Tacoma Rainiers

Now shagging fly balls in the outfield for your Tacoma Rainiers – D.J. Peterson

D.J. Peterson will have a new positional address soon for the Tacoma Rainiers.

It is right up the street from the hot corner.

At manager Pat Listach’s request — and after Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto’s approval — the Rainiers have started the transition of moving the organization’s first-round draft choice from 2013 to the outfield.

Before the game Monday, the 24-year-old Peterson started shagging fly balls during batting practice.

“It is going to be a work in progress — a couple of weeks, maybe longer, maybe some offseason,” Peterson said. “I felt fine. I felt comfortable out there.”

The move might be delayed for a while as Peterson left in the second inning of the Rainiers’ 5-2 loss to Las Vegas on Monday. He injured a finger on his left hand going for a Matt Reynolds grounder.

Listach said Peterson will visit a hand specialist Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury.

Speaking earlier Monday, Peterson said the last time he played in the outfield during a game was a few times at the University of New Mexico.

But after being drafted No. 12 overall by the Mariners in 2013, he has played exclusively either at first base (172 games) or third base (172 games) in his three-plus seasons in the minor leagues.

After Dae-Ho Lee was sent to Tacoma on Friday, Listach called DiPoto to discuss the idea of moving Peterson out of the infield.

“He said, ‘Yeah, go ahead and do it,’ ” Listach said.

“I am trying to keep him in the lineup, with Dae-Ho Lee here and (Dan) Vogelbach here.”

Listach does not anticipate inserting Peterson into the lineup in the outfield until the team’s next homestand — Aug. 29-Sept. 5.

And it won’t be a full-time move — Peterson will still rotate between the other two infield positions.

“I don’t have a problem with it at all. I want to play anywhere that I can help this big league team win, or a big league team win,” Peterson said. “If that means moving to the outfield, that is something I am for.”

PENNANT FEVER

With a 5 1/2-game lead over Reno in the PCL Pacific Northern Division, there is a pretty good chance the Rainiers could be heading to the playoffs.

Do the players embrace that possibility?

“I’ve been on teams before in the past, guys did not want to make Triple-A playoffs because it delayed their September call-up,” Listach said. “At the same time, if they are not going to call you up Sept. 1, you might as well try and win every game down here.”

The PCL playoffs begin Sept. 7.

SHORT HOPS

After Peterson departed in the second inning, veteran Rob Brantly took his spot. It is the first time in Brantly’s career he has played anything but catcher. Brantly had one putout at third base, retiring Reynolds on a grounder in the fifth. … After a few days off, switch pitcher Pat Venditte (back) was cleared by doctors Monday to return to action. He had suffered a back spasm while working out in the gym. … The Rainiers have 40 home victories — the most since 2013. Their team record is 48, set in 2005. They have nine home games remaining.

UP NEXT

The series — and season — finale between these two teams takes place Tuesday. Tacoma’s pitcher is to be determined. Left-hander Darin Gorski (4-3, 6.93) pitches for the 51s. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. All the action can be heard on 850-AM.

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