxiliary clubhouses, home and guest weight rooms and facilities, large meeting rooms such as the Ellis Pavillion, and even the bleachers and foyers.
While teams are allowed to have three exhibition games against other teams before the season begins, without a close rival, the team hopes it will limit itself to games within the squad, of which they plan to have many.
The taxi squad will be comprised of players on the 40-man roster not on the major league roster, as well as the best prospects. These players will train with the Mariners at T-Mobile Park and then move to Cheney Stadium once the season begins, where they will continue to train and play games within the squad. Dipoto sees this as an opportunity to get as many potential customers working.
“For us, where we are in our evolution, we want to be as competitive as possible in these 60 games,” he said, “but we remain obsessed with the idea that this rebuilding of the roster is at a really delicate stage.” We need to make sure those young players get their reps. “
Players in the taxi squad will not accumulate MLB service time. As in spring training, players on the 40-player roster will be on options, with the rest invited. While there will be a lot of notable prospects in the taxi squad, don’t expect to see many of them at the major league level.
“Our expectation was correct: Now we would be talking about the probability that Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic will appear in the big leagues,” Dipoto said. “They didn’t get the development time that would have been at the front of this season. I don’t want to assume that this is impossible, that somehow magical through 20 days of training and the month of August they were able to regain the ground we lost from mid-March to today, but I don’t think it’s likely either.
“The idea of taking players who haven’t had those experiences or accumulated properly and just throw them into the bottom of the pool at a time when the threat of injury if not managed properly is greatest.” We have to manage it properly and we will. We will do the right thing. It might slow us down a bit, but we don’t think it’s going to inhibit our growth in the long term. “
With the number of utility players on the Mariners roster: Tim Lopes, Dylan Moore, Patrick Wisdom, Sam Haggerty, José Marmalejos, and even Dee Gordon, Dipoto should be able to create enough space in the taxi squad for quite a few of youth. prospects
Mitch Haniger has been recovering and rehabilitating from central and subsequent surgeries. While he’s been in constant contact with the Mariners, they just won’t know where he is in his recovery until they put him in front of them.
“We are still not completely sure,” Dipoto said. “We are going to be slow and careful in the way we handle Mitch.”
The news is a little better for reliever Austin Adams, who is fully recovered from ACL surgery. During the shutdown, he was seen by the Rays’ team doctor, who signed his recovery.
“Oddly enough, he is in the same spot as the rest of the boys, throwing top bullpens and facing live hitters,” Dipoto said.
Dipoto reports that the rest of the Mariners are coming out healthy from the closing of baseball.
Like other clubs around baseball, the Mariners have had positive results for COVID-19. Citing privacy laws, Dipoto did not give names or answer the question of how many players tested positive.
“More than one player in our organization tested positive,” he said. “We are still not sure if that will be with the tests that will take place this weekend, how much that will affect our list of 40 men.” With cases popping up, especially in some of the hot spots across the country, we’ve had some players with positive results. Right now they are asymptomatic, they feel great, but we are aware that they are positive and will not be in the environment when we open until we determine that they are healthy enough to be part of it. “
All major league starters have been able to throw bullpens, but Dipoto noted that Taijuan Walker has had fewer reps.
“Everyone has been pitching regularly,” he said. “(Justin) Dunn and (Yusei) Kikuchi have been working at the facility and have been pitching a full pitch in front of hitters who built up to 40-60 pitches.”
The Mariners will run with a six-man rotation and allow “overlapping” starts (one starter following another in a game) from the start.
The MLB transaction freeze will be lifted on Friday. The Mariners’ spring training roster is currently at 43 and the 60-man player pool is due to be established by noon on Sunday, but I wouldn’t expect to see Dipoto filling up with dealer Jerry that day.
“I would really expect it to be fairly calm,” Dipoto said of Friday.
Dipoto will focus on the players currently in the Mariners system. Of the players who are still on the spring roster, decisions will eventually have to be made about two of them, as veterans Wei-Yin Chen and Carlos Gonzalez will have the ability to choose not to participate if they are not added to the roster. 26 men.
“I wouldn’t expect you to see a wave of trade or a big free-agent transfer bonanza,” Dipoto said. “Most of them are already in camp.”
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