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Minor League Roster News

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on March 30, 2007

Jeff Clement and Rob Johnson are both going to start the year in Triple-A Tacoma, sharing time again.

We’ll probably see Adam Jones, Jeremy Reed, Wladimir Balentien and Mike Wilson share three outfield spots and the DH role, though it’s possible that Balentien or Wilson heads back to AA for a month or so.

The Double-A roster isn’t so exciting but the infield isn’t terrible; Marshall Hubbard at first, Luis Valbuena at second, Chris Minaker at short and Matt Tuiasosopo at third.

Draftees from 2005 Robert Rohrbaugh and Justin Thomas headline the rotation while the bullpen consists of solid arms such as Mumba Rivera, Jose De la Cruz and Craig James.

In two surprises, righties Doug Fister and Kam Mickolio will open the season in West Tenn, and Joe Woerman is making the transition to the rotation.

In High Desert, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Marwin Vega and Jason Snyder headline the pitching staff, while the infield consists of Johan Limonta at first, Ron Garth at second, Jeffrey Dominguez at short while Jeff Flaig and Reed Eastley fight for regular time at third.

Mike Saunders, Chris Colton, Josh Womack and Casey Craig are the outfielders, with Adam Moore and JB Tucker sharing the catching duties.

In Wisconsin, where the most interesting roster lies, Anthony Varvaro, Steve Uhlmansiek, Tony Butler and Chris Tillman headline the pitching staff.

Kuo-hui Lo will return and join Greg Halman and Carlos Peguero in the outfield. Gerardo Avila and Manelik Pimentel are the first baseman and Alex Liddi is at third.

If the rumors are also true that Carlos Triunfel and Mario Martinez are joining the T-Rats as well, I’ll become jealous of that fanbase, and Chris Mehring, wo’ll get to call each of their ABs.


93 Responses to “Minor League Roster News”

  1. Adam B. said

    Yet another example of the Mariners idiocy-forcing their two catcher prospect to share time.

  2. I’m not all that bent up about it. They could always change their minds in the next 7 days.

  3. Uncle Al said

    Is it possible that the M’s are waiting until the last minute on Ordonez and Burke in hopes of picking up something on waivers or in a trade? They could also go with Morse rather than Ordonez and not have to deal with another spot on the 40 man roster. I really like the idea of Reed playing in Tacoma every day. Tacoma looks like it’ll have a very good team this year. Wisconsin is just loaded with talent and will make West Tennessee and High Desert better teams next year. Looks like the whole minor league system is finally going to be alive again with another good draft this year. Appears that this is a make or break year for many players throughout the system this year and should be interesting to watch and see what happens.

  4. Willmore said

    Maybe Johnson will teach Clement how to catch and Clement will teach Johnson how to hit … or maybe the Mariners just hamstrung the development of two catchers by limiting their playing time.

  5. dave flock said

    does anyone out there know the status of the upcoming june draft? did seattle lose or gain any first round choices?

  6. Todd said


    What do you think about Morrow making the roster? I feel like it’s a horrible decision and that he should be in the minors developing into the future ace he can be.


  7. Ron Hagerty said

    Todd.. u should check the Morrow thread… I think Jason has answered that question about 100 times

  8. Greg08 said

    Dave Flock,

    since the mariners finished in the bottom 15 of the standings, they cant loose their first round pick. they have the 11th overall pick. i think the mariners have a supplement 1st pick for loosing gil meche but they did loose their 2nd round pick for signing jose guillen

    did the mariners loose a pick for signing weaver?

    where do you think Marquise Liverpool will start the season? i’m a big fan of his and was hoping he would start at Wisconsin or High Desert

  9. DiQ said

    Not true.

    Jose Guillen was a type B as well so in signing him the Nats recieve a sandwich pick but not from the M’s.

  10. Weaver did not cost them a pick.

    Liverpool in Wisconsin/Everett group.

  11. Slidergirl said

    I am excited to see the team in Tacoma. An infield of Bryan LaHair, Michael Garciaparra, Oswaldo Navarro, who will play 3rd since Sean Burroughs never showed up? What happened to Hunter Brown? Who are you hearing will be on the bench?

  12. Burroughs will ultimately be the 3B, but it looks like Yung Chi Chen will get the nod in the meantime.

    One of the catchers will start the bench, along with maybe Jesus Guzman, Jon Nelson and Ismael Castro, Tony Torcato, guys like that.

