Good afternoon from a sunny Safeco Field, let's get to what manager Don Wakamatsu calls the "tidbits" of the day.
Catcher Adam Moore will make his major league debut today for the Mariners and Matt Tuiasosopo will make his first start of the season for the Mariners. He'll start at second base as Jose Lopez slides over to first base.
"With Adam, catching Brandon Morrow down there so much, I think there is a comfort level," Wakamatsu said. "We talked about trying to get some guys playing time before the year's out, and we just thought this is a good opportunity."
But it isn't just the comfort level for Moore, Wakamatsu hopes that having Moore behind the plate will help Morrow, since the two worked extensively with the Rainiers this season.
"Having Moore for Morrow might be a little help," Wakamatsu said.
For those of you surprised that Tuiasosopo is playing second base and not third, don't be. Tui played second base almost exclusively for the Rainiers down the stretch. He played 21 games at second base and 31 games at third base this season.
It's part of trying to capitalizing on his athleticism and make him a little more versatile.
"In fairness to him, he's played one month down there (2B) and we are throwing him in there in a major league game," Wakamatsu said. "But we feel he's athletic enough to handle it there."
Tuiasosopo was supposed to get some work at second base this season, even taking some turns in spring training, part of that was under the auspice that he could possibly fill a utility role with the team as the season went on. As for his future position, Wakamatsu admitted that any decision about Tuiasosopo's future position would be contingent on any possible moves that GM Jack Zduriencik would make in the offseason.
"The true position or the one we're looking at is third base," Wakamatsu said. "It's a strong possibility. But as you see in Billy Hall, I like versatility in our players and having the ability to move people around."
Realistically where Tuiasosopo plays isn't what the Mariners are most most concerned about. Defensively, he can be solid at third and possibly second because of his athleticism. Wakamatsu and the Mariners want to see if the kid can hit.
"We have to see him play a little bit," Wakamatsu said. "He's going to have to prove to us he can hit at this level. That's going to be first and foremost. I know he's athletic enough to make adjustments at different positions. But he's going to have to hit up here."
Realistically, Wakamatsu and his staff thought they would get a chance to determine that long before Sept. 17th. Tui had such a brilliant spring training at the plate and in the field, that he made the team for opening day in recognition of that. But a bone spur in his throwing elbow forced him to have surgery and sidelined him for two months of the season. So when the Mariners needed an infielder when Adrian Beltre had shoulder issues or when Yuni Betancourt was traded, Tui wasn't available.
"You look at Josh Wilson or some of the utility players that we've brought it, they took playing time away from him," Wakamatsu said. "He had such a tremendous spring, he was awfully high on our list. So I think it set him back a good half of year, at least in terms of getting a true evaluation of him."
Wakamatsu admitted today that Jack Wilson's heel bruise is far worse than they first expected, and he will be out for some time.
"I think is going to be a little bit longer than we thought," Wakamatsu said. "We're going to end up getting checked out, I don't know if they are going to do a scan or an x-ray or what."
As Larry posted last night, Wilson hasn't been able to stay healthy since coming to the Mariners, and there is a frustration level for him that's noticeable.
"The thing is that he knows we're not seeing everything that he can bring to the table and that's frustrating," Wakamatsu said.
He then listed aspects of what Wilson can bring to the table, like defense, base running, bunting, etc.
"It's trying to reassure him that we can see through the layers of injuries that he's a good ballplayer," Wakamatsu said.
Reliever Chris Jakubauskas will play long toss today and throw a bullpen session tomorrow, and will be available to throw this weekend.
Chicago White Sox (72-74)Scott Podsednik LFGordon Beckham 3BA.J. Pierzynski CPaul Konerko DHMark Kotsay 1BJermaine Dye RFAlexei Ramirez SSChris Getz 2BAlex Rios CF------------LHP John Danks (12-9, 3.17 ERA)
Mariners (75-71)Ichiro RFFranklin Gutierrez CFJose Lopez 1BMike Sweeney DHAdrian Beltre 3BBill Hall LFJosh Wilson SSMatt Tuiasosopo 2BAdam Moore C---------RHP Brandon Morrow (1-4, 5.29 ERA)