Alex Liddi about to become first Italian-born player in majors in almost 50 years | Mariners notebook
Alex Liddi will do something Tuesday that no one from his homeland has in nearly half a century.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tuesday @ L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., ROOT | Hernandez (13-11, 3.27) vs. Santana (11-9, 3.27)
Wednesday @ L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., ROOT | Furbush (3-7, 4.97) vs. Williams (2-0, 4.58)
Thursday vs. Kansas City, 7:10 p.m., ROOT | Vargas (7-13, 4.59) vs. Hochevar (10-10, 4.76)
Friday vs. Kansas City, 7:10 p.m., ROOT | Pineda (9-9, 3.74) vs. Francis (5-15, 4.72)
Saturday vs. Kansas City, 7:10 p.m., ROOT | Beavan (3-5, 4.33) vs. Paulino (2-6, 4.20)
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Alex Liddi will do something Tuesday that no one from his homeland has in nearly half a century.
The third-base prospect will become the first Italian-born major-leaguer since Remo Bertoia in 1962 once the Mariners officially add Liddi to their expanded major-league roster. Seattle plans to add Liddi, along with outfielder Michael Saunders and relief pitcher Steve Delabar before Tuesday night's game here against the Angels.
Liddi, 23, will also be the first graduate of the MLB European Academy to play in the majors as well as the first Italian born and raised player to do it. Bertoia's family moved from Italy to Canada when he was only 1 and the five other Italian-born major-leaguers before him also left their native country at a young age.
In contrast, Liddi stayed in his native city of San Remo and played amateur baseball in Italy until signed by Seattle at age 17.
With Class AAA Tacoma this season, Liddi hit .259 with 30 home runs, 104 runs batted in and 121 runs scored. He became only the second player in Tacoma franchise history to amass more that 100 runs and RBI in the same season.
Saunders, 24, opened the season with Seattle until being sent down in May. He finished the AAA season with a .288 batting average and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .864. The Mariners need some extra help in center after Franklin Gutierrez was lost for the season on Sunday to an oblique injury.
Delabar, 28, was out of baseball last season and spent 2008 and 2009 in the independent leagues before signing with Seattle in April as a minor league free agent. He went 3-5 with a 2.55 earned-run average at three levels of minor league levels, including 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 13 1/3 innings in AAA.
• Mike Carp was back in left field on Monday night as Casper Wells recovers from being hit by a pitch on Sunday. Mariners manager Eric Wedge opted to go with Carp in left field and Trayvon Robinson in center, saying Carp has made big strides with his defense this season.
"He's already done a good job for us here in left field," Wedge said. "He hasn't been out there in a while, but that's a place he's going to have to be able to play to get playing time."
Wedge said Carp has surprised him with his fielding ability since spring training.
"I think his confidence is high, which has a lot to do with it," Wedge said. "So, it's nice for us to be able to have that option with him."
Wedge is looking forward to getting a closer look at Robinson in center. Robinson doesn't have the strongest arm, but Wedge said he can offset that with his speed.
"I think it's strong enough if he can be accurate," Wedge said. "That's the key. A guy with his speed, you're going to stop people with your feet anyway if you can be aggressive to the baseball."
• Dustin Ackley extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the first inning.
For the record: W-L: 58-82; W PCT: .414; Streak: L5
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