Leaner Liddi ready to play multiple positions

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Alex Liddi worked to lose weight over the offseason, figuring he needed to get leaner to compete in the outfield if the Mariners asked him to play there more this season.

But after coming to camp at 215 pounds, down from last year's 230, the 6-foot-4 Italian has been impressive enough that he's getting considerable repetitions at third base behind returning starter Kyle Seager in early workouts.

Liddi, 24, said his secret this offseason was getting some dietary help from his parents when he returned home to Sanremo, Italy.

"I'm feeling good," Liddi said Sunday. "I just tried to get in better shape to play multiple positions. So I had to figure out how to lose some weight. My dad was a little more strict, cutting out the pasta and fried foods. Now my body is feeling good right now and hopefully we can go from here and see what happens."

Though Liddi has been taking infield drills at third, he also goes to the outfield to shag balls during batting practice and takes ground balls at first. The youngster has intriguing athletic potential, but he spent most of last year in Triple-A Tacoma after hitting .224 with 49 strikeouts in 116 at-bats with Seattle.

"Third is the most comfortable," said Liddi, who mostly played that position coming up through the Minors. "And then first base. I'm still working at the outfield to get better. The hardest part is reading the ball, knowing where to go get it when you go back. That's what I'm working on during BP."

Manager Eric Wedge said he'll have Liddi work mostly at third initially, given that's where he'll likely spend most of his time this year, then have him get acclimated elsewhere. And, yes, he likes what he's seen early on.

"He's in great shape," Wedge said. "Fantastic shape. He really worked hard this winter."