Mariners position players reported to spring training over the weekend, and we have a deluge of stories from Peoria.
The big Rainiers-related news is that outfielder Mike Wilson cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Tacoma. Wilson was removed from the Mariners major league roster when they signed a pair of relievers nearly two weeks ago.
Wilson has proven to be a big hitter in the Pacific Coast League, and we’ll happily take him here in Tacoma if the Mariners decide to send him to the Rainiers. Wilson hit .331 with 16 homers in 87 games for Tacoma last year – he slugged .555, and he reached base at a .418 clip.
I think Wilson deserves a major league chance. He’s 28 years old and has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. The problem for him right now is that there is not an opening in the outfield with the Mariners. Another opportunity for Wilson down the road might be a shot at the major leagues in Japan.
At any rate, manager Daren Brown won’t mind putting him in the Rainiers lineup until a better opportunity comes along for Wilson.
Links from the last three days:
- Ichiro met with the media and talked a little bit about expectations for 2012.
- Larry Stone has a blog item on Mike Wilson, perpetual Mariner.
- Stone gets us all caught up on the Justin Smoak story.
- More from Stone: a feature on Rainiers shortstop Carlos Triunfel.
- Another pitch video from LaRue: Shawn Kelley shows his two-seam fastball.
- Kevin Millwood is in spring training for all of the right reasons.
- Among the items in this notebook, Franklin Gutierrez is in great shape, and Tom Wilhelmsen discusses fan mail.
- ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote about the Mariners on Sunday (Insider subscription required).
- Former Mariners great Mike Cameron is retiring after 17 major league seasons. John McGrath remembered his four-homer game.
- Former Tacoma Tigers pitcher Darrel Akerfelds – San Diego’s bullpen coach – continues his battle against pancreatic cancer.
- Jason Churchill and Chris Crawford have a detailed pre-season draft preview, if that’s your bag.
- Spring training is underway and we still don’t know how many playoff teams there will be this year. That’s crazy.
- If you’ve ignored all of the off-season stories and are just getting back into baseball, this CBS Sports round-up covers everything you need to know.
Coming Wednesday, we look at the Tacoma outfield candidates. There are a lot of them.