Two players who very easily could have given up on their dream of making it to the major leagues were among the seven players called up to the big leagues by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
Seattle promoted seven players, all off the roster of Class AAA Tacoma. Five of them -- first baseman Mike Carp, outfielder Casper Wells, infielder Alex Liddi, reliever Shawn Kelley and starter Hector Noesi -- had been with the Mariners earlier in the season.
And then there were the other two: first baseman/designated hitter Luis Jimenez and infielder Carlos Triunfel.
Jimenez has been with seven organizations since 2001, played a year in Japan and sat out the 2010 season before giving baseball another shot with the Mariners in 2011. He spent the entire season with Tacoma and was the organization's minor league player of the year with a .310 average, 20 homers and 81 RBI.
"I've been waiting for this for 13 years," Jimenez said. "Getting a chance now to play with these guys is very cool. I'm so proud of myself because I never gave up."
Jimenez was not on the 40-man roster, so the Mariners had to designate outfielder Johermyn Chavez, 23, for assignment. The team has 10 days to trade Chavez, release him or reassign him after a season in which he hit .232 with eight homers in 75 games for Class AA Jackson.
Jimenez was able to share the moment with his mother, who was visiting from Venezuela. And he got to appear in a major league game for the first time, flying out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning during Seattle's 4-3 loss to Boston.
Triunfel, 22, was signed by the Mariners at 17 out of the Dominican Republic and was one of the organization's most highly regarded prospects. However, he lost the 2009 season thanks to a broken leg suffered the first week of the season, and his progress had been slow ever since. He hit .260 with 10 homers while driving in 62 runs this year for Tacoma. He's split time between shortstop and second base.
"I'm very excited because I've waited for this moment for many years," Triunfel said. "I'm very grateful to be here."
Manager Eric Wedge said that Noesi, who started the season in the Seattle rotation, and Erasmo Ramirez, who replaced him there before getting hurt and who was just recently recalled, both will work out of the bullpen. Noesi went 2-6 with a 5.74 ERA in 11 starts for Tacoma after going 2-11 with a 5.77 ERA in 17 starts for the Mariners this year.