Aaron Looper has received the second opinion on his right elbow and is looking like he'll be needing Tommy John surgery. Tommy John isn't the scary thing it once was. While, clearly, few pitchers would want
it (though some do anyway, because of the increased velocity that sometimes comes with it), it's a pretty polished science at this point and not too serious anymore. Regardless, Looper will be out for the rest of the season and Hoerman is probably going to stay in Tacoma for now. Now if the Mariners really wanted to get creative with the roster, they could move Looper to the 60-day DL and use the vacancy to put Sherrill on the roster, but they almost never do anything of the sort so I wouldn't push the idea too much.
This news about Looper comes from Sidney Sherrill, who heard it from George earlier today. Thanks Sidney!
Oh, and the recaps are still delayed. What happens sometimes when there are doubleheaders, is that the people over at SportsNetwork forget that there are two individual, and thus, different games. As a result, the data for the second game usually ends up overwriting the first, until they figure it out and go back, track down all the information from the previous game, put that up, realize they've now erased the second game, track down the information for the second game, and then set it up in a new box score. Now you understand why they frustrate me. That and the fact that their transactions have no archive.
There are new Texas League
rankings over at OnDeckBaseball. To summarize, OF Shin-Soo Choo is on the first team, OF Greg Jacobs is on the second, OF Dustin Delucchi is on the third team, 3B Greg Dobbs and C Luis Oliveros are on the fourth team, and LHP Troy Cate and RHP Chris Buglovsky are on the fifth team. Overall, Choo is 7th, so he's had no changes, and Jacobs is 25th.
By comparison, Jacobs dropped from the first team and from the 20th spot. Oliveros dropped from the third team and the 18th spot to being unranked. Dobbs jumps from fourth team to third. Cate and Buglovsky go from fourth team to fifth. Eddie Menchaca (5th team) and Emiliano Fruto (3rd team) dropped off entirely.
Game recaps soon, provided SportsNetwork/MILB.com didn't screw up the doubleheader box scores again (which they did). I would like to voice my strong dislike for the SportsNetwork and its affiliates. I still say MILB.com was better without them. It is faster, but not really better.
The Tacoma doubleheader today has been cancelled again due to rain. One of these games will be made up tomorrow in another doubleheader, the other during a doubleheader when Salt Lake visits Tacoma next.
Tacoma's game against Salt Lake today was postponed due to weather. It will be made up tomorrow in double header with LHP Travis Blackley and LHP Craig Anderson getting the starts.
Wichita 7 (KC), San Antonio 3
LHP Troy Cate (5.22, L) was doing fine through the first five innings, allowing just four batters to reach base, but then he couldn't get an out in the sixth. He ended up allowing three earned runs overall on seven hits and two walks while striking out two. RHP Elvis Perez (8.04), who is being skipped in the rotation for now, allowed a hit and a strikeout in his two-thirds that followed. LHP Jose Nunez (7.62) came after him and put the game further out of reach by allowing two earned on five hits (HR) and a walk with a punch out. RHP Allen Levrault (6.14) went through the final inning and a third with a strikeout. RF Shin Soo Choo (2B, R, RBI, .281) was the only Mission with two hits in the night, though every other Mission had one hit except C Jim Horner (.256) and 2B Rob Gandolfo (.278). SS Eddie Menchaca (2B, .205) and 3B Greg Dobbs (HR, .338) had theirs go for extra bases. RHP Chris Buglovsky tomorrow.
Inland Empire 2, San Jose 12 (SF)
Put simply, RHP T.A. Fulmer (4.68, L) was destroyed. For a pitcher who had done so well, you don't expect to see this line: three innings, eleven hits, TEN RUNS, one walk, five strikeouts, TWO HOME RUNS. Hope nothing's wrong with his arm. RHP Tanner Watson (5.27) followed and made things worse as he let three of Fulmers runs to score and one of his own in three innings where he allowed three hits and struck out four. RHP Darwin Soto (9.31) went the final two without allowing an earned run, two hits, two walks, one strikeout. Very few Sixers got hits tonight, as one can plainly see. SS Juan Gonzalez (R, .336), 3B Jesus Guzman (E, .286), CF Gary Harris (2B, RBI, .245), 2B Matt Rogelstad (3B, R, .250) and C Rene Rivera (.312) were the ones with the hits. Guzman is putting up a .286/.375/.371 line right now, which isn't at all bad for a US debut. RHP Rich Dorman tomorrow.
