Triunfel Gets Back On Track For Mariners

SEATTLE — Two winters ago, Carlos Triunfel was on the fast track to the big leagues with the Mariners. He was being groomed as the next big thing as a Seattle infielder, a shortstop who might wind up playing second base or even third.

That was then. Now, Triunfel has got his health back after missing virtually all of the 2009 season after breaking his leg.

He did, however, break a finger toward the end of the 2010 season at Double-A West Tenn, and that cost him the chance to play much winter  ball (he took just 18 at-bats for Licey in the Dominican Republic).

Even so, Seattle still sees the 21-year-old, who batted .257/.286/.332 for the Diamond Jaxx, as a viable prospect down the line.

"He was healthy the whole year, that was the most important thing to us after a really major injury," farm director Pedro Grifol said. "It took him a while last year to get going in Double-A, but he came on after that."

The Mariners have asked Triunfel to work on his pitch recognition and his selection at the plate. They want him to extend his at-bats and work on getting pitches he can hit in the gap.

He's always been a contact hitter, but that's worked against him in the sense that too often he's attacked pitcher's pitches. That's meant a lot of grounders and popups. The idea now is to improve his selectivity.

"Sometimes for a player to make contact too often it's a curse," Grifol said. "Sometimes they learn more from swinging and missing. Carlos has to learn to adapt, and he's doing that now."


• Josh Bard, who spent most of the season as the backup catcher at Triple-A Tacoma, signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. He'll get the chance to compete with Adam Moore for the backup job in Seattle.

• The Mariners held a minicamp for 33 of their minor league players in early February. The camp runs up to the March opening of the minor league spring training in Peoria, Ariz.