The PCL is naming the Tuscon/Tacoma series this weekend their series of the week
. Also, I forgot to mention earlier that last night's game was the first game in which 1B A.J. Zapp did not have a hit. The eight game streak comes to an end; we mourn its passing.
In the standings right now...
Tacoma 6-4 3rd PCL North
San Antonio 5-4 2nd Texas West
Inland Empire 6-2 1st Cal South
Wisconsin 4-5 T-4th Midwest Western
There is no information yet as to the players of the week, primarily because each league seems to set their own standards for when the playing week ends and the Southern League is the only one that seems to post them before the weekend.
Jason did the players of the week over at InsideThePark
but most of its content is going to be subscription required.
I've just found out from someone who was at the games that the primary reason Greg Jacobs hadn't been playing every day was because he tweaked a hamstring a little in a game agaisnt Midland.
That one's for you, jc.
You know... I want to be clear on this; I support salute to kids weekend (and if the phrase itself is copyrighted by Boeing, my apologies), I think that it's a good idea, good intentions all around. But I believe that there is a certain awkwardness that comes with being the kid who helps out broadcasting. I couldn't concentrate during that inning. I kept on waiting for Rizzs to say something like "Do you like movies about gladiators, Chris?" and I just couldn't think of anything else, or stifle my laughter, for that matter. I'm sorry.
Tuscon 2 (ARI), Tacoma 1
RHP Cha Seung Baek (2.92 ERA) pitched well enough to get a win tonight, going six and a third and allowing only four hits and a walk against seven strikeouts, with his only earned run coming off a homer. RHP Jeff Heaverlo (4.76) followed and couldn't record an out, giving up two walks, but LHP George Sherrill (2.35) got the two strikeouts for him before allowing a run of his own in the next ninning on two hits and two walks, while striking out another two. RHP J.J. Putz (7.20) pitched a hitless ninth. There wasn't much offense tonight, 3B Jose Lopez (RBI, .281 avg) had two hits though. Otherwise, only C Wiki Gonzalez (.263), DH Bucky Jacobsen (2B, .237), and 2B Mickey Lopez (.278) had hits. LHP Bobby Madritsch takes the mound tomorrow.
San Antonio 5, El Paso 12 (ARI)
RHP Elvis Perez (11.37 ERA) just couldn't cut it tonight, going three innings and allowing five runs on five hits, three walks, a hit batter, and a balk against five strikeouts. LHP Chris Key (6.23), a rule V pickup, fared worse allowing seven
runs (four earned) in four innings on seven hits (three HR!) and a walk compared to two strikeouts. LHP Jose Nunez (9.00) finished up the game with a scoreless eight, but by then there wasn't much the batters could do. CF Dustin Delucchi (2 2B, R, 3 RBI, .368 avg) continues to impress picking up three hits on the night in the leadoff spot. There were three guys with two hits on the night, in 3B Greg Dobbs (E, .281), C Jim Horner (.118), and SS Eriberto Menchaca (2 2B, 2 R, RBI, E, .281). The Missions had twelve hits on the night, just as many as the Diablos, but they just couldn't put it together tonight. RHP Juan Done will take the hill tomorrow night.
Inland Empire 1, Lake Elsinore 0 (SD)
Game suspended after the third inning.
Peoria 7 (STL), Wisconsin 2
RHP Nibaldo Acosta (2.40 ERA) didn't fare as well this time around, going six and a third but allowing eight hits, four earned runs and a walk on just three strikeouts. He picked up the loss today. LHP Brandon Perry (3.60) and RHP Bryan Heaston (5.40) allowed a run each in the one and two thirds innings that followed, but RHP Mike Hrynio (2.25) struck out the side in the ninth. The offensive star, no question, was DH Brenton Metheny (2 RBI, .273 avg) (one of many guys I endorse) who picked up three doubles. The rest wasn't as great; RF Chris Colton (R, .156) got a double as well and so did 3B Michael Cox (.111). LHP Eric O'Flaherty will take the mound tomorrow.
The organizational record is now 21-15. But the Mariners won tonight, and that's always crucial.