Battle Creek 6 (NYY), Wisconsin 11
LHP Thom Oldham (4.50) was fairly shaky in his four innings, giving up six runs on nine hits (3 HR!!) and two walks while striking out three. RHP Bryan Heaston (1.50, W) picked up from there, going two and two-thirds while allowing two hits, two walks, and ringing up five. LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.38) went the final two and a third innings giving up a hit and striking out two. The T-Rats seemed to have a lot of pent up frustration in their bats, and it showed. 1B Brenton Metheny (2B, 3B, 3 RBI, .231), a late replacement for Dutton who hit the bag funny during drills, led the way with his three hits, leaving him a homer short of cycling. LF Josh Ellison (2 2B, 3 R, .429), SS Adam Jones (R, RBI, .248), DH Evel Bastida-Matrinez (R, RBI, .204), and CF Chris Colton (R, .214) all had two hits. RF Josh Womack (R, RBI, .221), batting fifth, was the only T-Rat without a hit. Still no Balentien. RHP Brandon Moorhead tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 16-10, .615, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 15-11, .577, 2 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 19-10, .655, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 12-16, .429, 5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 62-47, .569
OnDeckBaseball has updated rankings from the California League
. The new rankings have Felix as a starting pitcher on the first team; 2B Ismael Castro, LHSP Bobby Livingston, and LHRP Miguel Martinez on the second team; 3B Jesus Guzman, SS Juan Gonzalez, and RHSP T.A. Fulmer on the third team; C Rene Rivera and LHRP Cesar Jimenz on the fourth team; 3B Matt Rogelstad on the fifth team; and OFs T.J. Bohn and Carlos Arroyo, and LHRP Ryan Rowland-Smith on the sixth team. In terms of overall rankings, Felix is #1, Jesus Guzman is 18th, Bobby Livingston is 20th, Juan Gonzalez is 29th, Rene Rivera is 34th, T.A. Fulmer is 35th, and Matt Rogelstad comes in at 39th.
The initial rankings can be found here
, but to summarize significant movements: Castro and Livingston (19-->21) moved up to the second team, Rogelstad (24-->39) dropped to the fifth team from the second, Rivera (40-->34) and Jimenez, dropped from the third team to the fourth, Gonzalez moved up from fourth to third, Rowland-Smith drops from the third to the sixth team, Bohn and Arroyo and Guzman made their debut on the lists, Sandoval dropped off entirely.
Someone recently left a comment in one of these posts concerning recently signed Taiwanese RHP Chia-An Huang. They add that their cousin in Taiwan has seen Huang and likens him to Colorado Rockies top prospect RHP Chin-Hui Tsao
. Tsao, for those unfamiliar, was the first Taiwanese pitcher in the majors and has impressed all in his minor league career. In 58 minor league career starts, he has a 2.57 ERA, a K/BB of 4.60, 333 innings pitched, and an average against of .213 (rough calculation on that last one, so forgive me). Huang is reported to be similar in build to Tsao as well. All in all, it looks like the M's have a pretty good pitcher on their hands, with the potential to be great.
Friday's Daily Dish in Baseball America is devoted to RHP Felix Hernandez
. This is likely to become a trend soon, as everyone seems to love Kid K. It's free, so please do check it out, but here are some interesting tidbits...
"The main thing for him is velocity, obviously, but not only on his fastball," Inland Empire pitching coach Dwight Bernard said. "He's got two real power breaking balls. There's no question his curve is a true power curve, low 80s, and it's a real good pitch. We don't like him to throw his slider, but he pops it up there a couple of times a game, and it's 87-88. Then you have his fastball touching 98, and he's pitching at a solid 95-96. It's premium stuff."
"I think his teammates respect him, not only his stuff but his demeanor and the way that he carries himself," Bernard said. "He has enough cockiness that you need to succeed on the mound, but he also knows when to trust his teammates."
Interesting that they're rather hesitant to have him throw the slider, but perhaps they want to protect his elbow a bit, I'm not certain. Still, when this kid comes up to the majors, man, will it be fun to watch.
Also, in the shameless self-promotion department, my latest article is up at ITP, a Player/Pitcher of the Month
piece for April. Those who have been paying attention of late should have some easy guesses as to who might show up on that list. It's free as well, so don't worry about having to sign up for anything.
