The Mariners have brought in 15 players to minor league contract with a spring training invite. Greg Johns, the Mariners beat writer, states that the Mariners typically sign 15-20 players with a contract like this. Here is a look at the 15 guys and a little bit on each player. I still think we will see the Mariners bring in a few more guys, possibly a starting pitcher and/or an outfielder.

Pitchers:

  • Denny Bautista: Right handed pitcher who is now 28 years old. 6’5” 190lb. Bautista’s first major league appearance came in 2004 at the age of 21 with Baltimore. Seattle will be his seventh team and he has served primarily as a reliever over his career but he has also seen some limited time starting. Last year he played for the San Francisco Giants and it was one of his best seasons. He had an ERA of 3.74 in 33.2 innings. He also struck out batters at a great rate striking out 44 batters, a K/9 of 11.8. Sits in the mid 90s but he can touch the upper 90s He needs to work on lowering his walk totals. He is a fly ball pitcher and Safeco if friendly to those types of pitchers.
  • Royce Ring: Ring, a LHP, was drafted in the first round of the 2002 draft by the White Sox. He is now 30 years old and stands 6’0 220lb. He made his major league debut in 2005 with the Mets at the age of 24. He has served as a reliever only in his 68.0 major league innings. His career stats at the big league level aren’t pretty; A 5.29 ERA with a WHIP of 1.574. He played with the Yankees last year but only pitched in 2.1 innings in the Majors. The one thing that the lefty does have going for him is that he has fared well against lefties over his career- a lefty specialist (to some extent) which could help the Mariners bullpen.
  • Charlie Haeger: Haeger stands at 6’1” 210lb and is now 27 years old. He was drafted by the White Sox in the 25th round of the 2001 draft. He has seen a majority of his career at the minor league level. He has played in the Dodgers organization over the last two years. He pitched in 30.0 innings in the majors last year. He had a very high ERA of 8.40. He has served as a reliever at the big league level with the very occasional spot start but in the minors he is a starter. One more thing to note is that he does throw a knuckleball that has worked well for him from time to time in his career.
  • Fabio Castro: Castro now 25 will be turning 26 shortly… January 25th to be precise. The LHP does not have much of a presence on the mound at 5’7” 185lb. Castro began his career with the White Sox as an amateur free agent signing in 2001. He made his Major League debut in 2006 with the Rangers. He spent all of last year with the Red Sox AAA as a starter and a reliever. Has only seen 43.2 Major League Innings with an ERA of 3.30. He has posted impressive strikeout rates over his career. I’ve read reports that really like his curveball-change up combo. One last note is that he was the #1 pick in the 2005 Rule V draft by the Royals.  
  • Justin Miller: Miller a RHP was originally drafted by the Rockies in the 5th round of the 1997 draft. He is now 33 and stands 6’2” 200lb. He made his ML debut in 2002 with the Blue Jays. In the early stages of his Major League career he was a starter but since 2004 he has worked only out of the bullpen. He has pitched in 375.2 innings at the big league level. His career ERA is 4.82. The majority of his career has been spent at the minor league level. He played for the Dodgers last year and he pitched in 24.1 innings and had an ERA of 4.44.  
  • Chris Seddon: Seddon has been in the Mariners organization the last two years. At the age of 27 he stands 6’3” 220lb. He was drafted by the Devil Rays in the 5th round of the 2001 draft. The lefty made his debut in 2007 with the Marlins. He has spent the last two years at AAA Tacoma and saw a limited 22.1 innings with the Mariners in 2010. He compiled a 5.64 ERA in that stint. Seddon has been used in the Minors as a starter but has only seen 4 major league starts, the rest of his appearances have been out of the pen. His K/9 is on average very low and K/BB is typically high which is the opposite of what you want!
  • Yusmeiro Petit: Petit was in the Mariners organization last year as he spent all of 2010 at AAA Tacoma. He is a LHP, 26 years old, and stands 6’1” 255lb. He was originally signed by the Mets in 2001 as an amateur free agent. He made his debut in 2006 with the Marlins. He has seen time starting in the majors. He has pitched in 229.1 major league innings including 26 starts. His career ML ERA is 5.57. He is very much a fly ball pitcher. For AAA Tacoma last year he had an ERA of 4.85 in 59.1 innings. 
  • Chris Smith: Smith is 29 years old, a Right handed reliever, and stands 6’0” 190lb. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2002 draft by the Red Sox. Smith made his Major League debut in 2008 with Boston at the age of 27. He has pitched in 67.2 Major League innings. His career ERA is 5.19. He played with the Brewers last year but only pitched in 3.1 innings in which he had a 5.40 ERA. At AAA his stats were better especially the 11.63 K/9. Smith does not have too much velocity but he has great command.