Better late than never. One of those Friday night things, I suppose. Meanwhile, the winning steak continued, and the organization is now 21-12.
Tuscon 3 (ARI), Tacoma 4
LHP Matt Thornton got the ball in the home opener and was better than last time out, though still a little shaky. He went five innings allowing three hits (one of them a homer) and two earned runs, but had five walks to five strikeouts. LHP Randy Williams followed and pickedu p the win with two innings in which he allowed a hit and a walk while striking out three. RHP Scott Atchison got the save with a walk and two strikeouts in the ninth. Hitting-wise, 2B Jose Lopez was a standout with his two hits, though neither amounted to much. CF Hiram Bocachica (RBI) went 1-2 with two walks and two stolen bases. Not saying much though; the Rainiers were without an extra-base hit. DH Bucky Jacobsen had two RBI for the night on a single. 3B Justin Leone (R) continues to struggle somewhat, going 0-3 and comitting two errors, though he did pick up a walk in the game. After the game, RHP Brad Rose was sent back to the training facility in Peoria, not surprising because he only pitched with Everett last year. RHP Cha Seung Baek gets the start tonight.
San Antonio 9, El Paso 8 (ARI)
RHP Gustavo Martinez was mixed last night; on one hand he was unhittable and got five strikeouts, on the other he walked four and allowed an unearned run. He was, however, the bright spot of the Missions pitching; LHP Jose Nunez (W), RHP Allen Levrault (who many are questioning as an acquisition), LHP Tim Rall, and RHP Emiliano Fruto (S) all allowed at least one run, with Nunez giving up two and Rall allowing three. Where's the Tim Rall that struck out six in two and a third innings not too long ago? In the two hit club for the night there was LF Shin Soo Choo (RBI, .344 avg), DH John Lindsey (2 R, .414 avg), RF Cristian Guerrero (R, RBI, .261 avg), and SS Eriberto Menchaca (2B, R, 2 RBI, .250 avg). Also worth noting were CF Dustin Delucchi (3B, 2 R, 2 RBI) and C Luis Oliveros (2-run HR), batting sixth. 2B hunter Brown was the only player without a hit on the night. RHP Elvis Perez takes the mound tonight.
Lake Elsinore 2 (SD), Inland Empire 3 (10 innings)
It was hard to defend against RHP T.A. Fulmer last night, but the whole of Inland's staff has been above average so far. Modesto has struck out three more than Inland (which has 70), but in ERA they're leading the league by over a point at 1.63. Fulmer went six innings allowing three hits and two unearned runs while walking one batter and striking out eight
. LHP Miguel Martinez followed with two innings in which he allowed two hits and a walk while striking out three. Here's to hoping he gets back on track. LHP Caesar Jimenez picked up the win in the tenth after two hitless innings where he struck out two. On offense, CF Gary Harris had a similar story to Jose Lopez when he picked up two hits but neither added up to anything else. SS Juan Gonzalez (RBI) and 2B Ismael Castro (R, RBI) had a double each and both went 1-5. 3B Scott Spezio, still on rehab, went 0-4 with a strikeout, but managed to pick up an RBI. RHP Rich Dorman will take the hill tonight.
Peoria 1 (STL), Wisconsin 5
LHP Ryan Feierabend picked up the win in a much better outing than last time, going an impressive seven and two-thirds innings while allowing four hits with the only run coming on a solo homer. He also walked one and struck out six. Most impressive was how he only thre 91 pitches and retired twelve straight at one point. RHP Bryan Stitt got the save for the last third of an inning after RHP Juan Ovalles went an inning and allowed two hits and a walk agaisnt two strikeouts. Some surprise offense last night from 2B Oswaldo Navarro (2 2B, RBI) who got three hits. CF Samuel Bradford (2B, R, RBI) and C Chris Collins (2B, R, RBI) picked up two hits each. This was Bradford's first set of hits on the season. DH Wladimir Balentien continued his recent slide going 0-4 and striking out twice. Hope the kid pulls it together. RHP Nibaldo Acosta already pitched the game today, more on that soon.
The PI had an article last night adressing concerns on the Mariners catching depth
, or lack thereof.
