By Shannon Drayer
Just some quick thoughts from Eric Wedge on his rotation and the final roster moves to come:
After the game was the first chance we had to talk to Wedge about the moves made earlier today. He told us it was a great experience telling Brandon Maurer that he had made the rotation. He emphasized to us that he had earned the position.
“He had a great camp,” Wedge said while seated at his desk in the clubhouse after getting ejected from the game for arguing with the home-plate umpire. “You are talking about a young man who has multiple plus pitches and the way that it worked out, he faced a lot of big-league lineups. He handled them well. He showed great stuff, great poise and showed presence and he came in here and took it.”
Wedge agreed that it was remarkable to see that performance and those qualities in a 22-year-old in this game. He pointed out that a lot of work went into getting Maurer, who came to the organization straight out of high school, to where he is now.
“It’s a great testament to him and his upbringing but it is also a great testament to our development system and all of our managers and coaches that have been a part of his development,” he said.
As for Blake Beavan coming away with a spot in the rotation, Wedge chuckled when it was pointed out to him that he perhaps was the most nervous player in camp. From the sounds of things, maybe he shouldn’t have been.
“It’s not just about this camp, it is about their path to get here, what they’ve accomplished, their intangibles,” Wedge said. “One thing about Blake is he is never satisfied. He is always working to get better and he finds a way to win ballgames. He’s already gained some great experience in his young career and that on top of some of the adjustments he’s made and continues to make is why he is on this ballclub.”
As for Jeremy Bonderman, who was re-assigned to minor-league camp, Wedge hopes that the Mariners have not seen the last of him. He has yet to tell the club if he will go to Triple-A or retire.
“He just needs to keep pitching,” said Wedge, who called Bonderman’s spring performance impressive. “We really feel like if he goes down and pitches like we hope he does, he is going to pitch for us in the big leagues this year.”
“He’s great out there,” Wedge continued. “He’s already been a warrior. He knows how to pitch. The way he handles himself, he is the consummate professional and he is tough on top of that. I still feel like he has a lot of good days ahead of him. I am hopeful that once he takes a step back and looks at everything he will decide to keep going.”
Another player who will not be on the 25-man roster is Brad Miller. He has earned every extra minute with the big club, however, according to Wedge.
“It should say a lot to him,” Wedge said of the fact that he will be with the club until the final cuts. “That’s how strong we feel about him. That’s how well he showed himself in camp. That’s how well he’s handled himself in camp. He’s handled left-handers and right-handers. He’s a true shortstop, but we have asked him to play second and third and he has done a nice job at that. There is a lot there to like.”
Miller will be heading to Double-A so he can play every day. That doesn’t mean, however, that he is behind any of the infielders in Tacoma. Jack Zduriencik told me that he is one of the players he wouldn’t hesitate to jump to the bigs if he looks ready and there is a need.
Only one move remains to be made and that is the fifth outfield spot. We could have that as soon as tomorrow.