Mariners Using Taxi Squad as Extended Spring Training

The Seattle Mariners are not going to compete for a playoff spot in 2020. At least not for the entire season. So they decided to use their "taxi squad" spots for player development.

The Mariners 60 man roster is one of the most exciting in the game. Well, at least their taxi squad is. The 60 man roster includes all of the team’s top 14 prospects (according to MLB Pipeline) and 19 of their top 21.

These prospects have varying odds of playing for the Mariners this year. Evan White, Kyle Lewis, Jake Fraley, Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield, and Braden Bishop are all on the 40-man roster and all made their Mariners’ debuts in 2019. Logan Gilbert hasn’t been added to the 40-man yet, but is also expected to make his debut in 2020 and could possibly make the teams opening day roster.

Top prospect Jarred Kelenic could make his debut towards the end of the 2020 season. He finished 2019 in AA and was likely slated to head back their under normal circumstances. In fact, we may be talking about Kelenic making his major league debut soon if not for the shutdown. But Kelenic wasn’t ready for the big leagues before the shutdown, so it’s safe to assume that he isn’t ready after not having played games for 3 months. Cal Raleigh may be on a similar plan.

Names like Julio Rodriguez, Noelvi Marte, George Kirby, Emerson Hancock, and Zach DeLoach are certainly fun names to track, but have no chance of playing in a big league game. Their inclusion on the taxi squad is strictly about player development. However, the trio of relievers Aaron Fletcher, Sam Delaplane, and Joey Gerber do have a good chance to make their debut in 2020.

Overall, there weren’t too many surprises from Seattle today. Yes, their taxi squad is loaded with top propsects, but fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for seeing them in action in 2020. Development is the name of the game for most of them, so just be happy with the players you get to see.

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