Edmonton 1 (MON), Tacoma 4
RHP Clint Nageotte (4.15) got the start and seemed to be more himself this time around, giving up a run on three hits (HR), walking two, and striking out six in his five innings of work. He was followed by RHP Scott Atchison (4.43) who went two and a third allowing only a hit and a walk as he punched out two. LHP George Sherrill (1.53, S) went the final inning and two-thirds to pick up the save, allowing a walk and striking out two. That means that Sherrill's average against is down to a sick .188 and he's still striking out 41% of the total batters he's facing. Meanwhile, the roster spot went to Borders. Kind of a shame but not the end of the world at all. DH Hiram Bocachica (HR, 2 RBI, .245) and C Ben Davis (2B, R, .667) picked up two hits each, a fine debut for Ben. CF Jamal Strong (R, .396), 2B Mickey Lopez (2B, R, RBI, .310), and LF Michael Nesbit (RBI, .200) all had a hit each. 3B Justin Leone (.264) and SS Jose Lopez (.293) both saw time at their natural positions, but unfortunately went a collective 0-6. LHP Travis Blackley tonight.
Witchita 4 (KC), San Antonio 6
RHP Juan Done (5.55) had a typical outing for him, six frames, three runs on four hits and four walks, three strikeouts. LHP Tim Rall (4.11) followed with two innings in which he gave up a run on two hits and rung up two batters. RHP Rick Guttormson (3.86, S) had a scoreless ninth and punched out two. This game belonged to CF Dustin Delucchi (2 2B, 3 R, .371) and 3B Greg Dobbs (3 2B, R, 3 RBI, .338), who both went 3-4. LF Greg Jacobs (2 RBI, .420) added his usual two hits into the mix. RF Shin Soo Choo (R, RBI, .275) and SS Eddie Menchaca (R, .200) also had hits. LHP Troy Cate tonight.
Inland Empire 10, Stockton 6 (TEX)
RHP Felix Hernandez (2.56) got the start and went five frames giving up a run on four hits and a walk while ringing up five. RHP Darwin Soto (11.74) and struggled quite a bit in relief, giving up five run on three hits and three walks while striking out two in just an inning and a third of work. Luckily, LHP Miguel Martinez (5.40, W) stepped in and went an inning and two-thirds allowing only one hit while striking out four. RHP David Viane (1.17) preserved the ninth with a strikeout. Some serious offense for the Sixers last night, as you can plainly see; SS Juan Gonzalez (2 RBI, .340) and C Rene Rivera (2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, .311) had three hits a piece. RF T.J. Bohn (3B, 2 R, .340) and 3B Jesus Guzman (2 R, 2 RBI, .273, what, me overmatched?) had two hits each. CF Gary Harris (.245) was the only Sixer to go hitless. RHP T.A. Fulmer tonight.
Beloit 5 (MIL), Wisconsin 2
Well, put rather bluntly, LHP Eric O'Flaherty (3.07) got screwed out of another win. The Walla Walla native went seven frames and allowed two earned runs on seven hits (HR) and a walk while punchign out six. RHP Kenly Chang (6.19) followed in the eighth by giving up another earned run on two hits with a strikeout. RHP Bryan Stitt (E, 1.88) allowed two hits in the ninth. LF Josh Ellison (3B, R, .412) had two hits, but aside from a single by SS Adam Jones (2 RBI, 2 E, .240). To be quite honest, the T-Rats defense is scaring me a little. And Balentien is still strangely absent, though I hope he's still working hard. LHP Thom Oldham tonight.
Tacoma Rainiers: 16-10, .615, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 15-10, .600, 2 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 19-9, .679, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 11-16, .407, 5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 61-45, .575
Sorry for the delays, I was out last night and didn't come back until 3 AM.
The News Tribune is reporting that RHP Aaron Looper has been placed on the disabled list
with "still-undiagnosed elbow discomfort". He was replaced by RHP Jared Hoerman. Hoerman, 27, has been a perenial canditate for minor league saves leader since converting to the closer role in 2002. Last season, he had 36 saves, second in the minor leagues, although he had a 3.84 ERA, a .352 average against, and K/BB of around 2.43. This all came after getting a rather rough start to the year, so take it with a grain of salt. This year he's been handling himself better in his repeat run in San Antonio; a 3.00 ERA, 8 saves... but stil a .361 average against and a K/BB of 2.00. More than a lot of guys, he symbolizes the odd fascination with the closer role.
RHP Ricky Guttormson will take over closing duties in Hoerman's absence. No word yet on how long Looper is expected to be out.
The PI Mariners blog is reporting that Ben Davis has been optioned to Tacoma and C Pat Borders will be taking his place
. Well, there goes your roster spot on the 40-man. It would have been Wiki Gonzalez, but Wiki pulled his quad, and well, you know the rest. On the plus side, Tacoma will actually play Ben Davis and eventually things will start clicking more and more. Plus, it couldn't hurt, with the likelihood that a number of pitchers on this team will be making the jump to the big leagues in the next year or so.
