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“First and foremost, Carlos brings us a veteran presence with outstanding leadership qualities and a winning pedigree,” Dipoto said. “His combination of strong on-base skills, situational awareness and game calling ability are a welcome addition to the Mariners.”
Ruiz hit .264 with 21 runs, 8 doubles, 3 home runs, 15 RBI and a .365 on-base percentage in 62 games with the Phillies and Dodgers in 2016. He was traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers on Aug. 25.
In 2016, Ruiz ranked 4th in on-base percentage among catchers with at least 200 plate appearances. He also led National League catchers with at least 50 games played in caught stealing percentage, throwing out 15-of-36 would-be base stealers for a mark of 41.7%.
Throughout his 11-year Major League career, Ruiz has been a steady presence behind the plate and on the base paths. He has a .352 career on-base percentage, 6th-best all-time among catchers to appear in at least 1,000 games. Among active catchers, Ruiz is tied with Jonathan Lucroy for the 4th-most catcher caught stealing with 161.
In 11 seasons with the Phillies (2006-16) and Dodgers (2016), Ruiz has combined to hit .266 with 68 home runs and 404 RBI in 1083 career games. He appeared in 1,030 games as a catcher with Philadelphia, 2nd-most at the backstop position in franchise history.
A native of David, Chiriqui, Panama, Ruiz originally signed with the Phillies as a non-drafted international free agent on Dec. 4, 1998 and made his pro debut with the Dominican Summer League Phillies in 1999. He made his Major League debut with the Phillies on May 6, 2006 vs. the Giants.
Ruiz would become just the 2nd Panamanian-born player to appear with the Mariners, joining former outfielder Roberto Kelly.
Ruiz is one of two catchers in Major League history to catch four separate no-hitters, along with Jason Varitek. Ruiz was behind the dish for two no-hitters tossed by Roy Halladay, one by Cole Hamels and a combined no-no.
We were saddened to learn today that Eddie “Lefty” Carnett, who turned 100 years old just two weeks ago, has died.
Lefty was the oldest living former Major Leaguer, and the oldest Pacific Coast League player. During his playing days he spent time with the Seattle Rainiers (1942-1943, 1946) and had three cups of coffee in the Big Leagues with the Boston Braves (1941), Chicago White Sox (1944) and Cleveland Indians (1945).
Back on May 26, 2012, a spry 95-year old Lefty threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Safeco Field before the Turn Back the Clock game in which the Mariners wore Rainiers jerseys and the Los Angeles Angels wore the PCL Angels uniforms from 1955.
During his playing days, Lefty was what one might call versatile. He was an outfielder, first baseman and pitcher. He was also a player/manager for six seasons in the minor leagues. He had a 19-year professional baseball career from 1935-1955.
Lefty died peacefully at his home in Ringling, Oklahoma with his wife MaryLee and family surrounding him.
Rest in Peace, Lefty.
The Mariners made several roster moves on Thursday afternoon. First up, Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced that the club has exercised its 2017 option on outfielder Seth Smith, and declined its 2017 option on catcher Chris Iannetta. The club also reinstated right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns from the 60-day disabled list.
Outfielder Norichika Aoki was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros. And with the World Series ending yesterday, Franklin Gutierrez, Dae-Ho Lee, Adam Lind and Drew Storen became free agents this morning.
After today’s transactions, the Mariners Major League 40-man roster is now at 35 players.
Smith, 34, hit .249 (94×378) with 62 runs, 15 doubles, 16 home runs and 63 RBI in 137 games with Seattle this season. His 63 RBI were a career-high and his 16 home runs were 2nd-most in his career. Smith hit .326 (28×86) with 1 double, 8 home runs and 50 RBI with runners in scoring position this season, ranking 12th-best in the American League in average with runners in scoring position. The 6-foot-3, 210 pound outfielder ranks 2nd among active players in pinch-hit home runs with 9, and is one of two players to hit a pinch-hit home run in each of the last 4 seasons (2013-16). In parts of 10 Major League seasons with Colorado (2007-11), Oakland (2012-13), San Diego (2014) and Seattle (2015-c), Smith is a career .261 (849×3252) hitter with 205 doubles, 113 home runs and 426 RBI in 1138 career games.
Karns, 28, was 6-2 with a 5.15 ERA (54 ER, 94.1 IP) with 101 strikeouts and 45 walks in 22 games (15 starts) with the Mariners this season. Karns was 6-2 with a 4.56 ERA (41 ER, 81.0 IP) in 15 starts. In 7 appearances out of the bullpen, he recorded 1 save while posting an 8.78 ERA (13 ER, 13.1 IP) with 17 strikeouts and 7 walks. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a low back strain on July 30 and was transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 1.
