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Vinnie Catricala makes name for himself in Mariners camp

Mar 12, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

Vinnie Catricala Getty Images

Dusty Bergman, who pitched one inning for the Angels in 2004, was the last player from the University of Hawaii to reach the majors. Vinnie Catricala, a 2009 10th-round pick of Seattle, is bidding to be the next.

Catricala popped his second homer of the spring Monday against the Rangers. A corner infielder and outfielder, he’s 6-for-19 in seven appearances to date.

Catricala was one of the best hitters in the minors last season, coming in at .349/.421/.601 with 25 homers and 106 RBI between Single-A High Desert and Double-A Jackson. High Desert is well known as one of the top three or five offensive environments in the minors, but Catricala actually improved in Double-A, finishing with a 1.052 OPS in his 62 games for Jackson.

Still something of a man without a position, Catricala played 54 games at third base, 34 at first base and 32 in left field last year. The Mariners have given him time at both third base and left field this spring. He’s not viewed as a realistic candidate to make the team now, but given the uncertainty that the team faces at both positions, it’s not unrealistic to think he could be starting somewhere come July.

  1. dondada10 - Mar 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    As an Italian man, I’ll be rooting for this Vinnie Catricala character. That’s an impressive amount of vowels.

  2. jwbiii - Mar 13, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    Tyler Yates, who last pitched for the Pirates in 2009 is from UH-Hilo.

  3. Kevin S. - Mar 13, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Am I the only person reading his name as “Calcaterra?”

    • 4d3fect - Mar 13, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      I imagine that’s what initially caught Craig’s attention.

  4. shawnuel - Mar 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    “Cat the Bat” is a pretty dismal glove at 3B, unfortunately. Ironically, he was recruited to Hawaii as a “glove first” 3B and his slavish attention to hitting caused him to quickly regress in the field. If he managed to really start focusing on his fielding (and not at the expense of his bat), who knows?

  5. denny65 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    You folks gotta stop hatin’ on the Chone man! Hey, let him at least get Opening Day under his belt before you start calling for his trade (not that anyone would want him, necessarily).

    Wedge will give him a chance, at least initially. We’ll see.

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