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Roster shuffle: Abraham Almonte makes MLB debut tonight

Taijuan Walker is bringing along a buddy from AAA.

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Rosters expand in two days, so the Mariners have decided to go ahead and bring up Abraham Almonte now, as opposed to waiting until Sunday. Erasmo Ramirez has been sent down for the time being, but he'll be back up shortly.

Abraham has already been posted in today's starting lineup, where he'll take Morse's spot in right. Almonte gets an audition of sorts this offseason, as to whether he can be considered a candidate for the Mariners 4th outfielder role next year.

Almonte had an excellent offensive year in AAA, going .314/.403/.491 over 94 games. He's played mostly center field and is an excellent defender in the corners. He's also quite fast, despite having a short, stocky body. His frame has been likened to Kirby Puckett, and he's got a quick swing with an extended two-handed follow-through. Almonte has good plate patience and doesn't strike out at a high rate. He's also stolen 20 bases for Tacoma, even though he's been caught 7 times. has some of his highlights this year.

Almonte's performance has gone mostly unheralded, but he's gotten my attention. Still just 24, he's got a better chance to be in the 2014 Mariners outfield than anyone else in the minor league levels of this organization. I like Almonte. He's got a good swing, hasn't had many holes in his swing exploited, and he's an underrated athlete. He probably isn't going to hit enough to become a regular, but Almonte hasn't done anything but improve the entire year. I think there's a good chance he earns his way onto the Mariners roster in 2014. For now, he'll be stating his case in September.

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