Kivlehan keeps hits coming after giving up football

Mariners' No. 6 prospect shines in AFL following strong Double-A debut

Kivlehan keeps hits coming after giving up football

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- So far, the greatest challenge in Patrick Kivlehan's baseball career has been finding a position. Kivlehan, the No. 6 prospect in Seattle's organization according to MLBPipeline.com, has hit at every stop of the Minor Leagues and has made up for lost time spent playing football.

Kivlehan has primarily played third base during his Minor League apprenticeship, but he moved into a utility role last year that saw him play first base and the outfield. The 24-year-old said Friday that third base is no longer his best position, but he also said he's willing to play anywhere on the field.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Seattle has trio of Gold Glove finalists in Cano, Seager and Felix

Second baseman a two-time winner; third baseman and ace score first noms

Seattle has trio of Gold Glove finalists in Cano, Seager and Felix

SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager and Felix Hernandez have been better known for their hitting and pitching prowess in their Mariners careers, but the two Seattle All-Stars were named top-three American League finalists for Rawlings Gold Glove Awards at their positions on Thursday.

Second baseman Robinson Cano, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner with the Yankees, was the third Mariners player named as a finalist. The winners will be announced on Nov. 4 in a 4 p.m. PT televised presentation on ESPN2.

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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.

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Inbox: What is the position plan for Peterson?

Inbox: What is the position plan for Peterson?

Lots of fun responses as our Reader Inbox series got underway again for the offseason last week. Keep 'em coming! Click here to submit a question.

What player are the Mariners aiming for in free agency this offseason?
-- Matthew F., Bellevue, Wash.

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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.

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King Felix named AL's top pitcher by Sporting News

Mariners ace also won honor in 2010

King Felix named AL's top pitcher by Sporting News

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez has been named the American League's top pitcher in 2014 as part of the Sporting News AL All-Star team selected by a vote of baseball executives, becoming the first Mariners player honored since '10.

Hernandez was also named Sporting News' AL Pitcher of the Year in 2010, which was the year he went on to win his first AL Cy Young Award. This year's Cy Young Award, which is chosen in a vote by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, will be announced Nov. 12.

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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.

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Sanchez, Mariners prospects heating up Winter League

No. 11 prospect posted a 2.00 ERA through two starts in Venezuela

Sanchez, Mariners prospects heating up Winter League

SEATTLE -- Victor Sanchez, one of the Mariners' top young pitching prospects, is off to a hot start in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Sanchez, a 19-year-old right-hander out of Rio Chico, Venezuela, has posted a 2.00 ERA with the Leones del Caracas while allowing two earned runs on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in nine innings in a pair of no-decisions.

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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.

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Young awarded Sporting News' AL Comeback Player

Young awarded Sporting News' AL Comeback Player

SEATTLE -- Believing he'd finally overcome a series of shoulder issues that had hindered much of his career, Chris Young just wanted a chance to pitch every fifth day and be part of a Major League rotation again after being released by the Nationals at the end of Spring Training.

But the 35-year-old right-hander did far more than that, putting together a strong 2014 season for the Mariners that resulted in Young being named Sporting News' American League Comeback Player of the Year on Monday.

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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.

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Saunders recognized with 2014 Clausen Award

Mariners outfielder dedicates time to cancer awareness, community efforts

Saunders recognized with 2014 Clausen Award

SEATTLE -- Outfielder Michael Saunders has been selected by the Mariners RBI Club as the winner of its 2014 Al "Moose" Clausen Community Service Award.

The honor will be presented to Saunders on Nov. 15 at the RBI Club's annual Toys for Kids fundraiser at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom.

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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.

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Walker decides not to pitch again this offseason

Righty scratched from AFL start, team says he's completely healthy

Walker decides not to pitch again this offseason

SEATTLE -- Taijuan Walker was scratched from his scheduled Arizona Fall League start Saturday night and has decided not to pitch any more this offseason, though he is completely healthy, general manager Jack Zduriencik said Sunday.

