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Mariners send 11 players to Minor League camp

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Mariners send 11 players to Minor League camp play video for Mariners send 11 players to Minor League camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners sent seven more players down to the Minor League camp on Friday evening, including young infielders Carlos Triunfel and Vinnie Catricala, as the club continued whittling down its roster.

Also sent down in the latest round of cuts were outfielders Julio Morban and Francisco Martinez and pitchers Bobby LaFromboise, Yoervis Medina and Andrew Carraway.

Earlier in the day, infielders Alex Liddi and Stefen Romero and catchers Ronny Paulino and John Hicks were sent down. The 11 moves bring the total in camp now to 40 with two weeks to get down to a final 25.

Seven of the players sent down Friday are on the 40-man roster, so they were officially optioned to Minor League clubs. Liddi, LaFromboise, Medina, Catricala and Triunfel were optioned to Triple-A Tacoma, while Martinez and Morban were optioned to Double-A Jackson.

Carraway, Paulino, Romero and Hicks are not on the 40-man, so they were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Morban, 21, hit two home runs in the Mariners' 8-5 victory over the Angels earlier Friday. He and Martinez both received considerable playing time in center field in the past few weeks with Franklin Gutierrez and Casper Wells both sidelined temporarily and Michael Saunders playing in the World Baseball Classic.

Triunfel and Liddi both have spent limited time with the Mariners in the past. Triunfel, 23, played 10 games as a September callup last year and hit .227 in 22 at-bats. Liddi, 24, has played 53 games with Seattle in the past two years with a .224 average in 156 at-bats.

Liddi just finished playing with Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

Paulino, the only Major League veteran in the group, signed with Seattle this offseason on a Minor League deal. But he arrived late to camp due to a visa issue, then hit just .071 (1-for-14) in six Cactus League games.

Hicks has had an excellent spring, but the 2011 Draft pick is just 23, and has never played above Class A ball. He hit .600 (6-for-10) this spring.

Romero, 24, is another youngster who had a strong showing in camp, batting .500 (7-for-14) with two home runs before straining his oblique muscle. He's expected to be sidelined for a few more weeks.

The moves leave the Mariners with 47 players in camp, with more cuts expected after the team plays its second game Friday.

With the departure of Paulino and Hicks, the club has four catchers remaining: Jesus Montero, Kelly Shoppach, Mike Zunino and Jesus Sucre.

The club is also now down to eight outfielders: Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Michael Morse, Carlos Peguero, Eric Thames, Gutierrez, Saunders and Wells.

Friday's moves came on the heels of five pitchers being sent down on Thursday afternoon, including top prospects Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton.

Manager Eric Wedge said it's a matter of streamlining the roster as the club enters the final two weeks of camp. After Friday, there will be no more split-squad days, with 13 Cactus League games remaining before Opening Day on April 1 in Oakland.

"We've got a lot of guys at this point in camp that we've got to make sure they get out and get ready for the season," Wedge said. "It's a point in time in camp where the innings are going to be hard to come by as the starters continue to get stretched out, so they need to go out and get ready to pitch for themselves."

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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