Mariners' Triunfel Waits For His Chance
SEATTLE—Baseball history is full of special September stories: Players
getting called up for their first look, clicking and never looking back
as they headed off to great careers.
It's not going to be like that for Carlos Triunfel
Things haven't ever been easy for the 22-year-old out of the Dominican
Republic, so why should his first promotion to the big leagues be any
A September callup from Triple-A Tacoma, he spent his
first two weeks mostly warming the bench. On Sept. 7, he got his first
at-bat as a pinch-hitter and struck out in the ninth inning of a
lopsided loss. On Sept. 13, he came into another blowout, got two
at-bats and collected his first big league hit, a ninth-inning double.
It's not always instant karma for first-timers. "I just want to play good and build on that," Triunfel said.
the right attitude, because he doesn't know when his next chance will
be. Manager Eric Wedge can't say how much playing time Triunfel will
get. What he can say is that he likes the approach the rookie is taking.
it's in the field for a couple of innings here or there, or if it's at
the plate late in a game, I like what I've seen of his approach," Wedge
said. "It's good to see he's putting everything he has into it when he
gets the chance."
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Triunfel's first
legitimate opportunity at big league playing time will likely come next
spring, now that he has a full Triple-A year (when he batted
.260/.308/.391) in the infield, mostly at shortstop but also 22 games at
He was supposed to be at Tacoma at least a year
earlier, but Triunfel, signed at the age of 16 in 2006, lost almost all
of 2009 after breaking his leg in the first week of the season. He fell
down the organization depth chart after the injury, but he steadily
played himself back into the organization's good graces over the course
of the last two years.
• First-round pick Mike Zunino
had a huge postseason in the Double-A Southern League playoffs for the
Jackson Generals, hitting .379 with three homers and eight RBIs.
• Lefthander James Paxton
had a standout postseason for Jackson as well, throwing 131⁄3 innings,
giving up one unearned run and going 2-0. The Generals fell in the
Southern League finals to Mobile.