The 22-year-old right-hander had been slated to pitch his third AFL game for the Surprise Saguaros on Saturday at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, but fellow Mariners prospect Stephen Landazuri replaced him and allowed five hits and three runs in three innings to take the loss as the Saguaros fell, 9-4, to the Glendale Desert Dogs.

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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.

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Staying with Mariners appeals to Young

After comeback campaign, veteran pitcher sure to draw interest this offseason

Staying with Mariners appeals to Young

SEATTLE -- Chris Young's season with the Mariners didn't begin the way he hoped. Nor did it end in quite the fashion he'd have drawn up, if given a choice.

But the six months between that start and finish were as good a time as the 6-foot-10 right-hander remembers having in baseball, and he'd love the chance to paint the complete picture with another go in Seattle if things work out in free agency this winter.

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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.

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Prospect Kivlehan homers, doubles in AFL

Seattle's No. 6 prospect rakes, leads Surprise to victory in AFL action

Prospect Kivlehan homers, doubles in AFL

Patrick Kivlehan hit 20 home runs and posted a .507 slugging percentage in 138 games between Class A Advanced High Desert and Double-A Jackson this season. But he said he doesn't see himself as a power hitter.

"I just want to be one of those guys where they put the barrel on the ball and see where it goes," Kivlehan said.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Inbox: Will Wilhelmsen be made into starter?

Inbox: Will Wilhelmsen be made into starter?

The offseason is upon us, which means it's time to dig into the mailbag and resume the weekly Reader Inbox. With the Mariners facing a critical winter as they look to take the next step forward after just missing a playoff berth in 2014, there should be plenty of questions. Click here to submit a question.

There was midseason talk of converting Tom Wilhelmsen to a starter next year. Any chance that happens?
Shelly R., Eugene, Ore.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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In-game scouting report pays off for Hicks in AFL

In-game scouting report pays off for Hicks in AFL

During the fifth inning of Surprise's 13-11 win over Scottsdale on Wednesday, John Hicks replaced starting catcher Luke Maile. At the time, the Saguaros were up by five runs and seemed to be on the way to an easy victory. But the Scorpions didn't go quietly and scored five runs in the seventh to tie the game.

The game was still deadlocked in the ninth, when Hicks stepped into the batter's box to face right-hander Colton Murray with two out and runners on second and third. Nick Williams had nearly broken the tie with a deep drive to right-center field, but the ball hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double, forcing Jesse Winker to return to third base.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Veteran Beimel hopes to return to Mariners' bullpen

Veteran Beimel hopes to return to Mariners' bullpen

SEATTLE -- As the elder statesman in baseball's best bullpen for 2014, Joe Beimel knows what the Mariners put together last season was something special.

And the 37-year-old southpaw from Pennsylvania would love to be part of it again next year if things fall into place, even though he's the lone free agent in a group that shattered Seattle's club record and posted the second-lowest ERA for an American League bullpen over the past 24 seasons at 2.59.

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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.

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Walker pitches another strong outing in Arizona Fall League

Right-hander fans six and allows two hits in five innings

Walker pitches another strong outing in Arizona Fall League

SEATTLE -- Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker made his second straight strong start in the Arizona Fall League with five innings of one-run ball as the Surprise Saguaros lost a 7-4 decision to Salt River on Monday in Surprise, Ariz.

Walker, regarded as one of the top young pitchers in baseball, allowed just two hits with two walks, a hit batter and six strikeouts while throwing 77 pitches.

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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.

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Mariners hope Saunders can stay healthy, play every day

Organization believes oft-injured outfielder has talent to be consistent starter

Mariners hope Saunders can stay healthy, play every day

SEATTLE -- After another season interrupted by various health issues, Michael Saunders isn't a lock to be the Mariners starting right fielder next year. Manager Lloyd McClendon and general manager Jack Zduriencik indicated as much last week at the team's season-ending press conference.

Between stints on the disabled list, Saunders primarily split playing time in 2014 with veteran Endy Chavez, rookie Stefen Romero and non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisition Chris Denorfia. But McClendon and most Mariners fans still believe Saunders can be a productive everyday player.

