The Mariners added seven players to the active roster today, bringing the total number of players available for tonight’s game vs. the Red Sox to 34. Major League Baseball allows teams to expand their active roster to any player on the 40-man roster. Today’s additions included the following players:
- DH/1B Mike Carp recalled from his rehabilitation assignment at AAA Tacoma and activated from 15-day DL
- DH/1B Luis Jimenez selected from AAA Tacoma
- RHP Shawn Kelley recalled from AAA Tacoma
- INF Alex Liddi recalled from AAA Tacoma
- RHP Hector Noesi recalled from AAA Tacoma
- INF Carlos Triunfel recalled from AAA Tacoma
- OF Casper Wells recalled from AAA Tacoma
To make room for Jimenez on the 40-man roster, outfielder Johermyn Chavez was designated for assignment.
Most know about Carp, Kelley, Liddi, Noesi and Wells, who have played for the Mariners already this season, but here is some information on two players who will be making their Major League debuts.
Jimenez (#39), 30, will be making his Major League debut with his first appearance. Named the Tacoma Rainiers Offensive Player of the Year, Jimenez hit .310 (146×471) with 32 doubles, 20 home runs and 81 RBI in 125 games. A PCL All-Star, he hit .364 (36×99) with 19 runs scored, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs and 23 RBI over 28 games in August. During the month, he led the PCL in on-base percentage (.462) and OPS (1.148), while ranking 2nd in slugging (.687) and total bases (68), T2nd in extra-base hits (17), 5th in average (.364), T5th in RBI (23) and home runs (7) and T9th in hits (35). Jimenez reached base safely in 28 consecutive games, April 29-June 1, batting .382 (39×102) with 22 runs scored, 8 doubles, 5 home run and 24 RBI; was tied for the 10th-longest streak in the PCL this season.
Triunfel (#8), 22, will be making his Major League debut in his first appearance. He becomes the second-youngest player on the team, the youngest position player (Erasmo Ramirez is two months younger). Triunfel is ranked by Baseball America as Seattle’s No. 25 prospect; listed as having the “Best Infield Arm” in the farm system. He finished 2nd on the Rainiers with 129 hits, 31 doubles, 62 RBI. Carlos set a career-high with 10 home runs (previous: 7, 2010 with West Tenn), 31 doubles (previous: 28, 2011 combined between Jackson and Tacoma) and 62 RBI (previous: 49, 2008 with High Desert). He was named the Rainiers Defensive Player of the Year.
Here is a look at the Mariners active Major League roster:
Friday is the annual Mariners Wives Favorite Things basket auction. They load up baskets (really, any kind of container) with various items of their husbands’ choosing and then auction them off to benefit Mariners Care, the team’s non-profit foundation.
Among the categories of items are candy, movies, music, restaurants and hobbies. The baskets are usually loaded up with autographed and sometimes game-used items. New this year, a couple of small kitchen appliances.
Here are some highlights:
The other small appliance is a Keurig single-cup coffeemaker in Eric Wedge’s basket. He uses his every day and has gone through three of them, that’s how much he likes it. He’s also a fan of the HBO original series with the complete first season of The Sopranos and the second season of Entourage.
Shawn Kelley filled his basket with autographed Mizuno spikes (they look too clean to be game-used), size 13. His DVDs are Step Brothers, Braveheart, and the first season of Boardwalk Empire. He also included an electronic Scrabble Catch Phrase game.
Kyle Seager is a fan of the original Caddyshack (and really, who isn’t?), as well as Panera Bread and P.F. Chang’s restaurant. You’ll also get an autographed copy of the July 2012 Mariners Magazine featuring cover boy Kyle Seager.
Relief pitcher Josh Kinney is clearly a big hunter. His basket has a camo cap and pack, mule deer call, a selection of human scent eliminator sprays, a shotgun shell-shaped thermos. Oh, and a bottle of Tefft Cellars merlot.
Michael Saunders is a crossword puzzle guy, so he included a book of 200 puzzles. His basket also includes a Barnes & Noble and AMC Theatres gift cards. And true to his Canadian roots, a Vancouver Canucks scarf. Go Canucks!
The Favorite Things baskets will be on display near Section 128 on the Main Concourse at Safeco Field on Friday, August 17. Silent bids will be accepted through the end of the sixth inning.
Several Mariners players have already arrived in Peoria in preparation for the first Pitchers and Catchers workout on Sunday. Several players will arrive in Arizona on flights, and either rent cars for the spring, or have their cars shipped from their home. There are even a few Mariners that call Arizona home during the off-season. And then there are a few road warriors, who will hit America’s highways and make the journey the old-fashioned way. Relief pitchers Shawn Kelley and Stephen Pryor started their journey from Chattanooga, TN yesterday morning at 8am, along with Shawn’s puggles, Miller & Izzie. They hope to finish the 1,800-mile trek Friday afternoon when they pull into the Mariners Spring Training Complex in Peoria.
