Infielder Munenori Kawasaki has made the Seattle Mariners’ 25-man opening day roster, bench coach Robby Thompson said Tuesday.
“As of right now, Mune is on our 25-man roster,” Thompson told a news conference at Tokyo Dome, on the eve of the Mariners’ season opener against the Oakland Athletics.
“Obviously, when we get back to the States, we can reset our roster again. I can’t go out and say he’s going to be on our club when we get back, but I can say there is a real good chance.”
The Mariners signed Kawasaki, an All-Star shortstop with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, to a minor league contact with an invite to spring training. The 30-year-old had said he only wants to play in the majors at Seattle with Ichiro Suzuki.
Kawasaki hit .387 (12-for-37) with 10 RBIs in 12 spring training games before coming to Japan as a member of the 30-man traveling squad for the two-game series.
“He’s done a lot of good things for us,” Thompson said of Kawasaki, who helped the Hawks win the Japan Series title last year. “He’s full of energy and passion for the game. He is a great teammate and a pretty good player.
“He’s brought a lot of life to this ball club. We are really pleased to have him. He’s going to basically play shortstop, second base and a little bit of third base. He’ll be moved around a little bit.
“We really feel he’s going to help us get better.”
Indians work out Vlad
Free agent outfielder Vladimir Guerrero has worked out for the Cleveland Indians in the Dominican Republic.
Guerrero, a .318 career hitter with 449 homers in 16 major league seasons, was looked at by Indians scouts on Monday at the team’s baseball academy.
ESPN Deportes first reported Guerrero’s workout.
The Indians have been looking for a right-handed hitter for months to improve a lineup that struggled to score last season. It’s not known how interested the Indians are in the 37-year-old Guerrero, a former MVP and nine-time All-Star.
If he showed he can still play the outfield, Cleveland would be more likely to sign him than bring him in as a platoon designated hitter with Travis Hafner, a left-handed hitter.
Guerrero knows Indians manager Manny Acta from their days together in Montreal’s organization.