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Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Walker solid, prospects make noise in AFL opener

Walker solid, prospects make noise in AFL opener

SEATTLE -- Taijuan Walker threw four innings of one-run ball and fellow Mariners prospect Patrick Kivlehan homered as the Surprise Saguaros opened the Arizona Fall League with a 5-4 loss to the Peoria Javelinas on Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz.

Walker, one of the top young arms in baseball, allowed five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a 57-pitch start and left with a 3-1 lead. The Mariners would like the 22-year-old to get 20-25 innings of work in the AFL after missing the first half of this past season with shoulder problems that limited him to 120 1/3 innings overall, including 38 with Seattle.

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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.

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Hart opts for free agency ahead of schedule

Veteran battled hamstring, knee injuries on one-year contract with Mariners

Hart opts for free agency ahead of schedule

SEATTLE -- Veteran designated hitter Corey Hart declined an outright assignment to the Minor Leagues and elected to become a free agent on Monday, a week after being designated for assignment by the Mariners.

The move was expected after Hart was DFA'd in order to make room on the 40-man roster for first baseman Jesus Montero, who was activated off the suspended list the day after the regular season ended.

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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.

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Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Over its 23-year history, the Arizona Fall League has developed a reputation as a finishing school for baseball's top prospects. This year, once again, many of the game's best young players will gather in the desert, hoping to prove themselves in the same league that helped catapult Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Trout to stardom.

When the AFL opens play Tuesday, the concentration of talent will again be readily apparent. Two of the three Opening Day games feature premium pitching matchups, and the third game is highlighted by two of the best shortstops in the Minor Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Mariners: A look at the numbers in 2014

Mariners: A look at the numbers in 2014

SEATTLE -- Numbers, numbers, numbers. Baseball loves 'em, and so do we. Here's a look back at some interesting numerals from the Mariners' 2014 season:

87: Manager Lloyd McClendon racked up the second-most wins ever by a Mariners skipper in his first season, with only Bob Melvin's 93-69 debut in 2003 exceeding McClendon's 87-75 mark. As it stands at the moment, McClendon is the only Mariners manager besides Lou Piniella with an overall winning record during his Seattle tenure. McClendon never won more than 75 games in a season in his five years with the Pirates from 2001-05.

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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.

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McClendon impressed by Miller's strong stretch run

Shortstop overcame rocky first half to become steady bat in Mariners lineup

McClendon impressed by Miller's strong stretch run

SEATTLE -- Here's a trivia question sure to stump even the most hardcore Mariners fans: What two Seattle players had the highest slugging percentages after the All-Star break this year?

If you're going with Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager or Logan Morrison, try again. And while some might correctly come up with Dustin Ackley, whose strong second half put him at a team-leading .476 slugging percentage after the break, most would be hard-pressed to identify shortstop Brad Miller at No. 2 with his .464 mark.

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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.

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Mariners set sights on postseason run in 2015

Returning core gives Seattle reason to hope for October baseball next season

Mariners set sights on postseason run in 2015

SEATTLE -- After achieving just their third winning season in the past 11 years, the Mariners have raised the stakes for 2015. And that's exactly what manager Lloyd McClendon hoped to accomplish when he took over as Seattle's skipper last winter and set about changing the franchise's direction.

Adding Robinson Cano to a young nucleus last year did wonders for a club that chased its first postseason berth since 2001 all the way to the final day of the season. There are now far more pieces in place going forward and a firmer idea of what it'll take to make the postseason a reality.

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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.

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Mariners enter offseason with fewer areas of need

McClendon, Zduriencik excited to build on 16-win turnaround from 2014

Mariners enter offseason with fewer areas of need

SEATTLE -- Lloyd McClendon would love to be heading to work at the ballpark on Wednesday instead of flying home to Indiana to begin his offseason, but the Mariners manager knows how far his club came this year and is already brainstorming ways to get better in 2015.

