The roster for the players going to Japan has been set and it is as follows:
Beavan, Delabar, Hernandez, Iwakuma, Kelley, League, Noesi, Ramirez, Ruffin, Wilhelmsen, Furbush, Luetge, Sherrill, Vargas
Jaso, Montero, Olivo, Quiroz
Ackley, Figgins, Kawasaki, Liddi, Ryan, Seager, Smoak
Carp, Peguero, Saunders, Suzuki, Wells
There aren’t a huge amount of surprises here but I’ll do my best to guess and provide some insight right now into what Wedge is thinking for this year. Those of you who can count will notice that this is 30 people, more than the normal 25 man roster that other clubs have to have by opening day. Since there are exhibition games after these real games, the M’s and A’s can take 30 players to Japan. I will also cut the roster from 31 to 25 (Millwood didn't make the trip), which is the number of players they will need by the time the season starts stateside.
For the pitchers, the fact Erasmo Ramirez is still around is fun. He isn’t in the rotation since Wedge already announced that with Beavan, Noesi and Millwood getting the 3 spots behind the King and his jester. I personally would rather see him start in Tacoma than relieve in Seattle but he should benefit from the experience of facing MLB hitters. I also cannot tell you what Wedge is thinking for the bullpen. He cut Kuo and Shawn Camp, veterans who were supposed to bring stability to the end of games. That leaves Delabar, Ramirez, Iwakuma, League, Ruffin, Wilhelmsen, Furbush, Luetge, Kelley and Sherrill competing for bullpen spots. I’ll point out that this group is super duper young, Sheriill and League are the only ones with more than a year of MLB experience. That is interesting. Hopefully the young guns can cut it, I see Ramirez, Luetge and Ruffin getting cut from this group of pitchers. The roster is now at 28.
Catchers are less of a surprise than pitchers. Guillermo Quiroz, while having an awesome name, has been around the block a lot. He is an ex-prospect turned journeyman and he is there to catch the exhibition games to lighten the load on the other three. He will be cut, down to 27.
Infielders aren’t fun. Luis Rodriguez is gone, and Patrick may argue that he was a battler and played solid defense. He still hit under .200 last year, so we aren’t missing a whole lot. I still wonder why Alex Liddi is around; he can play two positions (three if you count DH) and strikes out way too much. Carp and Jaso can already play first base, Seager and Figgins can play 3B so its not like they are shallow at those positions. My hope is that Wedge wants Liddi to get big league experience before sending him down I-5 to Tacoma. 26 left.
Carlos Peguero haunts my dreams. Literally, I swear watching him hit should be a punishment for any hitting coach. He swings at just about anything, its like he decides before the pitch whether or not to swing. Those reading should be able to guess who I’m cutting from here. Good job. The other four have to last together till Guti gets back, Michael Saunders, please do well and validate my faith in you. Not so the M’s do well but just so I was right and can hold that over Patrick. Yeah, I’m that competitive. Peguero is gone. 25!
So there it is, how I would cut five people from the roster the M’s are taking to Japan. Since I’m definitely not Eric Wedge, unlike Patrick, there could be some differences when the M’s come back across the pond. Go M’s.