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February 25, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Some defensive plays otherwise overlooked in Mariners intrasquad game

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Remember, time is running out for you to cast your vote for me in the Brock and Salk Media Bracket Challenge on ESPN 710 Seattle. Don’t let Matt Pitman steal the vote with his brand of tribalism.
There were a couple of key defensive plays that went largely unnoticed by casual observers of yesterday’s game, but which did resonate with some members of the front office.
How do I know this? I was standing right in front of them shooting photos.
Anyhow, one came on the photo you see above, where catcher Jesus Montero slides to his let to block a pitch in the dirt from James Paxton. There were runners on second and third with one out at the time and the block saved a run from scoring. Moments later, Paxton struck out Casper Wells, then escaped the inning after that.
“I thought he did a good job back there,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Montero afterwards. “I thought he did a good job of moving around, blocking the ball…and he was catching those young kids with good stuff. Those are live arms and the ball’s getting on him really quick. So, I was really impressed with what we saw out of him.”


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The next sequence of photos begins above, where Erasmo Ramirez managed to pop up Vinnie Catricala with Michael Saunders in scoring position, fewer than two out and the count ful. Mass confusion ensures as everyone initially goes for the ball.
Just when it looks like disaster is about to strike, shortstop Carlos Triunfel decisively calls everyone off, charges in and makes the catch at the last moment.
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“They’d better practice those pop-up drills some more,” a voice behind me quips with a chuckle.
“Yeah, but the right guy caught it,” said another. “The right guy made the play.”
Only one game, but defense will play a key role in whether either of those two guys becomes a full-time position player in the majors. For Montero and Triunfel, a good day in the field.

Comments | Topics: Jesus Montero

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