A few items from the game’s West divisions:
- The Mariners are scheduled to start their season at home March 26 against the Rangers, but it’s possible that series (and perhaps some ensuing sets) will take place outside of Seattle. With the coronavirus outbreak taking a toll on Seattle, the Mariners might temporarily play regular-season home games at their spring training facility in Arizona, Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports (subscription link). That scenario could become more likely on Wednesday, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to restrict all gatherings of 250-plus people in Seattle and other areas in the state, according to the Seattle Times. It’s unknown how long that restriction will last, but with just over two weeks left until the M’s season starts, there seems to be a growing likelihood that they’ll host their opener away from T-Mobile Park.
- Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi shed some light Tuesday on the team’s spring roster battles, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle relays. Tyler Beede was a strong contender for the fifth spot in the club’s rotation, but now that he’s dealing with a flexor strain, the competition is down to Logan Webb, Dereck Rodriguez, Trevor Cahill and Trevor Oaks. Any of them could take the ball April 7 – the first time the Giants will need a No. 5 starter. Meanwhile, there could be a rotating bunch of players in center field, Shea writes. That may affect the picture at the keystone; among the Giants’ current second base options (Mauricio Dubon, Yolmer Sanchez and Donovan Solano), “Dubon is best suited to go out to the outfield,” Zaidi observes. Dubon’s versatility could lead to a season-opening roster spot for Sanchez, a 2019 Gold Glove winner whom the Giants signed to a minor league contract in the offseason.
- He wasn’t considered a legitimate prospect at this point a year ago, but now the Dodgers are of the belief that minor league utility player Zach McKinstry will turn into a contributor at the MLB level this season, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times writes. A 33rd-round pick in 2016, McKinstry put himself on the map in 2019 with excellent production at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, leading the Dodgers to add the 24-year-old to their 40-man roster in November. The multi-positional McKinstry has continued to impress team brass this spring, notes Castillo, who adds that he could become the Dodgers’ latest Chris Taylor or Enrique Hernandez type. “He can play anywhere on the diamond, he’s an intelligent player,” manager Dave Roberts told Castillo. “He conducts really good at-bats. He’s a guy that I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him sometime this year.”