Final 2005 Roster Predictions
Well, we're one week away from Opening Day, in which my seat is reserved for the first time ever. I'm actually holding out hope that the roof will be closed, which will also be a first for me at The Safe. The M's record when I've attended is somewhere around .500 (4-3, as I recall, including a bottom-of-the-9th-come-from-behind win against Chicago when my wife was 8 months pregnant). Let's hope it stays that way.
The biggest question circulating around the M's blogs is what will the final roster look like? It wouldn't be right if I didn't have my prediction here, and with 1 week to go, here's how I see it:
Joel Piniero (after a start or two in Tacoma, in the rotation somewhere between Moyer and Madritsch)
Ryan Franklin (Righty Long Relief, Sele insurance)
Ron Villone (Lefty Long Relief)
Shiggy (Righty Setup/situational)
Sherrill (Lefty Setup/situational)
Putz (Righty setup/closer)
Guardado (Lefty closer)
Matt Thornton ("LOO(IHCGI)GY" -- "Lefty One Out (If He Can Get It) GuY")
Dan Wilson (C)
Scott Spiezio (CI/PH)
Willie Bloomquist (UTIL, emergency C)
Greg Dobbs (CI/PH, LF)
Santiago probably should be there instead of Dobbs, since having Dobbs and Spiezio is really quite redundant, but he's not on the 40-man currently, and they definitely shouldn't replace anyone currently ON the 40-man with him. Sherrill can stay, and even though he's a bit redundent with Sherrill, so can Thornton (though Sherrill is a MUCH better pitcher). Atchison and Shiggy are also interchangable. If Spiezio can be traded, we'll probably fill his spot with Ramon Santiago to have a speedy-no-hit-decent-glove guy to replace Reese with WHEN he goes down (not if). Julio Mateo will be optioned down to Tacoma, since his Righty-Long-Relief spot will be given to Franklin. We hardly knew ya, Reichert, Gil and Goots. Sorry Mr. MŁ™, but Sele will be much more help to the M's than Nelson -- I hope he enjoys reffing high school basketball games in Issaquah. If they're going to have to create a 40-man spot, it will be for a fading starter, not for a fading reliever.
If you STILL haven't figured out that Player A is Felix, and Player B is Sele in my previous post, then you better start paying more attention to the ideology. Both players were longshots for the starting rotation coming into spring. Both players are not on the 40-man, so someone would have to be removed from the 40-man in order for one of them to stick. It looks more and more like Sele has won the spot over Felix (probably a good decision, since it might be better for the long-term future of this club and Felix if he starts the year in Tacoma). With the club's fascination with Matt Thornton, and the well-publicized fact that he has no more options, here's how it might happen:
Soriano is placed on the 60-day disabled list, opening up a temporary 40-man spot. Sele takes that spot. Problem is -- Soriano is expected to return sometime in July. Sele will have displayed how much he's got left by then, as will Thornton. To have Soriano activated back on the 40-man, then, either Sele or Thornton will be DFA'd. If, however, Soriano is currently on the 60-day DL (which I would assume - but it doesn't appear based on the M's less-than-trustworthy web site), then things are much more complicated. Bavasi will really have to work the phones to dump some roster cloggage. Or, Thornton will have to be released after all (and Mateo or Atchison will take his spot in the pen). Mateo, Thornton and Franklin can all find other teams to play with, in my book. Package them up and pry loose a few prospects. SOME team has to have a need for mediocre pitching, right?
Another problem. Sometime soon, earlier rather than later I hope, Bucky Jacobsen will be healthy again. When he's healthy, he'll need a 25-man spot. If my above roster indeed is how it looks in the end, then they could option Dobbs back down to Tacoma. However, Bucky won't play a position other than first in the near future, so they'll indeed need some bench flexibility to replace the other two positions that Dobbs can play. Since Dobbs and Spiezio would be essentially redundant, I imagine that they'll have to have a spare outfielder or middle infielder on the club since although Willie can play several positions decently, he can't play more than one position at the same time. I'd prefer our bench to look something like this: Wilson/Dobbs/Bloomquist/Bucky/decently-fielding-and-somewhat-speedy-OF
Watch the waiver wire to see who becomes available. And, please -- someone tap into Bavasi's cell phone. Bavasi can be reached via cell phone at 206-555-GOMS (4667), and I think it's either through Verizon, Spring, T-Mobile or Cingular. I found Bavasi's cell phone number through a friend of a friend, who's cousin's best friend's sister once had this dream about eating dinner in the Space Needle during an M's benefit auction, with Bill Bavasi at the head table and Randy Johnson (on a nostalgiac appearance just to see what's happening in Seattle) taking pictures with an old Polaroid, and one of the Polaroid pictures falling on the floor -- a detailed Photoshop zoom from a high-resolution scan of this Polaroid happened to reveal a business card given by Bavasi to one of the attendees, on which his cell phone number was printed.
Now that should take this blog up a few notches of Google's wonderful search engine, with curious Googlies clicking on links to the above non-Mariners Morsels related content. I STILL don't have any pictures of Johnny Damon's fiancee. Nor do I have pictures of Jodi Mientkiewicz.