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Finally, Illuminating Roster Cuts

The Mariners trimmed their roster a bit before tonight's game, sending five players to the minor leagues. They are (drumroll please): 2B Dustin Ackley, C Steven Baron, INF Sean Kazmar, OF Gabe Gross, and LHP Fabio Castro.

I'll work my way from the least to most interesting.

Kazmar was AAA infield depth to begin with. Now he is officially that.

Steven Baron was never going to make the team. He is still very young and raw, especially at the plate, where I'm still not convinced he'll ever hit well enough to be much of a big-leaguer. Still, kudos to him for hitting remarkably well in limited action, and justifying a long look in spring that allowed him to hang around more MLB-caliber pitchers.

It was a bummer to see Ackley sent down, but inevitable. Once the starting middle infielders were announced by Wedge, and Ackley wasn't one of them, there was zero chance of him making the opening day roster. I am glad that the M's didn't wait any longer to send Dustin to minor league camp.

Gabe Gross is a somewhat interesting cut. He struggled at the plate this spring, and he was a non-roster invitee, so it is not all that surprising. Still, it is a strong sign that Ryan Langerhans will open the season as the M's reserve outfielder. I am glad to see that, because I think he is just about the ideal fourth outfielder for any team.

Lastly, Fabio Castro is the most interesting bullpen candidate cut yet. His departure leaves three southpaw candidates left - Cesar Jimenez, Aaron Laffey, and non-roster invitee Royce Ring. After one more of those guys is sent down, the lefties might be set. Ring has looked the best of the trio, but adding him to the roster creates a bit of a crunch. From what I've seen out of Laffey in particular, I would find a way to get Ring on the roster.

That's about it for now. It might be worth projecting a 25-man roster at this point.

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