Scott Servais looking for finished products as Mariners cuts approach

Mar 10, 2016, 11:21 AM | Updated: 11:29 am
Scott Servais expressed that the Mariners need to use caution when it comes to players with inflated numbers in spring training. (AP)
(AP)

Scott Servais let us in Wednesday on who would have input in the Mariners’ upcoming roster decisions. The first round of cuts, which is expected to be just a few names, should come after this weekend.

Decisions at positions of interest – where the battles are – will not come until much later in camp. In the Lloyd McClendon years we saw position shifts and learning on the job, and during Eric Wedge’s years it was a commitment to developing at the big league level, but Servais is looking for more finished products to put on the field.

“You wish you had time for everyone to develop, but the way we are built this year, we want to compete,” Servais said. “Who’s going to be able to help us win on a daily basis, whatever role you are in. You have got to produce. This is the get-’em-out league or the production league. The other league is on the minor-league side. That’s the developmental league, that’s not really the league we are in right now.”

Stefen Romero is a player that could be put into a position he has not played professionally before: first base. Romero did come up as an infielder, however, so the thought is he could learn the position quickly. Just where is his future with this organization?

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“I think his future is as a right-handed bat and how that fits on a club,” said Servais, noting that Romero’s versatility is a plus. “I really like the way he has swung the bat. He’ll continue to get plenty of playing time.”

When Servais talks about how players are swinging the bat this spring, he is talking about more than just the results of their at-bats. Numbers mean little this time of year, especially with the pitching still rounding into form.

“You have to take all of that into account,” he said. “Typically in camp early there’s a lot more fastballs thrown. As camp goes on, you start seeing the breaking balls and guys get a better feel for their secondary pitches, so the at-bats are more real. The experience of the pitchers goes up as the camp gets deeper as everybody starts trimming their rosters down.

“You have got to be cautious. The guy that comes out of the shoot banging balls all over the yard and all of a sudden then he doesn’t sniff any solid contact for 10 days and the pitching got better. You have to be conscious of that.”

Things to remember when checking the spring box scores.

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