Mariners make roster moves; Ichiro hit in head, Vogelbach homers again

posted by Curtis Crabtree - 

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Seattle Mariners released infielder Gordon Beckham and optioned right-handed pitcher Christian Bergman to Triple-A Tacoma as the team continues to trim its roster for Opening Day.

The moves with Beckham and Bergman leave Seattle with 36 players in major league camp.

Those 36 players include 30 players under contract and six non-roster invitees. The team will need to trim its roster to 25 players for the start of the season. However, some moves are already apparent. Right-handed pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder), Erasmo Ramirez (lat strain) and David Phelps (elbow) will be placed on the disabled list at the end of camp to trim the roster three more spots.

Beckham had performed well this spring for the Mariners. He batted .340 with five doubles, a triple and a home run in 19 games and 47 at-bats. 

"He's had an outstanding spring," manager Scott Servais said Thursday night. "He really came in... he made some swing adjustments in the offseason and it's hard for a veteran player like that to do. He's had probably from the first day of spring to today been our most consistent hitter all spring. Good for him. He's had some ups and downs throughout his career but I think he's still got plenty left in the tank."

According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Beckham had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract allowing him to pursue a more advantageous opportunity.

The Mariners have their utility player in place with Andrew Romine. Taylor Motter and Zach Vincej also can fill the role as needed and have minor league options.

Bergman had allowed seven runs on 19 hits in 12 2/3 innings pitched this spring for Seattle. He posted a 4-5 record in 13 games with eight starts for the Mariners last year. He pitched 54 innings with a 5.00 ERA.

Photo Credit: OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Gordon Beckham #6 of the Seattle Mariners scores against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the seventh inning at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on September 26, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


Ichiro hit in head with pitch during minor league game:

Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki took a pitch off his helmet during a minor league game in Peoria on Friday afternoon.

Suzuki remained on the ground for some time after the impact before leaving the game and returning to the team's facility.

The Mariners provided an update on Ichiro's status later in the afternoon courtesy of General Manager Jerry Dipoto.

"He's doing well. Was removed from the game, evaluated by our doctors here in Peoria and came out okay. He will be reassessed again tomorrow to determine his game availability."

Suzuki played Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers but is still not 100 percent from a calf strain that has bothered him the last week. He was taking part in minor league games on Friday to get more at-bats in to work on his timing at the plate before being knocked out of the game.

Notes:

-- Daniel Vogelbach hit his sixth home run of spring training, a two-run shot off Jeanmar Gomez in Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

"Vogey's swinging the bat great," Servais said. "On that particular pitch, it's something that we haven't seen him do much. He's gets out and gets around that ball and pulls it out of the yard. Obviously he's got power, he's some kind of strong and his understanding of the strike zone is outstanding for a young player. Glad to see him keep it rolling."

With Ryon Healy misses a large chunk of spring training following surgery to remove a bone spur from his hand, Vogelbach has had the chance to play regularly in games. He entered Friday's game batting .383 with 11 RBIs and an OPS of 1.330.

Servais has said that they acquired Healy to be their every day first baseman when healthy. However, Vogelbach is making the decision more murky that the team may have anticipated.

"Oh, we're looking at him," Servais said of Vogelbach. "There's no doubt. We talk about his personality and kind of his demeanor and where the confidence level is for him. You love to see that in a young player and he certainly put his name is discussion here as we get down to the final cuts in making our roster."

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