In the AL West Notebook
of Baseball America (subscriber only content), they have some interesting nots on Balentien which seem to be in keeping if what I've been saying, though they ignore the fact that he's been on the bench of late...
Balentien, 19, will get a chance to prove himself in a full season at low Class A Wisconsin. He has already surprised the Mariners by showing he's not just a pull hitter, showing good power to all fields and an improved knowledge of the strike zone.
Hunter is also quick to point out that Balentien is more than just a pure slugger.
"He's a strong kid who has a nice swing, but he's also got a very strong arm," Hunter said. "He's a good enough athlete to play all the outfield spots. He'll likely end up in left or right field."
I've made the comments before on his knowledge of the strike zone improving, but the all-fields power and strong arm were things I hadn't hear about before. Excellent stuff... I'm hoping he'll get some playing time and string some good at-bats together soon.
Edmonton 1 (MON), Tacoma 2
LHP Bobby Madritsch (2.86, W) went seven frames in the duel and gave up a run on two hits and walk while striking out six. LHP Randy Williams (1.08, S) went the final two giving up a walk and striking out a batter. On offense, CF Jamal Strong (2B, .408) had two hits and 3B Jose Lopez (HR, .302) hit his sixth bomb to tie him with LF Justin Leone (.274) for the team lead. DH Bucky Jacobsen (.278), 1B A.J. Zapp (.307), C Pat Borders (.233), and Leone all had singles. Not much else, though RF Hiram Bocachica (.222) made his return and went 0-4. RHP Clint Nageotte hopes to get back on track tomorrow.
Inland Empire 7, Stockton 1 (TEX)
It's the LHP Bobby Livingston (1.31, W) show! The Sixers ace went six inning giving up a run on six hits (HR) and struck out six. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (3.68, S) got another three inning save and allowed two hits, two walks, and had two punchouts. It seems that Rowland-Smith, who has started off an on in his career, does better when he's given longer outings. On offense, lots of hits, LF Jon Nelson (2 RBI, .307), DH Carlos Arroyo (2 R, .315), and 1B Pichi Balet (RBI, .290) all had two hits each. SS Juan Gonzalez (2B, 2 R, .327), 2B Hyung Cho (.286), CF Garry Harris (3B, R, RBI, .257), RF T.J. Bohn (HR, 2 R, .333) and C Rene Rivera (2 RBI, .290) all had hits. 3B Matt Rogelstad (.250) continues his offensive slump. Also, in an e-mail tonight, Mike Saeger informs me that Michael Garciaparra has torn ligaments and a cast on his left wrist, so that means more Jesus Guzman from now until June or so. RHP Felix Hernandez tomorrow.
Beloit 9 (MIL), Wisconsin 8
How often do you see a a slugfest in the Midwest League? RHP Nibaldo Acosta (2.67) was a little less polished than usual, six innings, three earned runs, five hits (HR), a walk, six strikeouts. LHP Jason Mackinotsh (4.09, L) followed and allowed three unearned runs on a walk, so you can tell, lots of errors in this one. RHP Bryan Heaston (1.76) followed with two-thirds of zeroes and allowed a hit, but got both of his outs on the third strike. LHP Brandon Perry (5.54) went another frame and allowed two unearned on three walks. RHP Mike Hrynio (5.73) closed out the game with a nothing ninth. Two-hits abound tonight, with LF Josh Ellison (R, .357), 1B Chris Collins (R, 2 RBI, .246), DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (2B, R, .200), 3B Michael Cox (2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI, E, .220), and C Justin Ruchti (R, .267) earning that distinction. SS Adam Jones (2B, 2 R, 2 E, .239) also had a hit. LHP Eric O'Flaherty tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 15-10, .600, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 14-10, .583, 2 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 18-9, .667, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 11-15, .423, 5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 58-44, .569
Injuries abound, according to the News Tribune's Rainiers notebook
. C Wiki Gonzalez IS on the DL and they've called up C Brian Moon from extended spring training to replace him. RHP Aaron Looper complained of elbow pain and is now un the shelf until we get an MRI. Hindsight is 20/20, but if we lost Bott so Looper can have elbow surgery... well, ouch, that's all I can say. Uggy has a bruised heel, hence why he left last night's game early. Basically, with Leone on at third, Ugueto hit a grounder which Song airmailed into the Trappers' dugout, awarding Uggy two bases on an error. Except he had hurt himself after tagging first and limped out into right field. The Trappers appealed that he had never tagged second base before heading back to the clubhouse, and he was called out.