McClendon and general manager Jack Zduriencik met with the media Tuesday for a season wrapup. They expressed frustration over finishing one game shy of Seattle's first playoff berth since 2001, pride in the 16-win improvement that was made this year and a commitment to doing whatever is needed to take that next step.

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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.

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Hultzen throws well in instructional league finale

Lefty misses 2014 to shoulder surgery; shut down until Spring Training

Hultzen throws well in instructional league finale

SEATTLE -- Left-hander Danny Hultzen, who missed the season following rotator cuff surgery on his left shoulder, threw well in his third instructional league outing of the past few weeks on Tuesday and will be shut down until next spring, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said.

Hultzen, the second overall pick in the 2011 Draft, had major shoulder surgery exactly one year ago on Oct. 1 and spent all this season building his arm back up and rehabbing at the Mariners facility in Peoria, Ariz. He capped off that effort with a 25-pitch outing in a game against young prospects in front of many of the Mariners' top baseball people, and reports were positive.

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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.

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Cano, Felix lead impressive Mariners turnaround

Standout year from second baseman brought Seattle to brink of postseason

Cano, Felix lead impressive Mariners turnaround

SEATTLE -- After the Mariners signed Robinson Cano in December, the questions began ringing out. Why would Cano go to Seattle? What difference will one star make for a franchise that hadn't been to the postseason since 2001?

But the first season for Cano in the Pacific Northwest proved to be a resounding success as the game's premier second baseman helped lead a Mariners revival that took a team nobody expected much from in the spring to the brink of a Wild Card berth with an 87-75 record.

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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.

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Felix bolsters Cy credentials with ERA crown

Felix bolsters Cy credentials with ERA crown

SEATTLE -- There was no way Mariners fans were going to hold back when ace right-hander Felix Hernandez exited for a final time this season.

As Hernandez, 28, walked off the Safeco Field mound on Sunday, all those who gathered to see if he could help Seattle force a postseason play-in game stood and frantically waved their yellow rally towels while chants of "FE-LIX! FE-LIX! FE-LIX!" rocked the stadium.

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Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Mariners activate Montero off suspended list

Hart designated for assignment to make room for Montero

Mariners activate Montero off suspended list

SEATTLE -- Veteran designated hitter Corey Hart was designated for assignment by the Mariners on Monday in a move necessitated by the activation of first baseman Jesus Montero off the suspended list.

Montero had to be returned to the 40-man roster the day after the end of the regular season following his suspension by the club on Sept. 1. That put the Mariners at 41 players on their Major League roster, so Hart was designated for assignment.

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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.

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McClendon: 'Our future is very bright'

McClendon: 'Our future is very bright'

SEATTLE -- In the big picture, the Mariners surprised a whole lot of folks by taking their push for an American League Wild Card berth to the final day of their first season under new manager Lloyd McClendon.

Admittedly, that big picture might take a little time to come into focus, given the immediate disappointment of a frustrating stretch run that saw the Mariners lose 12 of their last 21 games to let their first playoff shot in 13 years just slip from their grasp. Despite finishing on a four-game winning streak, the Mariners' hopes officially ended on Sunday, when the A's clinched the final berth with a 4-0 victory in Texas, making moot Seattle's 4-0 win over the Angels an hour later.

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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.

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Cano, Hernandez, Young honored

Cano, Hernandez, Young honored

SEATTLE -- With the regular season winding to a close, a few Mariners were honored in a ceremony staged by the Baseball Writers' Association of America minutes before Friday night's series opener against the Angels.

There were no surprises.

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Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Mariners announce Minor League Awards

Mariners announce Minor League Awards

SEATTLE -- Double-A Jackson third baseman D.J. Peterson and first baseman/outfielder Jordy Lara are the 2014 Mariners' Minor League Co-Players of the Year, the club announced on Friday.

Peterson, a first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, batted .297 with 31 home runs and 111 RBIs in 123 games split between Jackson and Class A High Desert. He was one of five players in the Minors to hit at least 30 home runs and drive in 100 or more runs.

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Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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