An odd note within...
Luis Oliveros, last season's catcher at Inland Empire, also is 20 and still learning. He batted .286 last year but had an on-base percentage of just .263...
Zuh? OBP lower than batting average? For the record, they got the average right, but his OBP was .333, which is decent.
Overall, I've expressed my views on the matter before and sadly don't have time to reiterate all of them before I have to make my latest mad dash downtown, but to summerize...
*I like Oliveros, and many of the pitchers from last year's Inland staff credit him for helping them win the title via his ability to call a game. If he is coming around with the bat, and all signs are pointing to yes, then I'm going to have to endorse him as a solid candidate behind the plate.
*Rivera is probably better in all respects than Oliveros, but is a year behind in the developmental ladder. I don't know how likely it is for him to see time any sooner than two years from now, but I could say the same for Oliveros getting a job next year considering the M's handling of prospects.
*Christianson would be the best option, but he can't stay healthy. LHP Matt Thornton credited Christianson for his breakout in the Cal league and we all know how he can hit. It's just a matter of staying healthy and right now he can't seem to, plain and simple.
Remember when I wrote about how LHP Terry Mulholland had been traded for cash considerations?
Don't spend it all in one place, kids.
Another great night for everyone as the organization record jumps to 17-12. Hey, the Mariners won too, ya know.
Tacoma 14, Las Vegas 7 (LA)
LHP Travis Blackley was rocked again in tonight's outing, going only four and two-thirds innings and allowing six runs (five earned) on ten hits and two walks compared to only two strikeouts. Didn't see this one coming, that's for sure. Luckily, the offense picked up and RHP Jeff Heaverlo got the win with an inning and a third of scoreless relief. The night was capped by LHP Craig Anderson going three innings and allowing a home run to pick up the save. There was a lot of offense on the night. LF Elpidio Guzman (2B, R, 3 RBI) and 3B Jose Lopez (2B, 3 R, RBI) had three hits each. In the two hit club, there was SS Ramon Santiago (2 R), CF Hiram Bocachica, 1B A.J. Zapp (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), C Pat Borders (2 R, RBI), and LF Luis Ugueto (3B, R, 3 RBI), though every starter got one hit. Zapp has hit in every game so far and is sporting a .471 batting average and a .735 slugging percentage. LHP Matt Thornton takes the mound in the Rainiers home opener.
San Antonio 2, El Paso 1 (ARI)
RHP Chris Buglovsky got the start and went six scoreless while only allowing towh its and two walks, getting three strikeouts in the process. RHP Rick Guttormsen followed with an inning and a third, but RHP Jared Hoerman (who went an inning and two-thirds overall) made things a little intense in the ninth by allowing a run to score on three hits. Luckily, he was able to get out of it and pick up his second save, though I can't say I'm terribly confident in his closing abilities and haven't been since last season, really. While CF Dustin Delucchi and 1B Ryan Balfe got two hits each, LF Shin Soo Choo (2 2B, RBI) made his with a little more authority, and is slugging .741 so far. 3B Hunter Brown, who played third as Greg Dobbs got the day off, also hit a homer which turned out to be the deciding run of the game. DH Greg Jacobs got another start today, but unfortunately went 0-4, lowering his hitting and slugging to .600 and 1.533, respectively. C Luis Oliveros also went hitless, lowering his batting average to .353. RHP Emiliano Fruto or RHP Gustavo Martinez will get the start tomorrow.
Inland Empire 7, Bakersfield 1 (TB)
You want fear struck into the heart of the enemy lineup? Try four innings of RHP Rafael Soriano, followed by five of RHP Felix Hernandez, who picked up the win. No contest. Soriano struck out five and allowed a run on a homer, plus another insignificant hit. Hernandez proved to be just sick, allowing two hits and two walks, but striking out ten
. Sorry Raffy, but I gotta hand the game ball to the kid. 1B Matt Hagen (2B, HR, 2 R) had three hits to lead the Sixer's offense. SS Juan Gonzalez (R) and DH Frederico Balet picked up two hits each. 3B Scott Spezio, making the first of three rehab starts, was hitless in two at-bats before being PH for by Matt Rogelstad, who picked up a single. 2B Michael Garciaparra also had a triple and a run scored. RHP T.A. Fulmer takes the mound tomorrow.
