Tacoma 6, Memphis 2 (STL)
This game was brought to you in part by the phrase "damage control." LHP Matt Thornton (6.18, W) went five innings and allowed only two runs despite giving up four hits, SEVEN free passes, hitting a batter, and throwing two wild pitches (and striking out three as well). RHP Scott Atchison (4.44) followed with two and a third where he gave up three hits and struck out two, which made him leapfrog Gaylord Perry on the all-time Tacoma strikeout list (yes, he's been there that long). LHP George Sherrill (1.33), master of efficiency that he is, got through his first two-thirds of an inning on six pitches and two strikeouts before allowing two hits and striking out another batter in the ninth. I wonder which Mariners' bullpen could use an arm like that right about now... On offense, well, what can I say? By the time four innings was up, every starter had a hit. The notables were RF Hiram Bocachica (2 SB, .324) who had three hits, DH Bucky Jacobsen (2 2B, R, RBI, .301) with two hits, and 3B Justin Leone (HR, .252) whose ninth home run has him seventh in the league. I'm also going to note that SS Jose Lopez (R, E, .277) had an error that was more of an infield single than anything else and that he made a superb defensive play where he cut off a ball up the middle to make the first out of the ninth. Perhaps the questions about his D were a bit premature. RHP Cha Seung Baek tomorrow.
San Antonio 7, El Paso 11 (ARI)
A late comeback fell short for the Missions tonight. RHP Elvis Perez (7.92, L) got the start and went only four and a third innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, a walk, and a hit batter while striking out just three. I wonder what the odds are that Livingston will replace him at the break. LHP Chris Key (5.26), who has been similarly up-and-down in his game, gave up another three runs on five hits and a walk and a strikeout in his two-thirds before giving way to RHP Renee Cortez (0.00), who made a solid debut with two innings, a hit, a wild pitch, and two punchouts. RHP Rick Guttormson (3.32) punched out one and allowed three hits which led unearned runs on an error by 3B Hunter Brown (3B, R, 2 RBI, .244), who came in for 3B Greg Dobbs (RBI, .337) in the eighth. No word on what made Dobbs leave yet. On the rest of the offense, LF Shin-Soo Choo (3 R, .273) had a three hit night, CF Dustin Delucchi (3 R, .336) and 1B John Lindsey (2B, 2 RBI, .307) had two each. DH Greg Jacobs (2 RBI, .343) went hitless. RHP Juan Done tomorrow.
Inland Empire 4, Rancho Cucamonga 2 (ANA) (ten innings)
Around 9:20 pm, I receive an e-mail from Mike Saeger that reads, verbatim, "LIVINGSTON 2 HIT SHO THRU 8". Unfortunately, this was not enough to protect LHP Bobby Livingston (1.44, W) from the jinx James and I put on him. Though he got through a complete nine innings, allowing only three hits, two walks, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and striking out TEN, in the ninth he allowed two runs to tie the game. What can I say? It's no wonder baseball players are so concerned with such things. LHP Melvin Pizarro (0.59, S) allowed two hits but otherwise shut it down in the tenth. The Sixers got nine hits in the game, though SS Juan Gonzalez (HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, .336) was the only one with two, leaving 1B Matt Hagen (.212) the only Sixer without. C Brian Lentz (2B, R, .233) was the only other one with an extra-base hit. RHP Felix Hernandez tomorrow.
Cedar Rapids 8 (ANA), Wisconsin 2
Few have harder luck than RHP Nibaldo Acosta (3.15, L). He went the five innings baseball rules require for the win, but in that fifth, he gave up four runs. Overall, he gave up nine hits (2 HR!) and struck out four. Hardly ever walks batters though, only eight on the year. LHP Casey Abrams (18.00), last year's fifth round pick who was shut down after having some arm issues in Everett, made his 2004 debut and gave up four runs (all in the sixth) on six hits and a walk in two innings of work. RHP Kenly Chang (5.23) and RHP Mike Hrynio (6.43) split the final two innings, both striking out a batter, though Hrynio also allowed a hit. Very little T-Rats offense tonight, as one can see. The real threat was CF Wladimir Balentien (HR, 2 RBI, .206) who hit his second homer, walked, and struck out in his other two plate appearances. It's only a matter of time before he develops a reputation and an odd nickname, though I'll leave that to someone more clever, since all I can come up with is The Hammer because he only nails (the ball for extra bases) and strikes (out). Otherwise, SS Oswaldo Navarro (.208) had two hits, and 1B Jeremy Dutton (2B, R, .188) had one. 3B Eric Blakely (.250) made his 2004 debut as well and got a hit. No idea on why there were two new guys on the roster suddenly, but I'll get that up once I figure it out. LHP Eric O'Flaherty tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 20-12, .625, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 18-17, .514, 3.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 24-13, .649, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 15-21, .417, 6 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 77-63, .550
So, I'm sitting here listening to the Rainiers game, and LHP George Sherrill is called in from the bullpen. He faces the first batter, three pitches, strikeout. Second batter, a lefty, three pitches, strikeout. Lefties are now hitting .038 off of Sherrill and have struck out fifteen times.