    Hunter Brown is not in camp, I can’t really comment any further on that right now.

  13. Lance said

    If Burroughs is a no-show Morse could be used to play 3B. He did some of that in ST. I can’t imagine Navarro doing that. Too small. Strictly a middle-of-the-infield guy.

    As I understand it, teams no longer lose draft picks unless they sign a Type A FA. Teams now get compensated with supplemental picks, but not picks from another club. The M’s signed no Type A FAs this winter.

    Should I be surprised Jeff Flaig is even still around? I am.

    This would be a good time for Josh Womack, a former 2nd round pick, to have a breakthrough year. I know of no real leadoff hitter in the organazation should Ichiro split, sans Liverpool, who is still a ways away. Michael Bourne of the Phillies might be a nice guy to have just in case.

  14. Burroughs isn’t a no-show, his shoulder is still screwed up.

    Morse, yes, i forgot about him. He’s definitely a candidate.

  15. Lance said

    I’m not as uptight as some seem to be of Clement and Johnson being in Tacoma. When one catches the other can DH. Rivera will be a nice handler of the AA pitchers if he doesn’t get waived out of the organization.

  16. Lance said

    Thanks Jason. I didn’t mean that literally. Just unable to play for whatever reason.

  17. Greg08 said

    so the mariners will have all of their draft picks this summer draft plus a sandwich pick?

    thats a good point lance

    do the mariners have any future leadoff players in there organization?

  18. Yes, all of their picks.

    Future leadoff types? Not really. None that are likely to be regulars.

  19. Ty said

    Hey Jason,

    Have you heard anything about Chris Minaker from scouts or FO guys? Assuming he can make the Major Leagues, when do you think his ETA is?

    The reason I ask is because I have a friend that knows him personally.

  20. Personally, I think Minaker is a utility guy at best, but his bat will do the talking, one way or the other.

    Starting him off in AA is a good way to test his offensive skills.

    One scout i talked to last summer thought he was a steal in the 10th round, but that his best role in the majors is as a Bloomquist clone, but one that can hit a little.

    Proving he can play some shortstop is going to be huge, too.

    As far as an ETA goes, it will depend on a number of things, starting with his stick.

    I’d say at least 2 years.

  21. cstsnow said

    Hey Jason, im heading to the Grizzlies Raniers game in Fresno on Monday, any idea on whos going to be starting for Tacoma?

  22. Nope.

    But the rotation is sure to include Blackley, Campillo, Feierabend and Baek.

  23. cstsnow said

    thanks for the info, heres hoping for Blackley, or Feierabend.

  24. Greg08 said

    Jason, when will the article on Adam Jones as the No. 1 prospect be up?

  25. Tonight, actually, Greg. Gotta finish that list off so Sunday and Monday can be about the big club.

  26. johnb said

    I liked Minaker a lot when he was at Stanford, and thought he was a great pick at #10….I say his ceiling could be being the next Willie Bloomquist, not a bad way to make a living.Hopefully he can hit with a little better power.

    I don’t really have a problem with Morrow making the opening day roster, the bullpen needs some help. My only worry is that it will delay him from developing into a starter which is where I think his future should lie.

    Johnson, and Clement shouldn’t be on the same roster, but there is plenty of time to switch that around. The problem is that you can’t go back to last year’s poor moves which stunted both of their growths. The M’s seem to make a lot of stupid decisions that are very difficult for any person with logic to fathom.

    Jason- Where are the minor league rosters posted?

  27. They aren’t yet.

  28. Greg08 said

    What should the Mariners concentrate on for the June draft?

    who would be a good fit?

    high school or college player?

  29. Lance said

    Seeing Tui’s photo above inspired this comment. Per quotes from Tui in BA, his failures in AA may just have lit a fire under the guy to work much harder than he did before when everything always came easily. A little failure sometimes can be a good thing. During the offseason Tui hired a personal trainer to work him over the winter. He’s really busting a tailfeather now. It’ll be interesting to see if his attitude adjustment leads to some results.

    It did for Felix. They tried to advance him to a level where he could experience a little hardship. But it never worked until his first full season in the bigs. Now look what a little attitude adjustment has done for him.

    My point is maybe a little of the Peter Principle isn’t such a bad thing for highly touted prospects. If things are always too easy they don’t work to get to where you need, or want, them to be.

  30. cujo said

    If the mariners keep Burke,Ordonez,Rhodes and Morrow i guess Lowe and Jiminez go on the 6o day dl.Who comes off the 40 man?