Wisconsin 2, Burlington 0 (KC)
RHP Brandon Moorhead picked up the win tonight with six scoreless in which he allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out four. RHP Mike Hrynio and LHP Jason Mackintosh followed with two and a third innings, while RHP Kenly Chang got the save for the final two-thirds. On the offense, there wasn't much to speak of again. SS Adam Jones (RBI) picked up two hits on the night. DH Josh Womack (2 R) had a double, as did 1B Jeremy Dutton (RBI). CF Wladimir Balentien had one of those nights and struck out in each of his four plate appearances. It's going to happen from time to time. LHP Ryan Feierabend will take the mound tomorrow night.
I've also added a link to the recent statistics to the side bar, at the prompting of Corey
. The big kahuna of the stat sheets is near the top, while the others are listed under each team name much further down. More minor league news for all. It's nice to come home and find out every team in the organization has won. Particualrly because I often get to hear the M's blow a game in the ninth while I'm driving back.
Another good night for the organization, who with four wins moves up to 13-12, and a terrible night for the Mariners themselves.
Tacoma 2, Las Vegas 1 (LA)
RHP Clint Nageotte had a more impressive outing tonight, picking up the win and going six and two thirds innings while allowing just one run on six hits and striking out five. LHP George Sherrill followed with an inning and a third scoreless and RHP Scott Atchison picked up the save in the ninth, replacing RHP J.J. Putz who was recalled as RHP Rafael Soriano is sent down to Inland Empire to recover his arm strength. Offensive honors are split amongst the trio of CF Jamal Strong (RBI), 3B Justin Leone (R) and C Pat Borders (HR) for getting two hits each. Oddly enough, LF Luis Ugueto was the only other player to get a hit. LHP Travis Blackley will take the mound tomorrow night.
San Antonio 8, El Paso 3 (ARI)
LHP Troy Cate had another solide start going six innings and allowing one run on six hits and striking out three. LHP Tim Rall followed and wasn't quite as impressive in this outing, allowing a run on two hits in just a third of an inning. The win got picked up by a newcomer, 26 year-old RHP Allen Levrault who spent time between the Marlins and their Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque. Levrault went an inning and two-thirds allowing a run on two hits and a walk, one strikeout. RHP Jared Hoerman, struggling thus far, had a scoreless ninth, but no save. As is becoming a common sight, RF Greg Jacobs (2 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) and C Luis Oliveros (2B, 3 RBI) had tremendous nights at the plate with three hits each to lead the missions. CF Dustin Delucchi, LF Shin Soo Choo (R), and 1B Ryan Balfe (2 R, RBI) didn't do too bad either, with two hits each. RHP Chris Buglovsky should make the start tomorrow. Who is going to fill Bott's place after that? I'm guessing RHP Emiliano Fruto. RHP Gustavo Martinez would be a solid option as well.
Inland Empire 3, Bakersfield 2 (TB)
LHP Bobby Livingston continued to prove his status as ace was justified by going six and two-thirds without allowing a run, striking out five, and giving up four hits and two walks. Livingston hasn't allowed a run yet in fourteen and two-thirds and is helping to ease the loss of Ketchner and Bott, for me at least. RHP Greg Wear picked up the save with a two and two-thirds innings pitched, but allowed two runs to make things a little intense in the ninth. Wear stranded runners at second and third with a groundout to end the game. He allowed four hits overall while striking out a batter. 3B Juan Gonzalez (R) was the only Sixer with two hits in the game. DH Matt Rogelstad (R) picked up a triple, while 2B Ismael Castro (R, RBI) had a double. Castro has hit in all six games thus far, but CF T.J. Bohn's five game hitting streak was snapped. RHP Felix Hernandez will make his second start tomorrow night.
Also, on an added 66ers note, an article last night
detailed some of the defensive highlights of C Rene Rivera, which one has to appreciate...
