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Mariners RHP Erik Swanson
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Mariners notebook: Gilbert and Kelenic impress early, Swanson gearing up

Mariners RHP Erik Swanson is progressing well after a minor shoulder injury. (Getty)

It’s starting to get very crowded down here at Mariners spring training.

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When Seattle released its initial spring training roster in early January, there were all of 61 names on the list. Twenty-one non-roster invitees and the full 40-man roster. What jumped out was that of the 21 invited players all but three were in the organization the previous year. That has changed quite a bit in the past three weeks.

Major league camp opened with a roster of 66 and that number continues to grow. Saturday morning evidence of new additions came in the form of nameplates above empty lockers. Outfielder Colin Cowgill and right-handed pitcher Cody Anderson will join the team in the next couple of days as they are expected to be signed to minor league contracts.

The late additions are for the most part depth/insurance moves for the club, opportunity moves for the players. We could see another pitcher or two added as well, which could present a bit of a problem as 70 of the 71 lockers in the big league clubhouse are currently filled. Since the complex was renovated and expanded in 2014. With the full squad to report on Monday, veterans who are accustomed to having an extra shoe or gear locker might need to make alternate plans.


• Pitcher Erik Swanson reported to Peoria about three weeks early where he was able to be worked on by trainers after experiencing a muscle spasm in his shoulder when he ramped up his throwing in January. Saturday morning, he threw off the mound for the first time since experiencing the soreness and everything appeared to go well.

• In addition to Swanson, Marco Gonzales, Justin Dunn, Wei-Yin Chen and Taijuan Walker threw bullpens today.

• The outfielders hit on Field 3 today with Franklin Gutierrez throwing to them and Ichiro chasing down balls in the outfield. The group included Kyle Lewis, Braden Bishop, Jake Fraley and Jarred Kelenic, who took some nice swings.

•  At 6’6, it is hard to miss Logan Gilbert on the field or in the clubhouse or just about anywhere for that matter. While Mariners manager Scott Servais stayed away from bullpens on day one, he did sneak a peek at Gilbert’s first throwing session. While he had him in the clubhouse in Seattle the final week of the season, he hasn’t seen much of him on the mound. What he saw Friday impressed him.

“He’s got a good arm, good stuff,” he said. “How his body works, he’s got big-time extension going down the mound. That’s what sticks out immediately. There is going to be deception. Some guys the radar gun does not tell the true story, a lot of it is tied to deception and extension down the mound and his extension is special.”

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.