Mariners make cuts to tighten ship

Mariners make first big round of cuts

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Phillippe Aumont, the Mariners' first-round Draft choice last June, was among 12 players reassigned to the Minor League complex on Thursday.

The first significant round of cuts this spring also included right-handed pitcher Joe Woerman, second baseman Yung Chi Chen and first baseman Bryan LaHair, all assigned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Reassigned to the Minor League camp were: right-handed pitchers Brodie Downs and Stephen Kahn, left-hander Robert Rohrbaugh, catchers Jair Fernandez, Adam Moore and Brant Ust, outfielder Bronson Sardinha and infielder Mark Kiger.

"Those guys need to go down and get ready for their seasons," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "We need to start tightening things up here, start taking shape a little bit.

"We enjoyed having the kids in camp. It was a good experience for them and they left a nice impression."

Aumont was especially impressive throughout his first big league camp. His mid-90s fastball grabbed the attention of club officials and opposing hitters, specifically during his one inning of work in a "B" game against the Padres.

He made one Cactus League appearance, surrendering three earned runs in one-third of an inning.

"It wouldn't be fair to signal out anyone, but I think everybody knows what some of the guys we sent down are all about," McLaren added. "I think the first time in [a big league camp] you're a little bit in awe, but as you go on, you feel like you blend in and you leave with a very positive thought in your mind.

"I think you realize this is where you want to be."

The six position players involved in Thursday's cuts were a combined 20-for-56 with one home run (Chen) and eight RBIs in Cactus League action.

The moves leave the Mariners with 44 players in camp, including eight non-roster invitees.

Jim Street is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.