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September 1, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Mariners release Matt Tuiasosopo

tui.jpg
(Photo by Associated Press)
Matt Tuiasosopo, a third-round draft pick in 2004 and a member of one of the most decorated families in the Puget Sound, was released today by the Mariners.
They made the move to clear space on the 40-man roster, necessitated by the addition of September callup Cesar Jimenez, a left-handed reliever.
Tuiasosopo, 25, spent parts of the 2008, ’09 and ’10 season with the Mariners, playing a total of 71 games and hitting just .176, with five homers and 15 RBIs. He played all four infield positions, left field and DH for the Mariners, and though his offensive numbers weren’t good, his athletic ability continued to make him an intriguing prospect. He was a high school All-American quarterback at Woodinville High School and was headed to the University of Washington, like his brother, Marques, until the Mariners drafted him.


This year, the Mariners sent him down during spring training. In 116 games with Tacoma, he hit .226 with 20 doubles, six triples, 14 homers and 77 runs batted in.
Manager Eric Wedge was blunt in his assessment of Tuiasosopo, and the decision to cut ties.
“I saw some things in spring that were interesting,” he said. “I had a good talk with him. Unlike years past, we wanted him to have a chance to go down and play and get every-day at-bats. We felt that was the best thing for him and his career, and he didn’t take advantage of it. Obviously, there’s been so much opportunity here this year, but for whatever reason, he just wasn’t able to get himself going.”
Asked about Tuiasosopo’s potential, Wedge said, “You’re talking to the wrong guy. I’ve only seen him this spring. Like I tell all these guys, it’s a window of opportunity, and it doesn’t stay open forever. We’re working hard to try to push forward and make difficult decisions, make the best decisions we think for today and tomorrow and next year. The guys that step up are going to be given that opportunity. I think that’s what you’ve seen us do here.
“I saw some things I liked this spring, but it just wasn’t consistent. He needed to go down and work on it and focus on it. For whatever reason, it didn’t play out for him.”
I would expect that another team will give Tuiasosopo a chance, because his raw tools are so impressive. He’s a great kid, and I wish him well.

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