We caught up with Shawn as he started his journey and asked him a few questions about the drive, what music they have been listening to, how many stops they have made, and how he ended up with Stephen in his passenger seat…
When and where did you start the journey?
We started driving from Chattanooga on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. I am driving my Tahoe, and pulling my jeep. Both cars are filled with all of our family stuff for the upcoming season.
How did it come about for you to drive with Stephen to Arizona?
My wife (Kelsey) ran into him at the Chattanooga mall kids play area and set it up! She doesn’t like me driving by myself across country, so this was perfect. Stephen and I are both from Tennessee (Stephen is from the small town of Ooltewah, TN, 20 miles outside of Chattanooga) and we have very similar baseball backgrounds. We’ve gotten to know each other a little bit with our families, and we have a lot in common.
Have you always driven to spring training rather than fly?
I have serious flight anxiety and love to be in control!! It’s more Tennessean of me to drive!
It is just you and a fellow pitcher, what’s most of the conversation about?
Sesame street and Mickey mouse! Occasionally we talk baseball and politics! Steven always falls asleep on me though ( I guess I’m boring)
When will Kelsey and Parker join you in Arizona?
They fly out on valentines day!
You are driving your Tahoe it looks like…is that also your jeep?
Yep! The Tahoe is pulling the jeep! I’ll be top down all spring training while blowing my train horn that I had installed! Cover your ears when you see me.
What have your stops been on the trip?
Lots of stops because my two small dogs need to go to the bathroom a lot. So far we’ve stopped in Memphis, Little Rock and stayed last night in Fort Smith, Arkansas near the Oklahoma-Arkansas border. We are driving right now (as of 11 a.m. Thursday PT) and getting close to Elk City, Oklahoma. We drove about 11 hours yesterday, hope to get to Albuquerque, New Mexico tonight, and then a short 7-hour drive to Peoria Friday.
Have you done anything on the trip that people would shake their head at?
We played long-toss in the parking lot of a Chili’s this morning. You have to get your throwing in!
Best roadside attraction you’ve seen so far?
We saw 6 deer grazing by a undercover police car.
Most interesting car or license plate you’ve seen on the road so far?
Mine! My Tahoe with a Tennessee plate pulling a red-neck jeep with Washington plates. Seems kind of backwards, doesn’t it!
What playlist did you go with for the journey?
Anything country or 80’s!! No Madonna after the Super Bowl show, unless its Like a Prayer.
What has been the best meal so far on the trip? Or worst for that matter?
Subway’s $5 foot-long has been the best, and we’ve gone more than once! The donuts we picked up at a Shell Station were not a good idea. I hope our nutritionist is not reading this.
What will be your first stop in AZ?
Panda Express, and again, I hope our nutritionist is not reading this.
And now some baseball questions…
You had quite a ride last season, coming back from a second Tommy John surgery (partial) and ended the season without giving up a run in 10 appearances with the Mariners (12.2 innings). Was that motivation heading into the off-season?
Yeah for sure! I want to keep that mentality coming into 2012 and build off that momentum heading into spring.
What have you been doing in recent weeks to ramp up to the start of spring training?
Watching movies with my son, working on his football catching, and I’ve started throwing bullpens.
What are some of your goals heading into spring camp?
To be at my best and help some of our younger new pitchers develop.
Have you given any pitching advice to Stephen along the way. Seems like you guys have similar baseball backgrounds and moving up the Mariners system fast.
Yeah, we have scarily similar backgrounds both coming from small schools in Tennessee (Shawn from Austin Peay University, Stephen from Tennessee Tech). I’ve told him to just be himself, have fun and don’t put to much pressure on himself! Worry about what he can control and the rest will fall I to place. I think Mariners fans are going to enjoy seeing Stephen pitch and getting to know his name. [blog note about Stephen: He is rated as the Mariners No. 15 prospect by Baseball America. He is 3-3 with 15 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 62 relief appearances during his minor league career. The Mariners selected him in the 5th round of the 2010 draft out of Tennessee Tech University.]
You can follow Shawn and his journey to Peoria on Twitter at @shawnkelley23.
Believe it or not, Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Peoria, AZ on Feb. 11, and not that we are counting or anything, but that is just 19 days away!
