Brantly clears waivers, assigned to Triple-A

Aoki expected for Friday's home opener; Seager slots in No. 2 hole vs. righty

Brantly clears waivers, assigned to Triple-A

ARLINGTON -- Mariners catcher Rob Brantly cleared waivers and will open the season with Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday, which keeps the 26-year-old in the organization after he was optioned by the club on Sunday in its final roster cuts.

Brantly is out of Minor League options, so he needed to clear waivers before being assigned to Tacoma.

The left-handed-hitting backstop was claimed off waivers by the Mariners in mid-March after the White Sox optioned him. He impressed the Mariners by hitting .375 with one home run and two RBIs in 16 Cactus League at-bats this spring, but the club chose to go with fellow left-handed hitter Steve Clevenger as the backup to Chris Iannetta on the final 25-man roster.

Brantly has played 112 games in the Majors for the Marlins and White Sox from 2012-15, posting a .225/.286/.317 line with five homers and 32 RBIs in 356 at-bats.

He'll join Mike Zunino as the Mariners catchers in Tacoma.

Worth noting

• Left fielder Norichika Aoki didn't start Wednesday's game vs. the Rangers after fouling a ball off his shin in Tuesday's 10-2 win over Texas, but is expected to return to the lineup for Friday's home opener. Luis Sardinas made his first career start in left field in Aoki's place.

Kyle Seager slotted into the No. 2 spot in the lineup on Wednesday as the Mariners faced a right-handed starter for the first time. Switch-hitting shortstop Ketel Marte hit second behind Aoki in the first two games against lefty starters.

"It's probably going to be that way for a while," manager Scott Servais said of hitting Seager second against right-handers. "It's not a normal lineup with Aoki out, but I like him in the two-hole, and I've said all along, I don't think Kyle cares where he hits. He's going to give you a good at-bat."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.