Catcher Rene Rivera also was critical for the Sixers' defense. He made two key plays to preserve the shutout. With runners on the corners in the third inning, he threw out Irwin Centeno as he tried to steal second. The throw and tag by Michael Garciaparra came in an instance before the other base runner Gabriel Martinez crossed home plate.
Rivera also put his body on the line in the seventh. With a runner on second and two outs, Eric Reece poked a single into right field. With Shawn Riggans heading for home, Bohn's throw home was off line. Rivera went into foul territory to catch the throw, then dove head-first across home plate to tag Riggans for the out.
Brown was impressed by Rivera's willingness to take a hit.
"The kid likes to play the game the only way he knows how to play hard,' he said. "I want 25 guys who will stick up for his teammates like that. It's good to see that in the fifth game of the year.'
Wisconsin 1, Burlington 0 (KC)
LHP Thom Oldham was stunning again going five scoreless while allowing three hits, two walks and striking out four, picking up the win in the process. RHP Bryan Heaston, LHP Brandon Perry, and RHP Bryan Stitt followed to hold the Bees scoreless. Stitt picked up the save; I'm assuming he's the closer from now on. The T-Rats won despite getting only two hits, so there isn't much offense to speak of. CF Wladimir Balentien got his extra-base hit, a double, in for the day, and managed to take a walk as well. 2B Oswaldo Navarro got the only other hit, a double after which he scored the sole run on an error. RHP Brandon Moorhead takes the mound tomorrow.
It was a good night for the minors, they all won and the organization record jumps to 9-12.
Tacoma 7, Las Vegas 6 (LA)
LHP Bobby Madritsch got the start and the win tonight, going six innings while allowing eight hits, five runs (two earned), walking one, and striking out three. RHP Jeff Heaverlo followed with two innings of scoreless relief before RHP J.J. Putz picked up the save despite allowing a run. The offense had a few stars tonight, most notable is 1B A.J. Zapp (2 R, RBI) who has hit in every game thus far and had four hits tonight. Also worth noting was CF Jamal Strong (2B, 2 R, RBI) and LF/RF Hiram Bocachica (Grand Slam) getting three hits each. RHP Clint Nageotte toes the rubber tomorrow.
San Antonio 8, Midland 7 (OAK)
RHP Juan Done was less than impressive in his first start, going only three and a third while giving up four runs on six hits and five walks compared to a single strikeout. The bullpen picked up some of the slack, LHP Chris Key got the win after allowing a run on two hits in two and two thirds, striking out four along the way. RHP Ricky Guttormsen picked up the save in the ninth with a hit allowed and two strikeouts. DH John Lindsey (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) got three hits on the game to lead the Missions. LF Shin-soo Choo (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), 3B Greg Dobbs (R), 1B Ryan Balfe (2B, R, RBI), and SS Eriberto Menchaca (2B, RBI) all had two hits each. LHP Troy Cate takes the mound tomorrow.
Inland Empire 7, Bakersfield 0 (TB)
Everything clicked for Inland tonight. RHP Juan Sandoval went six, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two. RHP David Viane followed an inning and a third, in which he allowed three hits and somehow left unscathed. LHP Melvin Pizarro went the next two-thirds and RHP Darwin Soto finished up with an inning in which he allowed two hits and struck out two. RF T.J. Bohn (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) gets the gold star tonight for his three hits. 2B Ismael Castro (2B, 2 R), LF Jon Nelson (R, RBI), and C Rene Rivera (2 RBI) all had two hits. LHP Bobby Livingston will be on the mound tomorrow.
Wisconsin 5, Burlington 3 (KC)
LHP Eric O'Flaherty went five on the night allowing only an unearned run on five hits and two walks, striking out three. He didn't get the win though, instead that went to RHP Juan Ovalles, who had not yet pitched and showed some rust by allowing two runs on two walks and two hits, while also striking out three in his two and two-thirds innings. RHP Bryan Stitt got the save in the ninth and struck out a batter. Dual honors go to SS Adam Jones (2 2B, 2 R, RBI) and C Chris Collins (2 2B, 3 RBI) for their two hits on the night. DH Chris Colton also got a triple, while CF Wladimir Balentien hit a homer and struck out twice. Now that's the Wlad we know and love. LHP Thom Oldham will start tomorrow night.
