A pair of would-be Rainiers had very productive games in Arizona yesterday – even though they were playing for two different teams.
Proudly wearing the uniform of his home country, Alex Liddi went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in Italy’s surprising 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Mexico in the World Baseball Classic opener for both teams. Liddi also had a homer and a double in a WBC warm-up game against the Angels on Wednesday; so it seems like he’s hot right now.
As I type this, Italy has the lead early in the game against Canada and Liddi has already chipped in with a go-ahead RBI single. The MLB Network is pronouncing his name “Lee-dee”, in the Italian fashion. We will not be doing this during Rainiers games this season.
Someone who could compete for playing time at third base with Liddi also had a big game yesterday: Mariners prospect Stefen Romero went 4-for-5 with two home runs and seven RBIs in the M’s 12-2 exhibition win against the Royals. Included was a grand slam off longtime PCL and MLB starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso.
That’s an absolute monster of a game for Romero, who hit 23 home runs last year (11 for Class-A High Desert, and 12 for Double-A Jackson). We don’t yet know where Romero is going to be assigned to open the season, but he certainly took a big step towards Tacoma yesterday.
I admit it may be a routine case of spring optimism, but I’m starting to think that the Rainiers are going to have a very good hitting team this year.
- Mariners ace Felix Hernandez finally took the mound yesterday. Results were as anticipated. This link also has some comments from Stefen Romero after his big game.
- Danny Hultzen – on the shelf with a hip flexor – is already on the comeback path.
- Larry Stone checked in on Casper Wells and his fight to make the Mariners opening day roster.
- Fangraphs took a statistical look at the chances of the Mariners spring power surge carrying into the regular season.
- Prospect analyst John Sickels has a blog piece on M’s catching prospect John Hicks.
- Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin got stung by a scorpion in Arizona. I’m pretty sure that’s not good luck.
- Here’s a new one: a major league pre-game show host got a Triple-A radio job. That’s totally backwards (sorry; industry joke). Anyway, congratulations to the new voice of the Albuquerque Isotopes, Josh Suchon.
- Longtime Round Rock infielder Matt Kata hung up his spikes and joined the team’s front office.
- The Omaha Storm Chasers need help naming their new beer. Shot Chaser, duh.
Wanna work at the ballpark this season? The Rainiers job fair is tomorrow.