  31. I have heard Rivera, Morse and/or Green may get DFA’d…

    And a trade involving Reed is still not out of the question.

  32. Lance said

    Or Broussard?

  33. Seems that those rumors have cooled quite a bit.

  34. cujo said

    Wow they are gonna lose a player to keep Burke?For a guy who is basically a 3A backup?The Braintrust at work again..lol..Those guys arent great but i wouldnt lose any of the 3 for the sake of burke.I still wonder what Ordonezz is gonna do other then sit and watch?Does any one else think this smells funny?

  35. yeah, but what are you losing? The guy you chose Burke over in Rivera and Sean Green, whose clone is Sean white?

    No loss at all.

  36. MC said

    “What should the Mariners concentrate on for the June draft?

    who would be a good fit?

    high school or college player?”

    Best available talent I would say. This looks like a good prep class, and a poor collegiate class outside of Price.

  37. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about the draft and former InsideThePark.com compadre Ian Levin has a great grip on the draft and he really likes the crop of prep bats this year, especially in the 8-14 range.

    The M’s will draft their version of the best player available, which, translated into english, means they will take the cheapest player ranked within 10 slots.

    Josh Vitters is a guy that gets mentioned to me an awful lot. He’s a right-handed bat with plus power and has already shown a lot of ability with the wood bat.

    Jason Heyward and Michael Burgess are two others. BA mentions a Fred Mcgriff comp for Heyward.

    Matt Mangini, 3B, is a college bat that is very interesting, as is former M’s draftee, catcher JP Arencibia, though selecting another catcher isn’t very likely.

  38. cujo said

    Except that Sean White hasnt even had success in 3A so i tend to disagree with you there.As bad as everyone thinks Rivera is you will see Burke is way worse defensively and that is mainly why you have a backup to a guy who catches 130 games a year.I would rather see Johnson who is a excellent defender and allow Clement to become whatever he becomes?It is a bad move to keep getting rid of younger guys for everyone elses retreads but i guess deperate people do deperate things when there jobs are on the line!

  39. But Sean Green is no loss… he wasn’t any good last year in the bigs, he was terrible in ST…

  40. Well, I’m not going to argue that the club is making tons of good moves, because they are not. Using Morrow in relief in the bigs is stupid, Both Clement and Johnson in AAA isn’t the best idea in the world and we all know what transpired this past winter.

  41. cujo said

    I agree completly with you on that!..lol.I pray they dont fuck up morrow but the chances are there that he loses confidence when he gets hit around are he sits and doesnt pitch.I also blame Armstrong and Linclon for letting these madman keep morrow not just Bavasi.I understand what your saying about green but white hasnt even dominated 2A.

  42. Keeping White over Green is another issue. Green just isn’t a loss to worry about.

  43. Lance said

    Do people realize that just because someone is waived to get them off the 40-man roster doesn’t mean they’re lost to the organization? They may clear, you know.

    I’m pretty confident Rivera would get claimed. But Morse or Green, likely not.

    They sure messed up letting Dobbs go!

    I’m surprised the “f” word is acceptable to this site.

  44. Yes, Lance, but it also means the team is willing to lose the player. So in essence, it’s the same.

  45. Lance said

    If they lose Morse or Green I would not find it hard to deal with that. I’d simply wish them the best and move on.

  46. Lance said

    Years ago the M’s waived Dave Valle. He cleared. They later brought him back and he gave them a few of years of servicable catching (now, don’t go complicate matters by arguing his catching wasn’t really servicable. You had to understand the times).

  47. Slidergirl said

    Thanks for the info.

    I hope everything is ok with Hunter.

  48. Hunter is alive and well, that I can guarantee.

    He’s a very, very intelligent dude with a crapload of integrity and desire. He’ll be more successful than most.

  49. misterjonez said

    I actually think that if you’re going to rotate Clement through the C/DH cycle, it has potential to be a great move sending both he and Johnson to Tacoma. Let him learn ‘how’ to DH there (while I generally don’t put much stock in that, since most of these guys are professional…Broussard changed my mind last season with his horrible Field/DH splits) and see if he can do it. If he can, it just means he’s a viable call-up earlier than he might otherwise be.

    Morrow in the big leagues is a hot debate, but I’m ok either way. I’m probably being a little irrational, but I’m mostly happy they’re being aggressive with the top-end talent, rather than waiting for them to have career-ending injuries in the minors.

