Noesi, Walker at Double-A as Minor League rosters set

Noesi, Walker at Double-A as Minor League rosters set

OAKLAND -- Minor League rosters were set on Wednesday and there were a couple of surprises, including former Mariners starter Hector Noesi beginning the year in Double-A Jackson, where he'll join top prospect Taijuan Walker.

Noesi pitched 30 games in relief for the Yankees in 2011 before being traded to the Mariners in the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero deal. He started 18 games for Seattle last year, but went 2-12 with a 5.82 ERA and then 2-6 with a 5.74 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma. After a rough spring, the 26-year-old right-hander has now been asked to start this year at the Double-A level.

Tacoma has a starting rotation with an interesting mix of prospects and veterans with Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Jeremy Bonderman, D.J. Mitchell and Brian Sweeney in the mix. Catcher Mike Zunino, last year's first-round Draft pick, will work with that group after splitting last year between Class A and Double-A ball.

The Jackson roster includes infielder Brad Miller and catcher John Hicks, two youngsters who impressed the Mariners this spring. Chance Ruffin, another pitcher with Major League experience, is also opening at Jackson as he's being converted to a starting candidate.

Right-handed starter Erasmo Ramirez will begin the year on Tacoma's seven-day disabled list after dealing with arm soreness late in camp while competing for a rotation berth with the Mariners.

Here's the full roster at Triple-A Tacoma:

Pitchers: Logan Bawcom, Bonderman, Andrew Carraway, Danny Farquhar, Steven Hensley, Hultzen, Bobby LaFromboise, Yoervis Medina, Mitchell, Brian Moran, Jhonny Nunez, Paxton, Sweeney.

Catchers: Jesus Sucre, Zunino. Infielders: Nick Franklin, Alex Liddi, Scott Savastano, Nate Tenbrink, Carlos Triunfel, Rich Poythress. Outfielders: Denny Almonte, Endy Chavez, Carlos Peguero, Eric Thames.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.