The Seattle Mariners started the 2012 campaign off with some tough decisions. Two of those decisions were to send Casper Wells and Alex Liddi to Tacoma to start the year. A week of baseball is in the bag and the youngsters are getting their first crack in the starting lineup today against the Rangers.
The Mariners entered the game 4-3 looking to split the series with Texas. Unfortunately, they dropped the game 5-3, falling to .500 on the year.
While the final result was bad news, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. We got to see the season introductions of 2 future Mariners stars!
Alex Liddi played 3rd base, which really was no surprise to anybody who pays attention. That’s his sole spot unlike many utility-type players the Mariners have. Putting him at third base sends Kyle Seager to 2nd base with Chone Figgins taking over center field for the day.
Liddi batted second in the lineup, taking over Dustin Ackley‘s normal spot.
In the 1st inning, Liddi saw mostly fast balls in his first at bat. He struck out looking. In the 3rd inning, he saw the same pitches and struck out swinging. After finding his bearings, he righted those wrongs of the 1st and 3rd with an RBI single to left field in the top of the 6th.
The hit was a solid line drive and scored Brendan Ryan on the play.
In his last at bat, Liddi flew out to deep center field. Although it was registered as an out, the fly ball hit to the warning track advanced Chone Figgins from 2nd to 3rd base.
Liddi played solid in the field, converting all put out attempts he got.
Final totals: 1 for 4, 1 single, 1 RBI, 2K’s, .250 avgCasper Wells
Casper Wells played Left Field with Michael Saundersgiven almost all of the day off. He batted 8th in the order.
Alex Liddi had an RBI in his season debut for the Mariners
In his first at bat, Wells suffered the same fate as Liddi did. He struck out looking to end the 2nd inning. In his second at bat, he mirrored Liddi again, striking out swinging in the 5th inning. In the 7th inning, Wells flied out to Right Field.
And in his scheduled 9th spot in the batting order, he was replaced by Michael Saunders in a pinch hit situation. Saunders grounded out to end the game with Miguel Olivo on 2nd base.
Wells did have a fielding highlight as well, hustling to a ball hit on the ground to left field and throwing it on a rope to second base. Seems routine, but that beeline throw sent the runner sprinting back to 1st base because he knew he was going to be thrown out at 2nd base.
Kyle Seager held up on the throw to 1st base, although it looked like they may have got the out had he made the throw.
Final totals: 0 for 3, 2K’s, .000 avgFinal Grades
Liddi played well, knocking in the RBI in the 6th inning. The first 2 at bats could’ve gone better but there were several factors working against him. Besides the fact that it was his first big league game of the season, the nerves were probably in full effect. On top of that, Rangers starter Derrick Holland was just on fire.
Although Wells was semi-disappointing at the plate, the same factors apply that Liddi faced.
The one big positive is the fact that Wells is solid in the field, playing with high energy. He was quick to the ball and threw the ball to the infield on a rope every time he made a play.
The season is young and this Mariners team is still growing and developing.
Although these weren’t stellar starts to either of these guys’ seasons, they showed enough today and during Spring Training to show that they WILL be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
One thing is for certain – there is a bright future ahead of the Mariners.
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© Brandon Choate for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
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