The Mariners made additional roster moves this morning, optioning infielder Alex Liddi to Class AAA Tacoma and re-assigning catcher Ronny Paulino and infielder Stefen Romero to minor league camp. There are now 47 players in camp: 35 on the roster and 12 non-roster invitees.

There had been some speculation that Brandon Maurer, Blake Beavan or Erasmo Ramirez could either make the Mariners as a starting pitcher this spring, or find a job as a long reliever in the bullpen. I’ve been told that’s not the case. The Mariners, as things stand today, have no intention of carrying a starting pitcher in their bullpen to serve in a long relief role.

Of course, the team did do that last year with Hisashi Iwakuma. But that was more out of necessity. He was just breaking into American baseball, was not yet good enough for the rotation and the team did not want to dispatch him to the minor leagues with his young family still acclimating to life in Seattle. Not only that, he was still acclimating to life here. So, they kept him in the bullpen, hoping he’d build arm strength. But as you remember, he was barely used. That’s the thing with long guys. They can sit in the bullpen for weeks on end because managers really need them in blowout situations and sometimes there just aren’t any.