After driving in all four runs for the Mariners in last night's win, Matt Tuiasosopo is back starting in left field again tonight.
“You know I think it’s important, especially with a young kid, when he has a night like he had to give him an opportunity to back out there," Mariners manager Daren Brown said. "On the flip side, it works two ways. We can use Saunders if we needed to in an emergency or defensively, pinch-run. at same time gives him another day and with off-day tomorrow, he should be 100 percent for Friday.”
There has been plenty of debate about Tui's value as a player. I think he's regressed defensively, particularly at third. He seems heavier than he was last season. Offensively, I've seen him hit in Tacoma. He shows vastly better patience when he's playing with the Rainiers. But he really hasn't hit much at the big league level, even when he's gotten a stretch of consistent at-bats.
Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing did a nice job of discussing Tui's value to the Mariners in this piece
Matt Tuiasosopo is still a prospect, and he's a prospect who's gathered very little playing time at the highest stage. He's a prospect with a low ceiling, but he's a prospect who could continue to develop, and for that reason I just don't understand the responses I see whenever he finds his way into a game. I know he's not much, but he isn't some total pile of crap, and it's worth giving him some kind of opportunity. What else are the Mariners supposed to do? As much as it pains me to say it, the team probably has more to gain by playing Tui than by playing Ryan Langerhans.
It's one thing to be skeptical of Tui's future career. I'm right there with you. It's quite another to rip on him at every chance, and accuse the manager of incompetence whenever he plays. Even if Tui tops out as a bat-first utility player, teams can use bat-first utility players. All I'm saying is, he has a chance. Until or unless his window here closes, we might as well hope for success.While, we are on links, here's a great story by Jerry Crasnick on players, who's power numbers have declined this season. Not surprisingly, Jose Lopez made this list...
"He's kind of an enigma," an NL scout said of Lopez. That's a diplomatic way of saying that Lopez doesn't exactly bowl people over with his work ethic or passion for the game. It was telling when he hit 25 homers for a power-deprived Seattle team last year, and rumors persisted that the Mariners were shopping him around all winter.
Also Ichiro's march for 200 hits, took a hit today as Major League Baseball announced a scoring change fromthe August 8 win over the Kansas City Royals.
I remember rolling my eyes a little bit when Ichiro's grounder to shortstop in the eighth inning of the game was fielded by Mike Aviles
and then fired into the stands, they ruled it a hit and an error on the advanced base. Now it's just an error.
Do they error (see what I'm doing there) on the side of hits for Ichiro at Safeco? Yes, but it always like that for players at home.
Still, Ichiro is on pace for 204 hits right coming into tonight with the change. He now has 41 games to get 47 hits to reach the 200-hit mark for the 10th straight season.
Here's the minor league report....
- Ichiro RF
- Chone Figgins 2B
- Russell Branyan DH
- Jose Lopez 3B
- Franklin Gutierrez CF
- Casey Kotchman 1B
- Adam Moore C
- Matt Tuiasosopo LF
- Josh Wilson SS
RHP David Pauley (1-4, 3.31 ERA)
- Brian Roberts 2B
- Nick Markakis RF
- Ty Wigginton 1B
- Luke Scott DH
- Adam Jones CF
- Felix Pie LF
- Matt Wieters C
- Cesar Izturis SS
- Josh Bell 3B
RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-11, 3.88 ERA)