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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

November 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Mariners’ winter league update, Nov. 15 (plus a report on Marcus Littlewood)

Here are the latest updates on the various Mariners playing in winter leagues, compiled by Kelly Munro of the Mariners.

Some highlights:

–Outfielder Carlos Peguero is having a great season, hitting .338 while leading the Dominican Winter League in homers (7), doubles (7), slugging (.732), runs (16), total bases (52), extra-base hits (14), HR/AB ratio (1/10.14). He’s second in average, tied for third in RBIs (15) and fifth in on-base percentage (.407). I know you’re going to ask: He’s struck out 23 times in 71 at-bats, while walking six times (three intentionally). He’s all been hit three times.

–Catcher Adam Moore is heating up in the Arizona Fall League. Moore, who missed last season following knee surgery, has a seven-game hitting streak. He’s hit .369 (9-for-25) in that stretch, raising his average more than 100 points, from .115 after seven games to .235.

–Right-hander Forrest Snow, Moore’s teammate on the Peoria Javelinas, leads the AFL with a 1.26 ERA, while Danny Hultzen, last year’s No. 2 overall draft pick, is third in ERA at .140. Lefty reliever Brian Moran has gone nine straight outings without allowing a run. Nick Franklin homered Friday for the first time since Oct. 12 (not counting the Rising Stars game). The AFL season ends Thursday.

–Outfielder Denny Almonte is hitting .320 through seven games in the Australian Baseball League. He is playing for the Adelaide Bite.

Alex Liddi, who left his Venezuelan team after hitting just .136, is now playing for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican League. He’s not hitting much better — 0-for-7 through three games. In fact, we’re hearing rumblings Liddi may have been released from his Dominican team within the past hour.

Erasmo Ramirez reached his maximum number of starts in Venezuela and was shut down. He was 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in six starts (24 hits, 20 strikeouts, one walk in 30 1/3 innings). Ramirez, who has shown tremendous command throughout his pro career, figures to get a long look in spring training.

Also, while talking to Jack Zduriencik yesterday for this post, I asked him about Marcus Littlewood, a second-round draft pick in 2010 as an infielder who is being converted to catching. The transition began in the Arizona instructional league after Littlewood’s minor-league season ended with Everett.

“Everyone was real happy at the end of the year,” Zduriencik said. “It’s a work in progress. He’s real fortunuate that he can go home to his father, who is a J.C. coach, and get some extra work the average guy couldn’t get.

“He really enjoyed it from what I understand, and the transition is positive. He showed some nice flashes. Roger (M’s catching guru Roger Hansen) was really happy with what he saw. Pedro (Grifol) was happy. The fact he wants to do it is real positive.”

The upshot is that when spring training opens, Littlewood will be a full-time catcher.

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