Sweeney Successful in Bid to Make M's
The Mariners made their final moves Sunday just before closing out the spring with a game against the Giants in San Francisco, putting left-handed starter Cliff Lee on the disabled list and sending catcher Josh Bard, pitcher Jesus Colome and infielders Josh Wilson and Chris Woodward to Triple-A Tacoma.
Sweeney was a thanks-for-last-year invite to the Mariner camp after he couldn't land a gig anywhere else. The idea was that he'd get some at-bats and show he had something left and some team needing a DH would come calling.
That team turned out to be the Mariners after Sweeney hit up a storm in the spring. Coming into Sunday, he had a .500 batting average with six doubles, a triple and two homers, and his 10 RBI were second on the team to the 15 of center fielder Franklin Gutierrez.
"I'm not taking anything for granted,'' Sweeney said just before the roster was announced.
But manager Don Wakamatsu said it best when he said, "How can we not take him? He brings so much to the table.''
By putting Lee on the disabled list, the Mariners will have to deal with the five-game suspension the pitcher was handed for a March 15 pitch ruled to have been thrown at the head of Arizona catcher Chris Snyder later. Lee is appealing the suspension and fine.
And Seattle is going with 11 pitchers and 14 position players after having generally gone with a dozen pitchers in recent years. Wakamatsu and Co. are betting on the team's starting pitchers getting deep enough into games that the bullpen won't get burned out.