Lots of Mariners news today as Felix Hernandez was named AL Pitcher of the Month for August, the club traded Minor League catcher Quillermo Quiroz to the Red Sox in a cash deal and then they called up seven players from Tacoma now that the Triple-A season has ended.
The September callups include first-time Major Leaguers Carlos Triunfel and Luis Jimenez, as well as first baseman Mike Carp, infielder Alex Liddi, outfielder Casper Wells and right-handed pitchers Shawn Kelley and Hector Noesi.
The Mariners already had brought up pitcher Erasmo Ramirez and outfielder Carlos Peguero on Saturday, so their active roster now stands at 34.
Jimenez, who hit .310 with 20 home runs and 81 RBIs for Tacoma, had to be added to the 40-man roster. To make room, the Mariners designated Johermyn Chavez for assignment, which means they now have 10 days to trade, release or outright the young outfielder.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Jimenez has been with seven different Minor League organizations since 1999 – the A’s, Orioles, Dodgers, Twins, Red Sox, Nationals and Mariners – and also spent 2009 playing in Japan. He emerged this year as the Rainiers’ Offensive Player of the Year and was a Pacific Coast League All-Star.
Triunfel, 22, will become the youngest position player on the Mariners roster, though he’s two months older than Ramirez. He hit .260 with 10 home runs and 62 RBIs in 131 games in his first full season in Triple-A while playing shortstop and second base.
Carp had been on a rehab assignment after straining a groin muscle on Aug. 14, so he was activated from the 15-day disabled list. He hit .379 (11-for-29) with a home run and five RBIs during his seven-game rehab stint.
Wells was just sent down to Tacoma on Aug. 27 when the Mariners activated Franklin Gutierrez. He hit .273 (6-for-22) with a home run, triple, five walks and seven runs in six games. He was inserted immediately into Tuesday’s lineup in right field against the Red Sox.
Kelley was also sent down in mid-August and didn’t allow a run in 5 1/3 innings in five relief appearances, giving up just two hits with no walks and six strikeouts and recording two saves. But he was hit in the elbow by a line drive on Aug. 29 and didn’t pitch again until throwing to one batter – and getting a strike out – in Monday’s finale in Fresno.
Liddi, who opened the season with the Mariners, hit .270 with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs in 76 games with Tacoma.
Noesi also spent the second half of the year in Triple-A after struggling as a Mariners starter with a 2-11 record and 5.77 ERA. He finished 2-6 with a 5.74 ERA in 11 starts for Tacoma.
It’ll be interesting to see how much the newcomers play. Obviously Wells will get time immediately with Michael Saunders still sidelined by a sore groin muscle. I’d expect Kelley to get some bullpen action if he’s healthy and Carp figures to see time at first base if he’s at full speed.
We’ll hear more on that this afternoon from Eric Wedge.
Here is tonight’s lineup against the Red Sox:
Dustin Ackley 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Jesus Montero DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Miguel Olivo C
Trayvon Robinson LF
Casper Wells RF
Brendan Ryan SS
Blake Beavan RHP