Just as one part of this Mariners youth movement begins tonight, another has ended with Alex Liddi designated for assignment by the team. Liddi was the team’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2009.
The move clears a 40-man roster spot for Brad Miller to be added and start as shortstop tonight. Carlos Triunfel was optioned back to Class AAA to free up the big league spot.
It was just under two years ago that the Mariners first called Liddi up to the majors as part of a second-half infusion of youth. That infusion saw performances by Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, Mike Carp, Casper Wells, Trayvon Robinson and Liddi, to name a few.
Some of them came up before the second half, others later on. But as of right now, the only ones left are Ackley and Seager.
Ackley, as we mentioned in this morning’s paper, is starting in center field tonight because that’s the position the Mariners truly need him to excel at if they are to salvage value from his No. 2 overall pick. Sticking him in the corners is nice, but you can find corner outfield guys with more power than Ackley all around. If he can make it in center, then the Mariners will be able to use his high-average, gap-hitting power potential at that spot and find more power-laden guys for the corners.
As for Liddi, he hit just .208 with a .636 OPS in 188 plate appearances over parts of three seasons with the Mariners, including eight games this season.
The first Italian-born-and-raised major leaguer in history caused quite a stir internationally when he first got called up by the Mariners. But despite efforts to improve defensively — eventually switching from third base to first and even playing the outfield — he never found a major league position.
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