Oh, also, the San Bernadino paper notes that LF Jon Nelson had a ten-game hitting streak that was snapped last night, and during that time he had raised his average by .131. Wow.
Baseball America has FINALLY gotten around to doing another transaction update
Signed C Ryan Christianson, RHP Allen Levrault and IF Taylor Pullins. Traded LHP Glenn Bott to Dodgers for RHP Aaron Looper. Sold LHP Terry Mulholland to Twins.
Most of this we already knew. Ryan Christianson was an assumption by most, but since it wasn't really confirmed in any way, I didn't report it. My feelings on Christianson are that he would be, unquestionably, the top catching prospect in the system provided he was healthy. He can call games, he can hit, he can do everything but stay healthy. He wasn't deserving of a 40-man roster spot, but I'm glad we somehow retained him. Pullins
is a guy who I had never heard about, but he played for Dixie JC and University of Nevada. He hit .237/.262/.299 last year for the Cook County Cheetahs of the Frontier League playing primarily shortstop. I'm not exactly sure what the M's saw in him, but then again, I had no idea what they saw in Melvin Pizarro
either and that seems to be paying dividends. One possible theory I have, albeit, a shot in the dark, is that this may be partially at the recommendation of Inland Empire LF Jon Nelson, who has the same hometown as Pullins (Orem, Utah) and also played at Dixie JC, from what I remember. Like I said, shot in the dark, but the coincidences are noticable and I think that San Antonio CF Dustin Delucchi had some input on the M's signing his former teammate, IE 1B/DH Pichi Balet, so it's not entirely outside the realm of possiblity.
Edmonton 4 (MON), Tacoma 8
In the duel of the two South Koreans, RHP Cha Seung Baek (4.56, W) got the start for the Rainiers and went five and two-thirds innings allowing two earned runs on nine hits (HR) while he struck out four. RHP Aaron Looper (4.26) went the next two and a third and allowed a run on three hits. LHP George Sherrill (1.69) closed out the game with a hit and a strikeout, bumping his avg. against ever so slightly to .203. Free George Sherrill! Had to get that out. In the two-hit club for tonight, we have DH bucky Jacobsen (2B, R, RBI, .276), 2B/3B Jose Lopez (2 2B, R, RBI, .298), who is looking like the real deal, C Pat Borders (HR, .232), 3B/LF Justin Leone (3B, HR, 3 R, .272), who is also looking real enough for me, and 2B Mickey Lopez (R, RBI, .328). Those wondering about the whole position switch thing, LF Luis Ugueto left after one at bat. No word yet on how serious that might be. 1B A.J. Zapp (.306) had another surprising 0-4. LHP Bobby Madritsch tomorrow, should be a good game.
San Antonio 6, Tulsa 4 (COL)
RHP Gustavo Martinez (3.16, W) got the start and went six frames giving up four runs on six hits (HR) and three walks while striking out EIGHT. LHP Chris Key (4.74) followed with two frams that included a walk and a strikeout. RHP Jared Hoerman (3.00, S) closed out the ninth giving up a base hit to get his eighth save. Only time will tell whether last year's ERA jump was a fluke. 3B Hunter Brown (HR, 2 RBI, .259) continued his hot streak by going 3-4. C Jim Horner (2 2B, R, RBI, .275) had two hits. The only Mission to go hitless was 1B John Lindesy (.302), which is most peculiar. RHP Elvis Perez on Thursday.
Inland Empire 4, Stockton 10 (TEX)
Not at all a good game for the Sixers. RHP Juan Sandoval (4.88, L) went four and two-thirds giving up five runs on nine hits and three walks while punching out four. LHP Cesar Jimenez (3.65) followed with an inning and two-thirds where he gave up two earned runs on three hits and walk while striking out three. RHP Tanner Watson (5.91) went the final inning and two-thirds and gave up two runs on a hit and two walks. Every Sixers pitcher allowed one home run tonight. On offense, CF Gary Harris (3B, R, 2 RBI, .260) seems to be breaking out of his slump with another two hits tonight, but otherwise only DH Carlos Arroyo (3B, R, .300) and C Rene Rivera (RBI, .292) got hits. LHP Bobby Livingston tomorrow!!!