  50. Adam B. said

    Just as Morrow’s value is NOT in relieving, Clement’s high-end value hinges entirely upon his ability to turn into a plausible catcher.

    He’s got great power, no huge holes in his swing, sound hitting mechanics, and projects to be a decent mid-order bat. He’s not however, a great or even above average bat at DH and 1B. And certainly not as the #3 pick anyway.

    I realize I’m only reiterating what Jason has already said in his Clement profile, and I don’t want to sound like a critic, so at the very least I’ll say he’s no Ryan Anderson, Michael Garciaparra or John Mayberry Jr. ^_^

  51. misterjonez said

    Agreed about long-term value and his hitting capabilities: I’m not expecting J.C. to become Adam Dunn v2.0, or John Olerud Jr. out there, but let’s be clear that he will likely be more productive than Vidro once he gets his rhythm straight, and if (I know it’s a big ‘if’) he gets off to a fast start, then I see no reason you shouldn’t consider pushing up his schedule.

    Of course, if he repeats last season’s performance at that level (which I understand is unfair due to injury and the break-neck speed with which he was promoted) then this is a moot point.

    And the whole Morrow thing is, like I said, a hot issue. There appear to be two schools of thought, the first and most conventional being that if you place a SP into a RP role (early in his career), you damage his ability to return to the SP role. The other camp believes that a pitch is a pitch, and given physical durablity, a SP should be able to relieve and then return to starting. I will absolutely agree that it is a recklessly fast promotion for him, but at this point it’s at least an argument as to whether or not you should throw your top talent out there in an attempt to take the field. There are good arguments both ways, and certainly more people side with the conventional/traditional reasoning then with the reckless promotion.

  52. cujo said

    What hunter?

  53. cujo said

    Lance my appoligise for using the F word it wont happen again.

  54. Hunter Brown, cujo.

  55. Slidergirl said

    ESPN is reporting that Travis Blackley was traded for Jason Ellison who will be on the M’s 25 man roster.

    I have no doubt Hunter will be successful in life.

  56. marinerseric said

    Ya im wondering how Jason feels about this deal…

  57. I’m actually happy about it more than anything.

    Ellison is a better outfiedler than Willie and now Ordonez doesn’t need to hang around.

    Travis will get a little better look in SF anyways.

  58. marinerswinws said

    I wish Travis well too, wish we could have him back instead of Weaver who somehow pitched well in the last spring training game.

  59. marinerswinws said

    Sorry to get off-topic but did Weaver change his arm angle in the last game or was it just luck he got people out?

  60. Greg08 said

    i hate that the mariners designated michael garciaparra for assignment rather than sean green

    i’m happy that the mariners acquired ellison
    i was a big fan of blackley, but knew that feierabend and justin thomas have a better future

    i hope blackley does well for the fresno grizzlies

    i happen to live in fresno and wonder will he be the opening day starter for the grizzlies?

  61. jp17 said

    What do you make of the Blackley for Ellison trade?

  62. Massimo said

    T’rats roster looks packed of teenagers, do you think M’s are so confident in this group of youngsters to risk burnin’them let’m playing all together?

  63. jp17 said

    Whoops, page didn’t refresh for some reason.

  64. Ron Hagerty said

    Dont know what worth Ellison has… do we really need a backup CF… why didnt we just keep Reed up?? Blackley is a tough loss in my mind… was he ever gonna be a TOR guy… nope.. but i think he’s got the guts and guile to be a solid back rotation lefty…

    Certainly not worth giving up in exchange for a worthless player like Ellison..

    I couldnt care less bout Garciaparra, he had no future here..

  65. Greg08 said

    mariners coulda jus gotten Marlon Byrd off of waiviers

  66. the trade was made in part because they needed a roster spot, and this gives them one, as long as they choose not to keep Rey, instead using Willie as the extra infielder.

  67. cujo said

    Nice outfielder who plays all 3 .Dont see value in seattle unless Guillen is hurt???Itch doesnt take days off either does Raul so i guess we got him to hang with boom boom so he wont bitch about playing time but thats only a guess?We may have gave up on Tblack to early but its best for him to gwet out of here he was going no where with this group in charge.

  68. Sob


    First Doyle and now Blackley. Now who’s gonna throw shrimp on the Cheney barbee? Man. Good for Travis, though, as I’d imagine a change of scenery would do him well.

    I can just see Willie on his knees beggin’ & pleadin’ Howard/Chuck/Bill/Grover to bring over his high school prom date, er I mean, buddy.