Iannetta, 33, hit .210 (62×295) with 23 runs, 14 doubles, 7 home runs and 24 RBI in 94 games this season. He appeared in 70 of the Mariners 89 games before the All-Star Break, but just 24 of Seattle’s 73 games following the break. He signed with Seattle as a Major League free agent on Nov. 23, 2015. In parts of 11 Major League seasons, he has hit .229 (652×2848) with 355 runs, 139 doubles, 107 home runs and 402 RBI in 946 games with Colorado, Los Angeles-AL & Seattle.
Aoki, who turns 35 in January, hit .283 this season with 63 runs, 24 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 28 RBI in 118 games with the Mariners. After hitting just .245 (61×249) in 67 games prior to the All-Star Break, Aoki hit .339 (57×168) in 51 second-half games. He also appeared in 24 games with AAA Tacoma, where he hit .323 (31×96).
Aoki signed with Seattle as a free agent on Dec. 3, 2015. He has also appeared in the Majors with Milwaukee (2012-2013), Kansas City (2014) and San Francisco (2015) after playing 11 seasons (2004-2011) with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan’s Central League.
Opening Day 2017 is months away, but plans for a season-long celebration of the team’s 40th Anniversary are underway.
Mariners players will wear a commemorative patch on their jerseys (the right sleeve) next season. The logo, which was unveiled this week, features Mount Rainier and the Seattle skyline with the Mariners trademark nautical compass rose superimposed on the number 40.
The patch will be in two color schemes—with navy as the predominant color, which will be on home and road jerseys; and a version in royal blue and gold for the Sunday home alternate uniforms. The logo will also appear on the outfield wall at Safeco Field.
The Mariners will also be brining former players to Seattle for appearances and promotions at Safeco Field. The schedule is still being firmed up and won’t be announced until later.
The Mariners wore commemorative patches on their jerseys in 2007 (30th Anniversary) and 2012 (35th Anniversary). Special patches were also worn in tribute to Dave Niehaus (2011), and for MLB’s tribute to the Negro Leagues (1985) and MLB’s 125th Anniversary (1994).
Authentic and replica home jerseys with the patches, as well as the patches themselves, will be available in Seattle Mariners Team Stores starting next week. Alternate jerseys and other apparel featuring the 40th Anniversary logo will be in Team Stores in January.
Mariners Team Stores are located at Safeco Field, at Fourth & Stewart in downtown Seattle, Bellevue Square, Alderwood Mall and Southcenter Mall.
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto today announced the following roster moves.
- Steven Baron, C, designated for assignment
- Steve Clevenger, C, outrighted to AAA Tacoma
- Ryan Cook, RHP, outrighted to AAA Tacoma
- Charlie Furbush, LHP, outrighted to AAA Tacoma
- Adrian Sampson, RHP, claimed off waivers by Texas
- Ryan Weber, RHP, claimed off waivers from Atlanta
Cook, Furbush & Clevenger have enough service time to elect free agency.
The Mariners 40-man roster remains full.
Baron, 25, hit .280 (65×232) with 35 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 22 RBI, 34 walks and 3 stolen bases in 67 games with AA Jackson and also appeared in 1 game with AAA Tacoma (June 30-July 1). In eight minor league seasons with the Mariners, he hit .234 (464×1982) with 222 runs, 108 doubles, 13 triples, 26 home runs and 228 RBI in 554 games. He was originally drafted by Seattle in the 1st round (33rd overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of John A. Ferguson School in Miami, FL.
Clevenger, 30, was removed from the suspended list on Oct. 31 onto the 60-day disabled list. On Sept. 23, he was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season. He hit .221 (15×68) with 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 home run and 7 RBI in 22 games, 20 starts, with Seattle. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured third metacarpal on his right hand on June 30th and was transferred to 60-day disabled list on July 6th. He appeared in 3 games during rehab assignment with AZL Mariners (2 games) & AA Jackson (1 game), batting .500 (4×8) with 1 double and 1 walk. He was sent on rehab assignment on Aug. 23 and recalled from rehab due to injury on Sept. 7.
Cook, 29, had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Oct. 20. He did not appear in a Major League game this season after being placed on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle on March 12. He made one rehab appearance with the AZL Mariners on July 10 (1.0 IP) before he was recalled from the rehab assignment on July 28. He signed with Seattle as a Major League free agent on January 7.
Furbush, 30, who had surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder on Aug. 16, did not appear in a Major League game this season. He was placed on 15-day disabled list with left shoulder biceps tendinitis on April 3 (retroactive to March 25). He was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 22 and began his rehab assignment on July 8 with Short-A Everett, was transferred to AAA Tacoma on July 14 and returned from rehab on Aug. 2. In 8 rehab games (2 starts), with Short-A Everett (2 GS) and AAA Tacoma (6 G), he was 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA (4 ER, 6.1 IP) with 5 strikeouts.