Beloit 2 (MIL) Wisconsin 8
Very quietly, LHP Ryan Feierabend (3.45, W) is becoming one of the more promising pitchers in the organization. He went seven frames tonight giving up two runs on five hits (HR) with two walks and two strikeouts. RHP Juan Ovalles (6.94), recently referred to by the USS Mariner as our own Nuke Laloosh, went the final two innings allowing one hits and punching out two. LF Josh Ellison (2B, 3 R, .300) had a big night in the leadoff spot, going 3-4. CF Chris Colton (3B, 2 RBI, .224) picked up two hits. Oh, and those wondering why Wladimir Balentien hasn't been around for a few games now: he's struck out in 37% of his at-bats. Sad, but true. RHP Nibaldo Acosta tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 14-10, .583, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 14-10, .583, 2 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 17-9, .654, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 11-14, .440, 4 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 56-43, .566
M's release RHP Kevin Jarvis, put IF Willie Bloomquist on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 2nd, call up RHP Rafael Soriano.
Nothing that really should surprise anyone, or warrant much analysis. One would wonder, though, whether or not Putz has more value to this team than anyone who could be called up from Tacoma. While I am a Leone advocate and would have supported any move to bring him up, I don't believe that his recent outbursts of the batt have quite compensated for his strikeous and his slow start, at least in the eyes of most (devil's advocate, here). Santiago's been hitting sub-Mendoza levels, so he's right out. Ugueto has been suggested to me by some, since he can play around the infield and, in theory, the outfield as well. Of course, he has that "major league experience" thing going for him, so I'm going to have to resign myself to the idea that he would more likely than not get the callup over whoever else we have in Triple-A that's hitting. I don't know that it would necessarily be worth it to give the spot to A.J. Zapp when we already have Hansen and Olerud. Zapp, at this stage, could probably put up better numbers than Olerud, but because of contract situations, money, etc, he won't see time this year, if ever. That leaves us with whoever isn't catching, McCracken, and Hansen on the bench. Not a lot of felxibility. But given the fact that our bullpen hasn't been the most reliable in the world of late, if Putz can put up blank frames of work and take innings away from the weaker links, I would suppose that this would be all for the best.
remind me not to begin by stating something shouldn't warrant much analysis again.
Baseball America has a new prospect hot sheet
13. Felix Hernandez, rhp, Class A Inland Empire (Mariners)
If he were American, he'd be getting ready for his high school prom -- instead he's dominating the California League
Oddly enough, Scott at OnDeck said something similar recently to the effect him getting an A+ on his math test the day after his game.
Bobby Livingston makes honorable mention again, but apparently doesn't have enough heat or strikeouts to make the list. Oh, and the recent lackluster start.
The Tacoma News Tribune has indicated that C Wiki Gonzalez left the game last night with an upper quadriceps pull
. No word yet on how serious that may be. Meanwhile, OF Hiram Bocachica is almost ready to play again after spraining his ankle and could return at any time. Bill Bavasi attended last night's Rainier's game. Not much, but it's nice that he seems to take interest. Also, the article notes that Bobby Madritsch and Clint Nageotte were in the stands last night, charting pitches. Kudos to them for showing initiative in that regard. There's also a brief blurb on Seung Song pitching agaisnt Cha Seung Baek tonight and the implications of that, seeing as how they pitched agaisnt each other in South Korea but never in the US.
Elsewhere, mariners.mlb.com has press release congratulating Sixers RF T.J. Bohn
. Just congratulations, no player of the week/month notes. Odd, yes.
Edmonton 6 (MON), Tacoma 11
LHP Matt Thornton (8.15) hadn't pitched for the eleven days or so prior, so I think it might be pushing it to expect more than three and two-two thirds innings with five runs on five hits (HR) and three walks with only three punchouts. RHP Scott Atchison (5.00, W) followed with two and a third in which he allowed one of everything (except HR) and struck out three. LHP Craig Anderson (4.02, S) picked up the four inning save with a hit and a strikeout. Now, before I get to the offense, let me make a few things clear. According to Jeff Sullivan, Ugueto's homer was inside the park and primarily because the centerfielder dived and missed. M. Lopez' triple came after the outfielder fell down. Now that we're clear on that, both LF Luis Ugueto ("HR", 2 R, 2 RBI, .244) and 2B Mickey Lopez ("3B", R, .306) had three hits. DH Bucky Jacobsen (2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, .264) and 1B A.J. Zapp (2 HR, 5 RBI, .319) had two hits and Zapp is now tied with Lopez, Leone, Jacobsen, and Gonzalez for the team lead. Speaking of C Wiki Gonzalez (2B, .308), he was replaced by C Pat Borders (R, .212) and Borders proceeded to go 0-4. RHP Cha Seung Baek tomorrow.
