Wilson getting his chance in Seattle outfield

Wilson getting his chance in Seattle outfield

Wilson getting his chance in Seattle outfield
SEATTLE -- The end of the brief Milton Bradley era with the Mariners means the start of a new opportunity for two younger players, as the club made dual moves Monday to beef up its punch in left field.

One of those getting a shot will be Mike Wilson, a 10-year veteran of the club's Minor League system who has been patiently waiting his turn.

Wilson, 27, will put on a Major League uniform for the first time Tuesday in Baltimore and figures to platoon in left field with left-handed-hitting Carlos Peguero in the coming days, according to general manager Jack Zduriencik.

A day after manager Eric Wedge vowed his offense would improve, Wilson and Peguero were brought up from Triple-A, as the Mariners designated veterans Bradley and Ryan Langerhans for assignment.

The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Wilson was hitting .381 with four home runs, 14 RBIs and a whopping 1.111 OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) in 63 at-bats for Tacoma after missing the first few weeks of the season with a shoulder injury.

Wilson was a second-round Draft pick of the Mariners in 2001 who turned down a football scholarship to Oklahoma and has slowly risen through the ranks ever since.

"Mike has been here a long time and had opportunities to leave, but decided to stay," Zduriencik said. "He's always liked this organization. A year ago, we all saw the Spring Training he had. We know he has terrific power. He's gotten off to a real nice start down there [in Tacoma]. He's shown power and is hitting well.

"It's a scenario where you hope this works for him. He's a great young man who has worked hard and paid his dues. And he's a power right-handed bat, which we need. So it's kind of like, right place, right time for Michael."

Zduriencik delivered the news to Wilson on Sunday in Wedge's office at Safeco Field after Seattle dropped a 3-2 decision to the White Sox.

"Both Eric and I gave him a big hug, and he had the chance to call his mom on Mother's Day to tell her he'd gotten the call to the big leagues," Zduriencik said. "He ought to be very proud. These situations [like releasing Bradley] create other opportunities. We're pulling for Michael. We're all in his corner and hoping he can be a productive player for us."

Along with the 24-year-old Peguero, Wilson represents a fresh start in left field for a club seeking offense. Peguero, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound slugger, was with the club for a week earlier this season and also has had a strong start in Tacoma.

But Zduriencik said the ascension of the two youngsters doesn't necessarily signal the start of a major youth movement.

"You always are evaluating your club and where you're headed," Zduriencik said. "There are some players who are very much a part of what we're trying to do for a lot of reasons. As you move forward, rosters do change. What we want to do is win games. That's the biggest thing on the agenda.

"At this time, it just happens we're giving two young guys a chance to produce. It is where this organization is at right now."

As for other veterans who are on one-year contracts or in the final year of their deals, as was the case with Bradley and Langerhans?

"They could be part of this club for the remainder of year, and we'll see where we are at end of year," Zduriencik said. "Some of these guys have been productive, they've brought to the table things we thought they would and we've been pleased with what they've done. What happens in several months, none of us have a crystal ball."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.