CATCHERSDan WilsonStats: .270, 15 HRs, 74 RBIsScouting...

October 01, 1997|By PETER SCHMUCK, JOE STRAUSS

CATCHERS

Dan Wilson

Stats: .270, 15 HRs, 74 RBIs

Scouting report: Wilson doesn't get a lot of publicity outside Seattle but is a solid defensive catcher who hits for average and produces runs. Behind the plate, he threw out an impressive 41 percent of the runners attempting to steal against him. At the plate, he is particularly tough against left-handed pitching, batting .357 with nine home runs in 129 at-bats. He had four home runs in nine games against the Orioles.

Hot or cold: Wilson batted .298 in his last 70 at-bats.

EDGE

Chris Hoiles, Lenny Webster

Stats: Hoiles - .259, 12 HRs, 49 RBIs; Webster - .255, 7 HRs, 37 RBIs

Scouting report: Each has struggled with a sore Achilles' tendon, and now Webster is also bothered by a sore elbow. Opponents run without pause against Hoiles (left). Webster will catch Scott Erickson in Game 2 and a possible Game 5. Hoiles crushes Randy Johnson.

Hot or cold: Webster is hitting .338 since Aug. 1. Hoiles has hit .231 since returning from the DL July 18

FIRST BASEMEN

Paul Sorrento

Stats: .269, 31 HRs, 80 RBIs

Scouting report: Sorrento set a career high with 31 home runs this year, keeping the heat off a Mariners front office that traded away MVP candidate Tino Martinez two years ago. Strong defensively, he ranked second among American League first basemen with a .997 fielding percentage this year. Sorrento had three homers and six RBIs in 10 games against the Orioles.

L Hot or cold: Sorrento had four hits in his last six at-bats.

Rafael Palmeiro, Jerome Walton

Stats: Palmeiro - .254, 38 HRs, 110 RBIs; Walton - .294, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs

Scouting report: No longer is Palmeiro (left) bothered by lengthy unproductive stretches. He salvaged a sound offensive season with 55 RBIs in his last 68 games. Davey Johnson says he won't start Game 1 against Randy Johnson. Walton probably will start Game 1.

Hot or cold: Palmeiro hit 22 second-half home runs and batted .298 in his last 14 games.

EDGE

SECOND BASEMEN

Joey cora

Stats: .300, 11 HRs, 54 RBIs

Scouting report: Cora is a tough, little second baseman who also played a big role in the Mariners' first postseason appearance, in 1995. He hits for average and has surprising pop for his size. Cora set career highs in hits, doubles, homers and RBIs, and also had a 24-game hitting streak.

Hot or cold: Cora batted .333 with six runs in the last seven games.

Roberto Alomar, Jeff Reboulet

Stats: Alomar - .333, 14 HRs, 60 RBIs; Reboulet - .237, 4 HRs, 27 RBIs

Scouting report: Reboulet has limited range but is sure-handed and healthy. He is a career .314 hitter against Randy Johnson. Alomar (left), a switch-hitter, says he is "about 90 percent" recovered from a strained right groin but still isn't healthy enough to bat right-handed.

Hot or cold: Reboulet started just four of the last 24 games. Why? Alomar had 35 hits in his last 70 at-bats.

EDGE

SHORTSTOPS

Alex Rodriguez

Stats: .300, 23 HRs, 84 RBIs

Scouting report: Rodriguez, 22, didn't match the numbers he put up during his near-MVP year in 1996, but he again showed why he is perhaps the best young player in the game. In his two full major-league seasons, he has averaged 196 hits, 47 doubles, 29.5 home runs and 103.5 RBIs.

Hot or cold: He batted .314 with five homers and 17 RBIs in the final 32 games.

EDGE

Mike Bordick

Stats: .236, 7 HRs, 46 RBIs

Scouting report: The ultimate grinder, Bordick has been everything the Orioles expected defensively but more streaky than anticipated at the plate. His 12 sacrifice bunts are the most by an Oriole since Bill Ripken's 17 in 1990.

Hot or cold: He enters the series on a roll, going 30-for-89 (.337) in his last 27 games.

THIRD BASEMEN

Mike Blowers, Andy Sheets

Stats: Blowers - .293, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs; Sheets - .247, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs

Scouting report: Mariners manager Lou Piniella agonized whether to put injured Russ Davis on the postseason roster for the Division Series but decided against it. Instead, either Blowers (right) or the 25-year-old Sheets will show up there.

Hot or cold: Blowers probably will start Game 1 because he finished strong - batting .357 in the last 31 games.

Cal Ripken

Stats: .270, 17 HRs, 84 RBIs

Scouting report: Questions about his health won't go away, maybe because he hasn't driven the ball for nearly a month. After appearing to play third base in cement shoes for much of August and September, he has lately shown better movement. Recently, he has narrowed his strike zone.

Hot or cold: Ripken hasn't had a multi-hit game since Sept. 5.

EDGE

LEFT FIELDERS

Roberto Kelly

Stats: .291, 12 HRs, 59 RBIs

Scouting report: The Mariners also may use Rich Amaral and Rob Ducey in left, but Kelly closed the season on a tear and gives Seattle more punch at one of the traditional power positions. He had two homers in 12 at-bats against the Orioles this year.

Hot or cold: He batted .419 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his final eight games of the regular season.

B.J.Surhoff, Jeffrey Hammonds

Stats: Surhoff - .284, 18 HRs, 88 RBIs; Hammonds ` .264, 21 HRs, 55 RBIs

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