New Face In Outfield Mix

The Mariners made a trade this week that could have an impact on the 2013 Tacoma Rainiers.

Relief pitcher Shawn Kelley, who was designated for assignment earlier, was traded to the New York Yankees. In exchange, the Mariners received minor league outfielder Abe Almonte.

Almonte played in Double-A with the Yankees Trenton affiliate last year. He had some injury issues and appeared in just 76 games, hitting .276 with four home runs and a .350 on-base percentage.

The big thing Almonte brings to the table is speed. He stole 30 bases in just a half-season last year, and he was caught only five times. The 23-year-old apparently has some pretty good wheels.

We’ll talk more about this when we get to the outfield in our position-by-position preview, but it seems all but certain that the Rainiers opening day center fielder will be named Almonte. The first name, however, is unknown: will it be the newly acquired Abe Almonte, or last year’s Double-A center fielder Denny Almonte? We’ll find out on April 4.

One thing is for certain: if Abe Almonte plays for Tacoma, somebody needs to make sure he gets a Lincoln Abes t-shirt.

We have some interesting news in the PCL today: the Albuquerque Isotopes – in conjunction with their parent club the Los Angeles Dodgers – are installing a baseball humidor at their ballpark.

The humidor was first used at Coors Field in Colorado, to try to temper the effect of high elevation on the game. It worked there, so last year the Rockies had one installed at their Triple-A Colorado Springs affiliate. That appeared to work also, so now Albuquerque is jumping on board.

I imagine that Reno and Las Vegas are also candidates to add the humidor. We may eventually see one in El Paso when they open up in 2014, too.

The Rainiers have put together an Opening Weekend special that is a terrific deal: you pick the game (April 12, 13, or 14) and you get a reserved ticket, plus a hot dog, chips, and a drink for $10. That’s an awesome deal – a reserved seat alone is normally priced at $11. The deal is for a short time only so hit it right here.


Have a great weekend!


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