  69. That made me laugh out loud, Paul. Hilarious.

  70. Talkbaseball said

    Church when is the Adam Jones prospect write up coming.

  71. gimme an hour or two on that… then, quickly following, the rotation gets pounded.

  72. Talkbaseball said

    I think Jones is a bit underrated around the league. How come he does not get the same hype as someone like Maybin. He got a taste of the show at 20. Many of the higher rated specs won’t see the majors until 21-23 years old. In my opinion Jones should be a top 15 spec and would be if he was in another organization.

  73. Greg08 said

    I think the Mariners should trade Ichiro and if necessary someone like Jake Woods or Mike Morse for Lastings Milledge, Ambiorix Concepcion, and Henry Owens

    An outfield with Adam Jones in center and Milledge in right is amazing

  74. Lance said

    Ellison is more than WB’s high school buddy. He grew up in the Bloomquist household at Willie’s urging. He’s more like an adoptive brother.

    JAC, who would you guess will replace Blackley in the Rainiers’ rotation?

  75. Greg08 said

    Will Justin Thomas or Robert Rohrbaugh be in the Tacoma rotation?

  76. Lance said

    Thinking about it, I believe I just answered my own question. It’ll probably be Jake Woods. then let him and Baek battle to be the next M’s starter.

  77. Oly Rainiers Fan said

    And Blackley gets to go play for Dan Rohn again. I’ll miss him though; I was looking forward to watching him in the Tacoma rotation. But it’s better for him to get outta here.

  78. Okori said

    The M’s minor leage rosters were announced. Where are Stephen Kahn, Travis Chick, Y Bazardo and others?


  79. Greg08 said

    Bazardo is in the tigers organization and the M’s got Jeff Frazier

    off topic but…
    looking into the up-coming draft
    Jason, was Mike Moustakas really born in 1985?
    for a high school senior thats really old
    cuz i think he would be a great addition for the mariners

  80. Greg08 said

    I noticed Carlos Triunfel was with Wisconsin, which is what i was expecting..but i dont see Mario Martinez? How come hes not there but Kalian Sams is?

  81. jp17 said


    Bazardo was traded to the Tigers for OF Jeff Frazier.

    Kahn is out with an injury, and I’m not sure where Chick will start.

  82. jp17 said

    After looking around, and assuming these are the correct rosters, where is Chick? Not that I care much, just strange.

    Strangely, Ron Garth won’t start in AAA, but rather all the way down in High Desert. Even after DFAing Little G, Garth doesn’t get the call. I had it on good authority that Garth would indeed be in Tacoma. Darn.

    Other than ABD, is High Desert the place where they send players they could care less about? Very underwhelming roster.

  83. Greg08 said

    the Wisconsin roster is loaded with tons of raw talent
    good to see
    why isnt Andy Phillips or Mario Martinez listed anywhere?
    why are Carlos Peguero, Bryan Sabatella, and Manelik Pimentel not at Wisconsin?

  84. jp17 said

    Short season Everett or extended ST I would guess.

  85. Yeah, with the rep that High Desert has for hitters, one would think that they’d take advantage of that and give Tui a shot in the offense arm by putting him there…

  86. At least Pringles Park is no Wolff Stadium.

  87. Greg08 said

    Why isn’t Harold Williams on any roster this year? he was really good last year

  88. If i remember correctly, he retired to pursue other opportunities.

  89. Greg08 said

    i noticed the High Desert roster is pretty weak…other than AB-D, Garth, and Saunders

  90. Greg08 said

    signing betancourt to a 3-yr extension with an option for the 4th yr is one of the best things bavasi has done
    good job bavasi

    watchin the game makes me think Baek, Feierabend, and maybe even Jake Woods will be in the rotation by the end of the year..
    2 balks already…

  91. I’m not all that worried about Batista… I think he comes into Septemner with at least a near-league average ERA and a chance at 200 innings.

    it’s Weaver and Mateo that have to go.

  92. Cody Mize said


    What do you think about Chris Minaker in West Tennessee? He seems to have above average range, average arm strength, and above average ability handling the bat. How do you see his projectability?

  93. I think the Southern League may eat up his bat… but he’ll do ok in the end.

    He’s not a big prospect or anything, but he could prove useful to the org. He has decent speed, good hands, has enough footspeed and instincts to play several positions, though he isn’t likely to be able to play short at the next level.

    It’s just too soon to toss him to AA and expect him to hit much.

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