Right-hander Cha Seung Baek, who also tossed two scoreless innings in his spring debut, has the distinction of being the only candidate without an option remaining. If the Mariners want to send him to the Minor Leagues, he must clear waivers and with an arm like his, you would have to think another organization would pick him up in a heartbeat.Lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith, who was sent to Venezuela during the winter league season to build up his arm for future starting duty, most likely is headed to Triple-A Tacoma. The Australia native has basically been used as a reliever the past two seasons, making just one start since 2005. It is still too early to get a good read on exactly how right-handers Chris Reitsma and Mark Lowe and left-hander Arthur Rhodes -- all coming off injuries -- will figure into the Opening Day roster equation. At least two, and possibly all three, could open the season on the disabled list, giving the bullpen a couple of weeks to sort itself out. Infielders (6): There is no doubt that first baseman Richie Sexson, second baseman Jose Lopez, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and third baseman Adrian Beltre will be in the lineup on Opening Day. Super subs Willie Bloomquist and Miguel Cairo also have job security. Outfielders (4): All three starters, left fielder Raul Ibanez, center fielder Ichiro Suzuki and right fielder Brad Wilkerson, are left-handed batters. That is bad news for left-handed-hitting Jeremy Reed and good news for right-handed-hitting Mike Morse, Charlton Jimerson and Wladimir Balentien. This one could come down to Morse, who is out of options, and Jimerson, for the only outfield backup spot. Balentien has an option remaining, making it easier to send him to the Minors, where he might be better off playing every day for Triple-A Tacoma than once a week for the Mariners. Catchers (2): The productive combination of Kenji Johjima and Jamie Burke returns for a second season, which means up-and-coming receivers Jeff Clement and Rob Johnson are probably going back to Triple-A Tacoma to share the catching and designated hitter duties. Clement could work his way onto the Mariners Opening Day roster as the DH, but that's a long shot. Designated hitter (1): Switch-hitter Jose Vidro had the ninth-highest batting average (.309) for a DH in franchise history last season (Edgar Martinez had seven of the top eight) and figures to open the season in that role. He hit at least .300 from both sides of the plate, but hit just six home runs and drove in 59 runs in 548 at-bats. Clement has the swing and the power to put a jolt into the offense -- just in case it's needed at some point during the season.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.