Burning Fantasy Baseball Questions: Seattle Mariners

by Tim Heaney on January 28, 2013 @ 12:25:44 PDT


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How will Seattle dispense playing time at catcher ... and first base ... and designated hitter ... and outfield?

Seattle Mariners RP Tom Wilhelmsen
Wilhelmsen true kaiser of this 'pen?

Spaghetti at the wall? Well, that's at least the case with Jason Bay.

The expected majority workers at each diamond spot will be Montero (catcher), Smoak (first base) and Morales (designated hitter). A typical outfield will consist of Morse and Michael Saunders at the corners and Franklin Gutierrez in center. Bay, Raul Ibanez and Casper Wells will be mixed in.

Much of this arrangement rests on Smoak's ability to do ... something. Will Seattle remain patient if he stumbles again? They have plenty of warm bodies - if not necessarily alluring ones - as insurance if Smoak dissipates and they reorganize the lineup.

The distantly post-hype prospect added a bit of muscle this winter, but you can't be faulted for remaining skeptical. Of course, it's situations like this when long-forgotten players bust through. AL-only players have the most impetus to consider him, maybe mixers in leagues of 15-plus teams, as well.

Though the organization remains adamant that Montero can develop into a competent receiver, Mike Zunino may elbow his way into backstop work soon after camp, if not during it. Zunino isn't at a point in his learning curve where he'll immediately become a top fantasy name among catchers, but he has a sound overall makeup that'll provide useful C2 at-bats at some point this year.

Saunders and, to a lesser degree, Gutierrez could each prove useful as fifth dual-universe outfielders. The others remain waiver wire pieces.

Where should I rank Tom Wilhelmsen among closers?

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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