San Antonio 7, Tulsa 8 (COL)
Not quite last night's mockery, but still unpleasant, especially because it was lost in the ninth inning... AFTER the Missions had come up with two to tie it. RHP Chris Buglovsky (4.62) went six innings and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks as he punched out five. RHP Rick Guttormson (4.11, L), ordinarily Mister Automatic, went two and two-thirds and gave up five runs on five hits (2 HR!) and a walk while punching out one. Why didn't you pull him, Brundage? C Luis Oliveros (2 2B, R, RBI, .275) and 2B Rob Gandolfo (RBI, .360) had three hits each. CF Dustin Delucchi (2 R, .364), LF Shin Soo Choo (HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, .276), DH Greg Jacobs (2B, R, 3 RBI, .426), and 3B Hunter Brown (.222) all went two-for. No one else on the Missions got a hit. RHP Gustavo Martinez tomorrow.
Inland Empire 4, Rancho Cucamonga 3 (ANA)
RHP Rich Dorman was steady, but unspectacular in his six and third, giving up two runs on nine hits and ringing up five (damage control, if there ever was any). LHP Melvin Pizarro (0.00, E, W) followed with an inning and two-thirds during which an unearned run scored on his own error. LHP Miguel Martinez (6.48, S) gave a hitless ninth with one punchout. SS Juan Gonzalez (2B, 2 RBI, .340) gets a blurb all his own tonight because he went 4-5. LF Jon Nelson (2B, RBI, .315) had three hits. C Rene Rivera (2B, .290) and 1B Matt Hagen (2 R, RBI, .271) had two hits each. RF T.J. Bohn (.341) ended his hitting streak at twelve, and 3B Jesus Guzman (R, .269), who had a hit in each game since being called up, also went without a hit. RHP Juan Sandoval tomorrow.
Beloit 5 (MIL), Wisconsin 7
RHP Brandon Moorhead (2.48, E, W) did his thing tonight, going five and two-thirds while allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk as he rung up seven. RHP Bryan Heaston (1.84) followed with two and a third where he allowed a run on three hits and a walk while striking out two. RHP Bryan Stitt (2.03, S), closed out the ninth with a hit, a walk, and a strikeout. RF Josh Womack (2B, R, 2 RBI, .253) had three hits on the night, C Chris Collins (R, .242) picked up two. 3B Michael Cox (2B, R, 2 RBI, .200) and DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (RBI, .147) each had individual hits. SS Adam Jones (3 E, .239) went 0-5, in addition to his three errors. LHP Ryan Feierabend tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 13-10, .565, 0.5 GB in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 13-10, .565, 3 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 17-8, .680, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 10-14, .417, 4 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 53-42, .558
Sidney Sherrill (yes, that Sherrill) has e-mailed me concerning George and notes that some of the stats are better than I've indicated (actually had some minor miscalculations in mine, example being I was using total batters faced when I should have done ABs, etc).
WHIP -- 1.00
BAA -- .200 (11/55)
56% of outs are K's
42% of BF are K's
These numbers should further the case for George deserving a roster spot. Some
have suggested that with Bloomquist possibly going on the DL, Mickey Lopez, a 30-year-old infielder who has never reached the majors, should get the open spot. Bah!, says I. Give the spot to Sherrill and call up Leone instead. He's more capable of Bloomquist's job than Bloomquist is, and, despite what the article suggests, Leone can play short. Go read Jeff's take on it
, he goes into more depth than I can manage at the moment.
Tacoma 4, Salt Lake 3 (ANA)
LHP Travis Blackley (4.71) got the start and was pretty solid, going six innings and allowing three runs on five hits (2 HR!) and two walks while striking out five. I've got to admit though, I'm a little concerned about the number of bombs he's been giving up so far this year. LHP Randy Williams (1.23) struck out the side in the seventh. RHP Aaron Looper (4.35, W) followed with an inning and thid before giving way to two-thirds of an inning of LHP George Sherrill (1.80, S), who closed down the game with a strikeout. That's now 25 Ks in 15 IP. Free George Sherrill!!! Opposing batters are hitting only .200 off of him and 42% of his outs have been strikeouts! On offense, C Wiki Gonzalez (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .294) and RF Elpidio Guzman (.346) had two hits each. Anyone need a catcher? Everyone else got singles except LF Luis Ugueto (.216) and DH Bucky Jacobsen (.246) who went a collective 0-7, though Jacobsen walked once. LHP Matt Thornton returns to the mound tomorrow.
