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09/17/09 6:35 PM ET
Tuiasosopo gets look at second base
Versatile Mariners infielder makes first start since callup
By Christian Caple / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- This is the time of year when unfamiliar names pop up in starting lineups throughout the Major Leagues, as September callups get their chance to prove themselves. Thanks to his versatility, Mariners infielder Matt Tuiasosopo got that shot on Thursday against the White Sox. Even though manager Don Wakamatsu said he sees Tuiasosopo more as a third baseman -- and he came up as a shortstop -- Tuiasosopo was in the lineup at second base, moving Jose Lopez over to first. That's easier for the Mariners to do than try to play Tuiasosopo at third, because they don't have the ability to move starting third baseman Adrian Beltre anywhere else. Bill Hall, who can play almost anywhere on the diamond, was in left field, rounding out one of the more versatile Mariners lineups that Wakamatsu has penciled in this season. "It gives us another right-handed bat in the lineup against John Danks," Wakamatsu said. "Gives us the luxury of playing Billy Hall in left and moving Lopey over, gives us another chance to see a young player play." Tuiasosopo's role in the franchise is somewhat unclear heading into next season. Shortstop Jack Wilson, who sat out for the second consecutive day with a bruised heel and has battled injuries for much of his time in Seattle this season, figures to be a part of the Mariners plans. Wakamatsu said they see Tuiasosopo as a third baseman. Most importantly, though, he has to show that he can hit. He had just seven hits in 44 at-bats last season, his only action in the bigs. "I think we've got to see him play a little bit," Wakamatsu said. "He's still going to have to prove to us that he can hit at this level, and that's going to be first and foremost. The rest is, I know he's athletic enough to make the adjustments at different positions, but he's going to have to hit up here."
Christian Caple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.