Before the start of the Mariners’ game against the Chicago Cubs at Safeco Field Friday, the club made three roster moves, calling up infielder Brad Miller from AAA Tacoma and designating infielder Alex Liddi for assignment. Miller was to start Friday and bat ninth against the Cubs, the first of three.
Miller, 23, hit .356 (37×104) with 26 runs scored, five doubles, one triple, six home runs, 28 RBIs, and reached base safely in all 26 games with the Rainiers since his promotion from AA Jackson May 25. He left Tacoma with a 22-game hitting streak (.385/35×91), four games short of the Tacoma franchise record. Earlier this week, he was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game.
In 68 games with AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma, Miller combined to bat .319 (82×257) with 12 doubles, 12 home runs, 53 RBIs and a .920 OPS (.521 SLG, .399 OBP). In the field for Tacoma, he made 22 starts at shortstop, three at second base and one at designated hitter.
In three professional seasons, Miller has combined to bat .334 (290×867), including 186 hits last season (with A High Desert and AA Jackson) to rank 2nd in the minor leagues. He received the Mariners Minor League Heart and Soul Award in 2012 for his exemplary play and leadership skills on and off the field.
A native of the Orlando area, Miller was selected in the 2nd round (62nd overall) in the 2011 June amateur draft. He played three seasons at Clemson University (2009-2011), where he was named the 2011 ACC Player of the Year, the 2011 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year and was a member of the USA Baseball National Team in 2009 and 2010.
To make room for Miller, the Mariners optioned INF Carlos Triunfel, 23, back to
Tacoma. He appeared in nine games for the Mariners over two stints (six starts: 2B 4, SS 2) and is batting .083 (2×24) with one RBI. In 46 games with Tacoma, he is batting .303 (54×178) with four home runs and 19 RBIs.
Liddi, 24, appeared in eight games with the Mariners (.059/1×17), spending most of the season with AAA Tacoma. With the Rainiers he batted .263 (63×240) with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs. Liddi was signed by the Mariners as an international free agent Sept. 9, 2005. The native of Sanremo, Italy is the first Italian-born and developed player to appear in a major league game.
The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Liddi’s contract.
In another lineup change, Dustin Ackley will get his first outfield start in the major leagues, playing center and hitting seventh. Ackley played three seasons at second base before being sent down to Tacoma to work on his offense and switch positions.
Ackley joins an outfield that includes Jason Bay in left and Endy Chavez in right, a combination no one envisioned at the start of spring training.