09/13/09 4:34 PM ET
Moore eager for chance with Mariners
Catcher promoted from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday
By Jim Street / MLB.com
He was so excited that the smile on his face lasted throughout a five-minute interview with Seattle-based media inside the visiting clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark.
"This is so exciting," he said. "It's a dream come true."
The 25-year-old Moore was one of three players promoted on Sunday from Triple-A Tacoma, but the only one that traveled from Sacramento, where Tacoma was eliminated from the Pacific Coast League playoffs, to Arlington. The other two, infielder Matt Tuiasosopo and left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson, were re-routed to Seattle because of the uncertainty of the doubleheader against the Rangers being played.
"I got a little sleep on the flight," Moore said, "but I kept waking up with butterflies, knowing that I was coming back to Arlington, where I grew up watching games. Walking into this clubhouse, knowing that I am wearing a big league uniform now is really something."
The Mariners selected the University of Texas-Arlington catcher in the sixth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and he has been moving up the Minor League level ever since. He began this season at Double-A Tennessee and ended it at Triple-A Tacoma, batting .294 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs for the North Division champion Rainiers.
One of the first things he did on Sunday after arriving at the ballpark was to meet with manager Don Wakamatsu.
"He just told me that I may get a couple of games here and there and to just go in there, perform, and relax," he said. "Have fun and treat it like any other game."
And that means taking charge from the get-go.
That was the approach he took in the Minor Leagues. But can he do the same thing with the Mariners' current crop of pitchers?
"Oh yeah, I'm ready for it," he said. "I'm ready for the opportunity to get out there, show them I believe in their stuff, get that good relationship with the pitching staff and just take them to victory."
He said he's been taught that "leading the team" is the No. 1 responsibility for any catcher in the organization.
"That is first and foremost," he said. "You have to go out there with positive attitude and learn what each pitcher has, get them to pitch to the best of their ability and get a win for us. I did a lot more of that this year."
Unlike most of his teammates at Tacoma, the end of the Rainiers' season was not a total washout.
"It was a fun run that we had, winning nine straight on the road to catch Colorado Springs, and you always want to play in the postseason," Moore said. "To make that kind of run was a lot of fun, but my dream always has been to be on the big league roster. And now I'm here."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.