 

Batters:

  • Josh Bard: Bard is one of the most notable names to Mariners fans as Bard saw some time with the Mariners last year. The 32 year old catcher is 6’3” 205”. He was originally drafted by the Twins in 1996 and then later drafted by the Rookies in the 3rd round of the 1999 draft. He made his debut in 2002 with the Indians. He spent last year at AAA Tacoma and saw some time with the Mariners. He hit .214 last year in 112 at bats. His AAA stats weren’t much better, a .235 AVG in 85 at bas. I figure he spends a majority of 2011 at Tacoma.
  • Chris Gimenez: Gimenez is 28 years old and was drafted by the Indians in the 19th round of the 2004 draft. He is 6’2” 200lb and was played a variety of positions over his career (C, 3B, 1B, RF, LF) but the majority of his appearances have been at catcher. He made his debut in 2009 with the Indians. He has only 169 at bats at the major league level and a very ugly .160 AVG. He has spent his entire career with the Indians.
  • Adam Kennedy: At the age of 35, Kennedy has by far the most major league experience compared to all the other players on this list. He is 6’1” 195lbs and bats left handed. He was drafted in the first round of the 1997 draft by the Cardinals. He plays primarily second base but should serve as a utility player with the Mariners if he is on the active roster. His career AVG is .275 and he shows decent speed on the base paths. He has a good eye and is an above average fielder. Look for him contribute a lot off of the bench for the Mariners this year.
  • Sean Kazmar: Now 26 years old, Kazmar was drafted in the 5th round of the 2004 draft by the Padres. The right handed shortstop stands 5’9” 170lb. He made his debut in 2008 with the Padres. He has had only 39 ML at bats in which is AVG is .205. He spent all of last year at AAA in which he hit .275. He is a decent defender. Nothing outstanding but no gaping wholes. He could be a good MLB utility man.
  • Luis Rodriguez: Rodriguez will be entering his 13th professional season at the age of 30. The switch hitter was signed by the Twins as an amateur free agent in 1997. He stands 5’9” 190lb. He is quite the utility man as over his career he has seen time regularly at shortstop, second base, and third base. He has 855 Major League at bats in which he has hit .243. He played with the White Sox last year and he spent the whole year at AAA. He hit well as he had an AVG of .293 and he hit 16 homeruns. He has a good approach to the plate and does a good job putting the bat on the ball.
  • Mike Wilson: Wilson has spent his entire career in the Mariners organization. He was drafted by Seattle in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft. The right fielder bats and throws right. He is now 27 and stands 6’2” 215lb. He has yet to make his Major League debut. He spent all of last year at AAA Tacoma hitting .273 in 286 at bats. He showed some power with 17 homeruns but he struck out a lot which has been the story his entire career. He does have good range in right field. It would be nice to see him finally make his major league debut this year.
  • Ryan Langerhans: The left handed outfielder is 30 years old and has spent the last 2 seasons in the Mariners organization. He was drafted by the Braves in the third round of the 1998 draft. He split time between AAA and at the big league level last year. With the Mariners he hit .196 in 107 at bats.  I think he will again serve as an outfielder back up that will play at AAA Tacoma. Bill James projects him to hit .237 in 151 plate appearances.