Being around veteran infielders in September will boost development, Mariners prospect Donnie Walton says
Rookie infielder Donnie Walton had a quiet, yet historic debut for the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Park.
The 25-year-old, who is the No. 28 prospect in Seattle’s organization, was promoted from Double-A Arkansas hours before Seattle’s homestand opener against the Reds, and didn’t enter the game until the ninth inning, when he came in as a defensive replacement at shortstop.
Walton didn’t see any action on his side of the diamond — the first two Reds batters of the inning flew out, and the third and final of the game grounded out to first as the Mariners wrapped up a 4-3 win — but his debut did have plenty of meaning.
He became the 65th player to appear for a rebuilding Seattle team this season, which is a MLB record. The 2014 Rangers previously owned the title for most players used in a single season at 64. The Mariners tied that record earlier Tuesday night, with the debut of outfielder Kyle Lewis, the organization’s No. 10 prospect and another September call-up from Arkansas, who started in right field and homered in his second at-bat. And Walton’s appearance broke it.
Lewis and Walton also became the 18th and 19th Mariners to make their MLB debuts this season, which snapped another record set by the 2014 Rangers.
Seattle will add to both of those record-setting totals before the season ends, when right-hander Justin Dunn (No. 5 prospect) and right-hander Art Warren (No. 26) pitch. Dunn is scheduled to start Thursday, and Warren will work out of the bullpen.