Alex Liddi capped off his Triple-A season with two more home runs in the finale in Tacoma's loss Monday. After the game, it was learned that the third baseman who produced 30 long balls, scored a PCL-high 121 runs and drove in 104 runs for the Rainiers was headed to the major leagues along with two teammates.
Liddi also made strides defensively at third base this season, and despite striking out 170 times and only posting a .259 batting average on the season, the right-handed hitter started to show his power much more frequently this year in accumulating 65 extra base hits. Since the beginning of August, Liddi has hit .280/.348/.524 with 10 HR in 35 games.
Outfielder Michael Saunders is headed back up to Seattle hoping to improve on his abysmal early showing, and right-handed reliever Steve Delabar--who pitched well at three stops this season in the system--is finally getting a chance in the big leagues after working his way back through the Independent Leagues.
Delabar is not currently on the 40-man, but it is very likely that center fielder Franklin Gutierrez will be placed on the 60-day DL to clear the needed spot for him. In High Desert, Jackson and Tacoma combined this season, the right-hander posted a 2.25 ERA in 40 games (all in relief) and struck out 68 hitter in 56 innings.
He joins a bullpen that has been a bit overworked of late. Saunders, Trayvon Robinson and Casper Wells all figure to see time in center over the club's final 22 games while Liddi could see time at the infield corners and at designated hitter.
Saunders also homered in the Rainiers final game Monday, his seventh in 64 games for the club. After hitting just .168/.223/.248 and striking out 45 times in 137 early season at-bats for Seattle, Saunders was sent down to Tacoma in early June. He hit .288/.415/.449 for the Rainiers while playing 52 games in center field and 12 in left. He did a much better job of driving the ball the other way while in Triple-A and he drew 50 walks, but he also struck out 71 times and didn't really show a lot of extra base power.
Dan Cortes is currently on the 15-day DL, but outside of his return, the Mariners say this will be it for the expanded roster callups this season.