Sampson, 25, was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA (4 ER, 4.2 IP) with 2 strikeouts in his only start with Seattle. He had surgery to repair a flexor tendon on his right elbow on June 30 after being placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 24 with a right flexor bundle strain (transferred to 60-day disabled list on July 5). He left the game on June 23 at Detroit before making a pitch after feeling discomfort in his right elbow while warming up before the first inning. He was selected to the Major League roster on June 18 and started that day at Boston. With AAA Tacoma, he was 7-4 with a 3.25 ERA (29 ER, 80.1 IP) with 61 strikeouts and 12 walks in 13 starts.
Weber, 26, was 1-1 with a 5.45 ERA (22 ER, 36.1 IP) in 16 games (2 starts) with Atlanta this season, striking out 23 and walking 5. In 26 games, including 5 starts, with AAA Gwinnett this season, Weber was 2-3 with a 2.76 ERA (19 ER, 62.0 IP) with 41 strikeouts and 14 walks. A native of St. Petersburg, FL, Weber was drafted by the Braves in the 22nd round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of St. Petersburg College. He made his Major League debut with Atlanta on Sept. 8, 2015 at Philadelphia. In parts of 2 seasons with the Braves, he has compiled a career record of 1-4 with a 5.15 ERA (37 ER, 64.2 IP) with 42 strikeouts and 11 walks in 21 games (7 starts). Over parts of 8 minor league seasons with Atlanta, Weber is 33-36 with a 3.78 ERA (268 ER, 638.0 IP) with 462 strikeouts and 106 walks in 203 games (77 starts).
Follow the players in the Mariners organization during the off-season with this weeks latest Winter League update:
Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager and second baseman Robinson Canó have been selected as finalists for the 2016 Rawlings® American League Gold Glove at their respective positions, as announced today by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company and Major League Baseball.
Seager is one of three finalists for the American League Gold Glove at third base with Manny Machado (Baltimore) and Adrian Beltre (Texas). Canó is one of three finalists for the American League Gold Glove at second base with Ian Kinsler (Detroit) and Dustin Pedroia (Boston).
The Rawlings Gold Glove Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 8th on ESPN.
Seager, who was the 2014 winner, was tied with Texas’ Adrian Beltre among American League third baseman with 15 defensive runs saved (according to The Fielding Bible). He led all American League third basemen in games started (156) and innings played (1,399.2). Since his first full season in 2012, Seager has steadily improved his defensive runs saved, posting -7 DRS in 2012, -8 DRS the following season, +10 DRS in his Gold Glove season of 2014, +1 DRS last season and a career-best +15 DRS this year. Over the last three years, Seager is one of four American Leaguers to post two seasons of at least +10 DRS at 3rd base.
Canó ranked among the American League leaders in several defensive categories at second base, leading the Majors in fielding percentage (.996), leading the AL in putouts (311), was third in assists (429), and committed only three errors, the fewest among second baseman with at least 70 games played. He was second in the AL in Zone Rating with a mark of .827 behind Detroit’s Ian Kinsler; Zone Rating is defined by STATS Inc. as “an estimate of a player’s efficiency in fielding balls hit into his typical defensive zone.” Canó has previously won two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in 2010 and 2012 while playing for New York-AL.
The Rawlings® Gold Glove Award is presented annually to 18 players, one for each position, in both the American and National Leagues. The selection process is based on a combination of managers/coaches vote (up to 7 per team, can’t vote for players on own team) and on the SABR Defensive Index (statistical based).
This afternoon, Mariners Hitting Coach Edgar Martinez swapped spray charts for a little online conversation and took some time out of his offseason to join us and XFINITY Sports for a Twitter chat. If you happened to miss it, here are the questions from fans and his responses.
@ChrisJDMitch: What is the one thing you look forward to next season?
Edgar: Now that our young players have experience playing for the playoffs, seeing how they start from the beginning with that goal in mind.
@JohnTrupin: What’s been the biggest challenge going from hitting to teaching hitting to other pros?
Edgar: The challenge, with some players, is they have old habits—and old habits are really hard to change.
@HemskyStrikes: Mariner fan in Calgary. Any fond memories from your time with the Cannons? Thoughts on the city/team when you were here?
Edgar: I think it was ’87, we had a fun, fun team. We had a really good team and the city is a really fun city.
@BrentOsburn: What advice would you give to high school hitters about approach and adjustments?
Edgar: I would look at the mechanics first, and see if there’s something you have to work on. With approach, always work the middle of the field.
@RosalyndaReyes: What’s the toughest thing hitters face right now? Has it changed since your years in the big leagues?
Edgar: There’s more information now, and then the shift, that can really affect some players.
@dkent08: Of all the @Mariners commercials you’ve been in, is there one that stood out to you as your favorite?
Edgar: I like the one from when we just opened Safeco, hitting the opener and rolling back the roof.
Thank you to everyone who submitted questions, and to Edgar for hanging out with us. Keep an eye out for more of these in the future.
The season might be over, but Mariners players are still playing in the Winter Leagues. Check out some of the highlights from the past week: