HMMMMmmmmm this stopped me short.
For five years, the depth chart on the M's website has normally been (a) 45 days obsolete, (b) almost completely senseless, or worse (c) evocative of something Dr. D might suggest. But we hopped through the page, intending a 4-second stick, just to get 7-8 rotation names and ... Whhhaaaaaa? Looks like a real depth chart! And it boasts the "LAST VERIFIED JAN. 30" banner top left! Granted, it's also got the disclaimer top right, but you can imagine why the M's want plausible deniability if Luis Sardinas moans and groans about a web page.
Even if the depth chart were (still) purely a figment of some schlub's imagination, which I doubt, it's still a nifty way to baseline the spring training fights.
But hopefully Jerry DiPoto, or his assignee, prefers to have --- > the Mariners.Com Depth Chart chart their depth. IF so, here is a bit of noodling to go with:
(1) Tony Zych looks out of order in the bullpen, the only player on the entire chart who seems so. (Notice the top three RP's are the ones DiPoto just called out as the reliables. That's one of the things that seemed like a departure from previous webseasons.) But other than Zych's odd placing, it's interesting that Evan Scribner gets a pole position. Zych is ahead of Ryan Cook. It's fun to play around with the 4-8 relievers, and fun to see the way the M's listed them. The only thing I know is that Zych would be at the top of my 4-8 and DeFratus would be at the bottom of it.
(2) Paxton in front of Karns? Ahead of the 150K-in-150IP crown jewel of the offseason? Well, sure: if Paxton is throwing in rhythm he's the M's 2nd-best pitcher. You might recall his run at the best ERA splash ever. And if K-Pax has the slightest control issues in camp, it doesn't take the lightest tap on the shoulder to invert him and Karns.
Of course, the above depth chart may very well be an artist's conception more than any twinge in Scott Servais' liver. But the point above would stand in any case.
(3) Interesting that Chris Taylor is listed the backup 2B (and SS and 3B) but Luis Sardinas isn't.
We know very well that this is only suggestive. But if Taylor WERE seen as more versatile around the infield, well ... entire 210-lb. Willie Bloomquists have been rostered for less 'n that.
(4) It looks odd to see Cruz "formally" listed as DH. DiPoto really finessed this when he signed Aoki. But da writin's on da wall.
(5) Aoki probably would back up CF in April/May, huh. DiPoto has already declared a 12-man bullpen ... leaving Cruz at DH/5th OF and then leaving room for 4 more benchies. You've got the C and UT of course, the platoon RF ... and then do you notice that Aoki CF / Clevenger 1B allows you to take anybody you want as the last benchie? Jesus Montero might actually be odds-on.
(6) Clevenger is listed at 1B whereas he probably wouldn't have been so in previous years' iterations. I wonder if Scott Servais, as an ex-catcher, is less rigid about deploying his backup catcher when he's only got two. I hope so. Big pet peeve of Dr. D's, spending a dollar's worth of Cover Your Keister effort on two cents' worth of late-game-emergency retur
(7) If you gingerly stipulated Chris Taylor as the UT and Jesus Montero as the 4th benchie - in part to keep Clevenger off 1B - then we're left with a nice clean six players on the extended roster:
- Stefen Romero, OF
- Boog Powell, OF
- Shawn O'Malley, OF
- Luis Sardinas, IF
- Mike Zunino, C
- Ryan Cook, RP
These guys would suit up for the junior high home games but wouldn't make the bus for the travelin' squad.
Your mileage may vary,