The Hot Stove League show will be hosted by Rick Rizzs, Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman. Fans can listen locally in the Puget Sound region on 710 ESPN Seattle and over the Internet on Mariners.com. Guests for the show are scheduled to include:
- Executive Vice President and General Manager Jack Zduriencik
- Catcher Jesus Montero (newly acquired in trade today)
- Pitching Coach Carl Willis
- Relief Pitcher Shawn Kelley
- ESPN.com Writer Jim Caple
- Mariners Marketing Managers Michael Ferguson and Mandy Lincoln (discussing FanFest)
Tonight on Mariners Mondays on ROOT SPORTS highlights of a couple of fun games in August. August 13, the Mariners roughed up the Red Sox Josh Beckett for five runs in the first inning, starting with Ichiro’s 34th career leadoff home run. The August 15 game features include a comeback win over the Blue Jays with two home runs by Mike Carp, including back-to-back homers with Casper Wells in the 8th inning, and pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen’s first Major League win. Mariners Mondays starts at 7:30pm on ROOT SPORTS.
It has been a busy day in Mariners land this morning. There was the announcement with Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson being inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame this morning, the following news about three players avoiding arbitration, and of course talk of all the snow that is in the forecast for the Puget Sound region.
The latest bit of news was that closer Brandon League, starting pitcher Jason Vargas and relief pitcher Shawn Kelley all agreed to one-year contracts for the 2012 season, avoiding the arbitration process. What is arbitration you ask? Here is one of the best definitions that we have come across:
A player with less than 6 years of Major League service time is eligible for salary arbitration if he:
- is without a contract for the next season, AND
- has been tendered a contract offer by his current team by the tender deadline, AND
- cannot agree with his current team on a new contract, AND
- meets one of the conditions below:
- has been on a major league roster or disabled list for at least three years, OR
- has at least two years of major league service but less than three, AND is among the top 17 percent for cumulative playing time in the majors in this class of players, AND was on an active major-league roster for at least 86 days in the previous season.
What this basically means, is that the services of League, Vargas and Kelley are secured for the 2012 season. All three pitchers will be key contributors for the Mariners in 2012. More information on the three players is available in the official news release:
MARINERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH BRANDON LEAGUE, SHAWN KELLEY, JASON VARGAS
Mariners agree to one-year contracts on all three players avoiding arbitration.
SEATTLE, Wash. (Jan. 17, 2012) — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik today announced that the club has agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers Brandon League and Shawn Kelley, and left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas on one-year contracts for the 2012 season. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
By agreeing to terms with the three players, the Mariners have no remaining arbitration-eligible players.
League, 28, ranked 3rd in the American League last season posting 37 saves and was selected to play in his first All-Star Game. He went 1-5 with a 2.79 ERA (19 ER, 61.1 IP) in a team-high 65 appearances. His 37 saves were 4th-most in single-season club history, and his save percentage (88.1%, 37-for-42) was 6th-highest.
In two seasons with the Mariners, League is 10-12 with a 3.14 ERA (49 ER, 140.1 IP) and 43 saves in 135 appearances. His 135 appearances over the last two seasons are tied for 7th-most in the American League.
In eight Major League seasons with the Blue Jays (2004-09) and Mariners (2010-11), League has compiled a 17-22 record with a 3.70 ERA (141 ER, 342.2 IP) in 303 relief appearances. He was acquired from Toronto on Dec. 23, 2009 along with minor league outfielder Johermyn Chavez in exchange for right-handed pitcher Brandon Morrow. The Blue Jays originally selected him in the 2nd round (59th overall) out of Hawai’i’s St. Louis High School in 2001.
Vargas, 28, went 10-13 with a 4.25 ERA (95 ER, 201.0 IP) in 32 starts in 2011. The lefty set career highs in strikeouts (131), wins (10), innings (201.0) and starts (32). He ranked tied for 3rd in the AL with three shutouts and was tied for 4th with 4 complete games.
In three seasons with the Mariners, Vargas is 22-31 with a 4.19 ERA (226 ER, 485.1 IP) in 86 appearances (77 starts). He was acquired from the New York Mets as part of a 12-player trade also involving the Cleveland Indians on Dec. 10, 2008. He was originally selected by the Florida Marlins in the 2nd round (68th overall) in the 2004 June draft out of Long Beach State University.
Kelley, 27, saw limited action last season after coming back from partial Tommy John surgery performed on Sept. 1, 2010. In 10 Major League games, Kelley did not allow a run and scattered 7 hits in 12.2 innings. In 15 minor league appearances with AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma, Kelley went 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA (3 ER, 17.2 IP).
Originally selected in the 13th round of the 2006 June draft, Kelley made his Major League debut in 2009. In three seasons with the Mariners he has appeared in 73 games (all in relief), recording an 8-5 record with a 3.66 ERA (34 ER, 83.2 IP).