San Antonio 4, Tulsa 19 (COL)
An ugly game if there ever was one. This game proves more than any that San Antonio just doesn't have a bullpen this year. LHP Troy Cate (5.18) got chased after two and a third, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits and two walks while only striking out one. RHP Emiliano Fruto (10.50) probably had a hand in allowing some of those runs to score as he allowed six of his own on six hits and a walk, striking out one again. LHP Jose Nunez (7.36), who is sadly looking like a poor signing thus far, had two and two-thirds of work in which he allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, but struck out four. LHP Tim Rall (4.05) pitched the final inning and a third, but allowed a home run in addition to striking out two. CF Dustin Delucchi (.357) and LF Shin Soo Choo (R, RBI, .262) had two hits each, with Delucchi picking up two walks and Choo drawing one. RF Cristian Guerrero (HR, 2 RBI, .203) did his part there too, drawing two walks as well. 1B John Lindsey (.338), 2B Rob Gandolfo (.286) and SS Eddie Menchaca (.197) went hitless, though Lindsey walked twice. RHP Chris Buglovsky tomorrow.
Inland Empire 3, Rancho Cucamonga 5 (ANA)
RHP T.A. Fulmer (2.12) went five and two-thirds and gave up five runs on six hits (HR), a walk, and a hit batter while ringing up two. RHP David Viane (1.35) followed with an inning and third of groundouts and flyouts before giving way to RHP Darwin Soto (7.11), who walked a man in the eighth. 1B Matt Hagen (RBI, .258) and RF T.J. Bohn (HR, 2 R, .354) had two hits each, Bohn extending his streak to twelve games. 2B Matt Rogelstad (3B, .284) and 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, RBI, .318) picked up the other extra-basers for the Sixers. Guzman has now hit in every game since being called up. One would think he might be a little overmatched coming from the VSL to the CAL, but he's done nothing but impress so far, hitting .318 and slugging .455. At this rate, he might get fast tracked in the style of Jose Lopez. none of the starters went hitless in today's game. RHP Rich Dorman tomorrow.
Wisconsin 1, Fort Wayne 7 (SD) (seven innings)
LHP Thom Oldham (3.00, L) got the start in the first game and got roughed up pretty bad in his five innings, allowing eight hits (3 HR!!) and a walk to turn into five runs. Though he did strike out nine
in the game. Must've been in the strikezone a lot. RHP Mike Hrynio (6.30) allowed two runs in the final inning of work, giving up a bomb after walking a batter. RF Chris Colton (HR, .213) had the two of the hits in the game, the other two going one each to 1B Jeremy Dutton (.200) and SS Adam Jones (.250).
Wisconsin 4, Fort Wayne 6 (SD) (seven innings)
RHP Kenly Chang (6.00) got his obligatory doubleheader start and went three innings giving up four runs on four hits and two walks while he struck out two. LHP Brandon Perry (6.00) followed with an inning and two-thirds scoreless, despite allowing a hit and two walks in the fourth (also struck out a batter). RHP Juan Ovalles (8.38, L), who has been unfortunately proving himself to be terrible in tight situations, gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in the final inning and a third, also striking out two. No multi-hit players in this one for the T-Rats. CF/RF Josh Womack (R, .233), who also walked twice, 3B Michael Cox (HR, 2 RBI, .194), SS Adam Jones (2B, .253), DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (.133), and 1B Jeremy Dutton (HR, .205) provided the hits. RHP Brandon Moorhead tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 12-10, .545, 1.5 GB in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 13-9, .591, 3 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 16-8, .667, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 9-14, .391, 5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 50-41, .549
A report in the Appleton Post-Crescent indicates that T-Rats OF Samuel Bradford Jr. has broken his wrist
and he will be replaced on the roster by OF Josh Ellison, who has been called up from extend spring training.
Ellison, an 11th-round pick in 2001, has not quite lived up to expectations thus far in his career. Following his initial season in 2001, he repeated the Arizona League in 2002 and put up a somewhat promising .326/.424/.423 line. In his first appearance in the Northwest League last season that went down again to .269/.337/.379. Getting a promotion as an injury replacement, one can hope he'll be able to show his stuff and get back on track for his career.
The Tacoma News Tribune had an unconventional Q & A segment
with the people running the Rainiers franchise. Not player-related at all, but fairly interesting nonetheless.
Meanwhile, the Appleton Post-Crescent has a few interesting details for those curious about how the Mariners handle their minor league pitching
. Apparently, before June 1st they have an organization-wide 100-pitch limit, and after that a 115-pitch limit to the end of the season. No details on how long they've had this rule or whether we might refer to it as a Ryan Anderson clause, but it's one way of handling the situation. Steve at Mariners Wheelhouse would probably suggest this doesn't go far enough and he's done more research on the matter
than I probably will, so I'll defer to him.
Also at the Post-Crescent, OF Chris Colton gives his advice on how to hit the cutoff man