There were a lot of smiles in the Seattle Mariners clubhouse Tuesday after seven players were recalled from Tacoma – including two rookies who’d never won a big league uniform.
Luis Jimenez and Carlos Triunfel took different paths to the majors, but had something in common upon hearing of their promotions.
The news made their mothers cry.
“I called my mother and she started crying, and she told my father and I heard him through the phone,” Jimenez said. “He was telling her, ‘Take it easy! Breathe! Breathe.’”
All was well, but Jimenez and his family’s reaction was understandable – he’s been playing professionally since 1999 without ever being called up.
“In 2010 I was out of baseball, but I never gave up,” said Jimenez, a 30-year-old first baseman/designated hitter.
The other players brought up included pitchers Shawn Kelley and Hector Noesi, outfielder Casper Wells, first baseman Mike Carp and infielder Alex Liddi.
This was Triunfel’s sixth season playing professionally, though he’s only 22 years old. Once considered the shortstop of the future, once all but written off, he’s now a Mariner.
“I’m very happy. I thank God for letting my dream come true,” Triunfel said.
The Mariners also traded Tacoma catcher Guillermo Quiroz to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations, and Quiroz was with the Sox at Safeco Field on Tuesday.
To add Jimenez to the 40-man major league roster, the Mariners designated Double-A outfielder Johermyn Chavez for assignment, giving them 10 days to trade, release or outright him.
The team also added one Tacoma coach for the duration of the season – Rainiers hitting instructor Jeff Pentland.
FELIX ADMIRES FELIX
It was no shock that Felix Hernandez was named the American League Pitcher of the Month, though his August statistics even surprised him Tuesday.
“I was looking at Twitter, and those were some pretty good numbers,” Hernandez said, laughing.
Felix went 4-0 with three shutouts and a 1.08 earned-run average. He walked five and struck out 31 batters in 412/3 innings pitched over five starts.
“I don’t know what the record, is but I’d have to think that’s in the upper ends of great months by a pitcher,” manager Eric Wedge said.
It’s also the second month in a row a Seattle pitcher won the award; Jason Vargas did it in July.
For now, pitchers Noesi and Erasmo Ramirez, who started in Tacoma, will pitch out of the Seattle bullpen. … Only one of the players brought up, right-handed hitting outfielder Wells, was in Tuesday’s lineup. Turned out Wells’ first major league game was against Boston and lefty Jon Lester. “Someone told me just to take it all in, and that was terrible advice,” Wells said. “I went up there looking around a sold-out Fenway Park and had no chance. It was like a Martian had control of my mind.” … John Jaso is fifth in the majors batting with runners in scoring position at .400. A former Mariner ranks second – Arizona’s Willie Bloomquist (.435).
Seattle hosts Boston today in a 7:10 p.m. game that will be televised on Root. Probable starting pitchers: Aaron Cook (3-8, 5.35) vs. Kevin Millwood (4-12, 4.38).