There's a press release
stating that the M's have actually traded
Terry Mulholland to the Twins for cash considerations.
I called it. Terry Mulholland always
gets traded. No baseball season is complete without it.
Regarding last night's Rainiers game, there's a piece in the Tribune
which gives some insight into the three home runs Baek allowed...
Credit Cha-Seung Baek with a win, George Sherrill with a save and Randy Williams with a helpful hint.
Sitting in the Tacoma Rainiers' dugout, relief pitcher Williams noticed that starting pitcher Baek was tipping his pitches, three of which were launched for home runs.
Baek adjusted his delivery and delivered the Rainiers a 6-4 victory over the Las Vegas 51s on Monday night at Cashman Field.
"We noticed he was tipping some pitches," manager Dan Rohn said. "(Pitching coach Rafael Chaves) went out and told him and he made the adjustment. Then he pitched outstanding."
I'm debating whether or not I'm going on strike
I don't know that Bott had a future with the club. I think Ketchner was still the better pitcher, but having Bott around made me feel not so bad about it. Left-handers, great peripherals... Now the M's had reaquired a dime-a-dozen bullpen righty who they just traded, and are puting C Ryan Christianson on unconditional release waivers to open a spot on the roster. Here's a bright question: Why didn't you guys just put Christianson on the 60-day DL earlier?
It's times like these I question why the hell the M's have a minor league system at all.
Tacoma 6, Las Vegas 4 (LA)
RHP Cha Baek picked up the win today, despite a curious line. In six innings he allowed seven hits and three earned runs, all of which came off of solo shot homers. LHP Randy Williams followed with an inning and a third, after which RHP J.J. Putz allowed an unearned run while working an inning. LHP George Sherrill picked up the save by striking out the final guy in the ninth. 1B A.J. Zapp is continuing his hitting tear and was a triple short of the cycle, going 3-5. In his other two at-bats, unsurprisingly, he struck out. CF Jamal Strong (R), C Wiki Gonzalez (HR), and 2B Mickey Lopez (2 R, HR) also got two hits. LHP Bobby Madritsch should take the mound tomorrow night.
San Antonio 2, Midland 5 (OAK)
Not a lot of good here. RHP Elvis Perez got the loss, and only lasted 3.1 innings in his first start, allowing six hits and three walks which led to four runs, three earned. RHP Gustavo Martinez followed with a strange line, 2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 SO. How did this happen? Passed ball by Oliveros. LHP Jose Nunez and RHP Ricky Guttormsen finished the game with two and a third scoreless innings. Offensive player of the game honors go to both RF Cristian Guerrero and 1B Jon Lindsey. Both got two hits, both had a homer. RHP Juan Done may get the start tomorrow.
Wisconsin 0, Burlington 3 (KC)
What to say. Well, let's face it, the T-Rats were no hit by two pitchers. From the pitching end FOR the T-rats, RHP Nibaldo Acosta had a strong start, seven innings, two hits, two strikeouts. LHP Brandon Perry followed and got the loss by allowing two unearned runs. RHP Mike Hrynio followed in a third of an inning in which he allowed the only earned run of the game. Probable starter for tomorrow is LHP Eric O'Flaherty.
The organizational record is now 5-12.
The end of spring training rush has caught up with the Mariners (and every other team in baseball) and this has resulted in a tidal wave of released players. According to BA
, these players were...
Released RHPs David Bernat, Francisco Graterol, David Morrow, Scott Patterson, Brian Strelitz and Julien Tucker, 3B Matt Boone, LHPs Oscar Delgado, Justin Dowdy, Samuel Goure and Beau Hintz, Cs Brock Griffin and Nicholas Udy and SSs Corey Harrington, James Hymon, Tim Merritt and Ivan Reyes, 2B Josh Hoffpauir and OF Eric Owens. Traded LHP Ryan Ketchner and RHP Aaron Looper to Dodgers for OF Jolbert Cabrera.
