The first you’re going to notice about Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder Trayvon Robinsonis his smile – he can’t keep it off his face.
Acquired from the Dodgers through the Red Sox last week in the Erik Bedard trade, Robinson has spent the last four days hopping from Albuquerque to Tacoma to Anaheim, and he’ll make his big-league debut tonight some 20 miles from his home town of Compton.
“These have been the best four days of my life,” Robinson said “When (Rainiers manager) Daren Brown told me I was coming here, I was shocked. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t cry.”
What did he do?
“I called my little brother. He’s my biggest fan,” Robinson said.
He’ll play left field, bat ninth and wear No. 12 tonight, becoming the 13th rookie the Mariners have started and the ninth to make his major league debut with Seattle this season.
Though he grew up a Dodgers fan, Robinson said his favorite player was Juan Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers, whom he admired as a complete hitter. He quickly pointed out he would no longer root for Texas, though, ‘because they’re in our division.’
Last weekend, Robinson was on a bus with his Dodgers AAA teammates when a team official called and, glancing at his phone, Robinson said he wondered ‘What did I do now?’
“He told me I’d been traded to Boston, and my first reaction was sadness – all I’d known the last six years were the Dodgers, and I loved my teammates,” Robinson said. “He told me to stay by the phone and when he called back he said, ‘You’ve been traded to Seattle.’
“You only get one first time, and I’m going to embrace it, Robinson said. “I have a friend who told me to pluck some grass and put it in my pocket. Everyone in my phone book has called or texted me – my phone died three times in one day.”
With AAA Albuquerque Robinson batted .293 with nine doubles, six triples, 26home runs and 71 RBI in 100 games. He had a .375 on-base percentage and was slugging .563 and had an .938 OPS.