Lots of wheels were turning today with the Mariners, and when they stopped, utility infielder Robert Andino was off the ballclub. He was designated for assignment, a move that cleared space on the 40-man roster for catcher Jesus Sucre, who as expected was selected from Triple-A Tacoma. Sucre now becomes the backup catcher to Kelly Shoppach with Thursday’s demotion of Jesus Montero to Tacoma.
Sucre was thrown right into the starting lineup tonight, catching Joe Saunders.
With Andino gone, the Mariners needed infield help, so the next move today was recalling Carlos Triunfel. As an indication of how late these decisions were made, Triunfel had flown to Reno with Tacoma, and had to fly back to Seattle. Not sure if he’s arrived yet, but he’s expected to be in uniform for the game tonight with Texas.
Triunfel was chosen over Nick Franklin for a couple of reasons, I’m sure: One, he’s already on the 40-man roster, unlike Franklin. Two, he has more experience at third base than Franklin, allowing the M’s to be covered in terms of a backup to Kyle Seager. And three, he’s regarded as a better defensive player, particularly at shortstop, than Franklin. Triunfel also had playing time at second base in Tacoma, so he’s a good fit in Andino’s utility role. When we talk to Eric Wedge, we’ll find out exactly what role he foresees for Triunfel, 23, who was hitting .300 (51-for-170) with 29 runs, 14 doubles, two triples, four homers and 19 RBIs in 44 games for Tacoma.
In a related move, Brad Miller — who many regard as the Mariners’ shortstop of the future, ahead of both Triunfel and Franklin — has been moved up from Double-A Jackson to Tacoma. Miller was hitting .294 with six homers and 25 RBI with Jackson.
Andino was expected to give the Mariners some pop in the utility role, but he was hitting just .184 (14-for-76). Triunfel was a September callup last season, appearing in 10 games. He was 5-for-22 (.227) with a pair of doubles.