I'll only have time for a fairly quick review for each guy. Bernat never quite made it out of Peoria. Graterol was a VSL transplant who didn't pitch last year (not exactly young either for his first year). Morrow was realtively unimpressive starter who bounced around a lot. Patterson was a non drafted signed not long ago. Strelitz was pitcher we picked up when the Yankees released him and was effective, despite unimpressive numbers, in Inland and San Antonio. Tucker was a soon to be 31 year-old right hander who has never seen Triple-A. Boone is the least talented of the trio. Delgado was fairly effective, but repeated Wisconsin last year at age 22 (believed, sometimes these things come up in ST). Dowdy was an 18th round pick by the White Sox out of high school in 2001 and a 5.92 ERA just won't cut it if you're a lefty in our system. Goure was an indie league signing who played briefly in Venezuela this winter. Hintz has been up and down in low minors recovering from surgeries for quite some time. Griffin was a catcher who couldn't even hit the Mendoza line with his slugging percentage. Udy was all around our minor league system last year, but we have no room for spare catchers who hit just above Mendoza. Harrington hurts a little, he was pretty much the MVP of Wisconsin the firsth alf of last year and a great utility player. Hymon: 23, SS, .148 avg., 'nuff said. Merritt was a former third round pick out of college who never quite lived to potential. Reyes and Hoffpauir were both six-year minor league FAs we picked up in the offseason. Eric Owens, you should know already from spring training.
Tacoma 3, Tuscon (ARI) 11
LHP Matt Thornton didn't have his best control going in his outing today, giving up six earned runs on six hits and three walks in four innings, while striking out only one. Hard to fault just him, though, RHP Scott Atchison, the mystery man of the Tacoma staff (why is he still in Tacoma when the top levels are overrun with pitching? it's a mystery), allowed a home run in his two innings of work. Meanwhile, RHP Jeff Heaverlo, now pitching primarily in relief, was knocked around for three runs in his two innings, in which he allowed five hits while striking out three. On the bright side, 3B Justin Leone has finally got into swing, finishing with two RBIs and a triple away from the cycle. 1B A.J. Zapp (2B, R) wasn't bad either, getting two hits in. So far, he's the only guy who has hit in each game of the season, showing up in his .412 average. He's struck out four times so far on the year. RHP Cha Seung Baek takes the hill tomorrow against the Las Vegas 51s.
Inland Empire 3, Lake Elsinore (SD) 5
Despite two home runs in the ninth inning, the Inland comeback bid fell short this evening. RHP Rich Dorman got the start and was fairly impressive, despite not having his best control. He went five and a third innings and allowed one earned run on three hits and four walks, seven strikeouts. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith followed him making his first appearance of the season, but allowed three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning, with three hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. In terms of offense, 2B Ismael Castro got a double and LF Jon Nelson picked up his second triple. RF TJ Bohn had two hits. 1B Matt Hagen and C Rene Rivera, hitting eighth and ninth respectively, both hit home runs in the ninth. Inland has a day off tomorrow, but RHP Juan Sandoval is the probable starter for Tuesday.
The current organization record is 4-10.
3B Justin Leone got his first hit!!!!1!1! A home run, into the wind!
Oh yeah, the Mariners won their first game too.
Tacoma 1 Tuscon 4, top third.
Inland 1 Lake Elsinore 5 eight inning.
To clarify a recent question I posed about the rotation in Wisconsin, both RHP Nibaldo Acosta and LHP Eric O'Flaherty would seem to be in the rotation. The reason both were up and pitching in the season opener on April 8th is likely due to the fact that today is an off day for Wisconsin after playing only three games. Inland Empire may be doing the same thing with RHP Tanner Watson due to their off day tomorrow.
Also, word out of San Antonio is that today's game at Midland has been postponed. Nothing yet on the causes or when the game is likely to be made up.
Update: Apparently, there are some storms moving through Texas right now, and that's the reason why the game was postponed.
The Everett Herald put up a organization-wide minor league preview
earlier today. It's really quite detailed so far as Tacoma goes but it sort of drops off from there, though it still covers all the important points.