With the start of spring training just 19 days away, the Mariners have added a pair of players who could find themselves on the Rainiers opening day roster.
As mentioned last week, the organization needed another veteran catcher after the injury to Jesus Sucre. The News Tribune has reported that they filled that hole by signing Triple-A veteran Steve Lerud.
Lerud, 31, has nine games of major league experience with the Phillies in 2012 and 2013. He’s spent the last two seasons in the International League, so 2016 is shaping up to be his first PCL campaign.
At the Triple-A level, Lerud has hit .229 with nine home runs and 25 doubles in 571 at-bats. That’s spread over several seasons – he’s usually split time or been a back-up in Triple-A.
Lerud is hoping to back up Mike Zunino to start the season.
The Mariners other signing which could impact the Rainiers is from out of left field – perhaps literally. They signed 32-year-old* fresh-off-the-island Cuban Dainer Moreira. Gotta say, I know virtually nothing about him: he defected from the Cuban National Team during the Caribbean Series when it was played in Puerto Rico exactly a year ago.
From Bob Dutton’s report (it’s at the bottom), apparently Moreira is a fast runner and is capable of playing numerous positions. He recently played in a few games in the Puerto Rican winter league, hitting 11 singles in 38 at-bats (.279) with no walks but only three strikeouts.
Moreira was a starting shortstop in Cuba, and a lifetime .316 hitter in the Serie Nacional. Dutton’s report indicates that the Mariners are going to look at him all over the diamond, including the outfield.
- Bob Dutton took a closer look at Mike Zunino‘s situation entering spring training.
- James Paxton showed up at Fanfest twenty pounds lighter and determined to stay healthy for an entire season.
- A healthy Charlie Furbush might be the key to a rekindled Mariners bullpen. In the notes below this story is the initial report that the Mariners signed veteran Triple-A catcher Steve Lerud to take the spot of the injured Jesus Sucre.
- John McGrath has a column on a former major league reliever (Jerry Dipoto) trying to put together a major league bullpen.
- A seventh grader won our design-the-Rainiers-uniform contest for Tacoma Public Schools Night. The argyle sweater look – sweet!
- In the PCL, the newspaper in Colorado Springs speculates that the city may be part of a multiple-layers franchise shift in a few years.
- The Sacramento Bee caught up with new River Cats manager Jose Alguacil.
*Moreira’s age is reported differently everywhere; 32 is the highest number I’ve seen. Also, his first name is alternately spelled Dayner and Dainer. He’s a man of mystery – let’s embrace the unknown.