Mariners prospect D.J. Peterson gets a promotion, and an honor
Hard-hitting third baseman headed to Jackson, and to the Futures All-Star Game
Seattle Times staff reporter
It was an eventful 48 hours for D.J. Peterson. The Mariners’ hard-hitting infield prospect found out he’s being promoted to Class AA Jackson on Monday evening after hitting his 18th homer and driving in his 73rd run this season for Class A High Desert.
Tuesday afternoon, he was selected to represent the United States in the prestigious All-Star Futures Game, which is held in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. His High Desert teammate, Gabriel “Gabby” Guerrero, also was selected for the Futures game. The Dominican Republic native will play outfield for the “World” team.
Peterson’s call-up wasn’t surprising. He’s been terrorizing California League pitchers since May.
After a slow start where he was hitting below .280, Peterson heated up quickly. He’s hit 16 of his 18 home runs after May 11. He has hits in 20 of his past 22 games, batting .424 (39 for 92) with 13 doubles, nine home runs and 35 RBI. He currently has a .326 batting average and a .997 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Guerrero, 20, is hitting .313 for High Desert with 16 doubles, a triple, eight homers and 50 RBI with 12 stolen bases and a .816 OPS. The nephew of former all-star outfielder Vlad Guerrero, Gabby Guerrero was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011. Last season, he hit .271 with 23 doubles, three triples, four homers and 50 RBI for Class A Clinton.
The game will be played July 13 at Target Field.
Roster moves coming soon
Justin Smoak is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday. Manager Lloyd McClendon planned on meeting with general manager Jack Zduriencik after the game Tuesday night to discuss the situation. The Tacoma Rainiers don’t play Wednesday and then are in El Paso on Thursday. McClendon had hinted that Smoak might see more than a handful of games on his rehab outing.
Michael Saunders is scheduled to come off the DL on Thursday. Saunders has been tearing up Class AAA pitching. He’s hitting .450 (9 for 20) with two doubles, a triple, a homer and seven RBI in five starts.
The corresponding moves for Smoak and Saunders are not clear. Designated hitter Jesus Montero will definitely be heading back to Tacoma to make room for one of the players.
But the other move isn’t quite so simple. McClendon has been pleased with the play of veteran outfielder Endy Chavez. It’s likely that either Cole Gillespie or Stefen Romero would be sent down. The Mariners would have to designate Gillespie for assignment. Romero has minor-league options and has played sparingly in recent weeks.
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373
On Twitter: @RyanDivish