Why is he with Tacoma?
Back to minor league baseball, where my expertise is.
I'm listening to the Rainiers game via the net and I have some news to report. LHP Bobby Madristch will be skipped in the rotation this time around due to a mild oblique strain. Knowing Madritsch, he's probably trying to convince everyone that he can go out and pitch anyway, but it's better to err on the side of caution in this case. LHP Travis Blackley, going on three days rest, will pitch in place of Madritsch, seeing as how he only pitched an inning in yesterday's rainout.
Please, can we just fake an injury for Hasegawa? This is too painful to watch, especially considering we've only been scoring so many runs per game.
Here I was thinking, "Wow, a whole week without a major transaction." Not so. The San Antonio Missions have released LHP Jose Nunez and called up RHP Renee Cortez from extended spring training
This shouldn't really surprise anyone, I was mentioning offhand that I would have considered releasing Nunez
a while ago. 6.19 ERAs, .313 opposing batting averages, and 0.92 K/BBs just don't cut it in Double-A. Either way, I think he had an out in his contract that would have had him released fairly soon anyway, since he had no chance of making the 40-man. I guess he still hasn't recovered from his arm surgery.
, on the other hand, was down in extended spring training with a strained rib cage and is going to be an absolute savior in the Missions bullpen if he's back to his usual stuff. The twenty-one-year-old had a 2.51 ERA, a 3.05 K/BB ratio, and an opposing batting average of a little under .200 last season, splitting time between Wisconsin and Inland Empire. Needless to say, he's one of the better relief prospects in the system and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in Double-A.
Also, as long as I have your attention, I wish to use an article from the Seattle Times
to confront some of the important issues of recent note. Ahem...
1. The Mariners are NOT going to get Damon and Kim, give up Garcia to the Royals and Baek to the Red Sox, and just let Beltran slip away (not that we're going to be involved in getting him anyway). Bavasi, despite popular belief, is not that stupid.
2. Guardado's comments were misquoted from the Minnesota papers. He only regrets the way contract negotiations were handled by the Twins front office. He likes playing for Seattle, he likes his teammates, he likes the fans, but he misses his friends in Minnesota and they probably miss him too. This is not an issue, nor does it suddenly make him avaliable.
3. Aaron Looper will undergo Tommy John and be out for the rest of the season. You know what that could lead to...
Bucky Jacobsen is no longer the only Tacoma Rainier with a fan club. That's right, Hiram Bocachica now has his own following
, and the origins aren't too far off of Bucky's either. Bocachica's been on a hitting rampage since coming back from an ankle sprain, and is currently batting .302/.397/.492 and would still prove to be more useful than Bloomquist or McCracken, I would imagine.
This link was taken from Rick at Mariner Bullpen
The Tacoma game today was cancelled after an inning due to rain. That's right, cancelled, not going to be made up. LHP Matt Thornton tomorrow.
San Antonio 4, El Paso 5 (ARI)
RHP Gustavo Martinez (3.18) was all righ tonight, seven innings with four runs on five hits and two walks as he punched out five. LHP Tim Rall (3.20, L) followed with two-thirds and ended up allowing a run after a run, a hit, and passed ball. Both of Rall's outs came on the third stike, and I'd consider him to be a rather impressive relief prospect, if not for his flakey stretch a while ago. We get all the luck with the indie league lefties. RHP Allan Levrault (5.00) allowed a walk before striking out the final batter that the Missions pitchers faced. Some good decent for the Missions, but only one extra-base hit (sound familiar?). 1B John Lindsey (RBI, .297) had three hits, CF Dustin Delucchi (R, .331) and C Jim Horner (2B, R, .283) had two. 3B Greg Dobbs (.337) had a surprising 0-5. DH Ryan Balfe (.184) had an unsurprising 0-4 with three strike outs and I'm waiting for him to be released. RHP Elvis Perez tomorrow.
Inland Empire 5, Rancho Cucamonga 11 (ANA)
There aren't a lot of words that you can use to describe a game that was basically decided by a six-run error. RHP Juan Sandoval (4.85) got the start and went five and a thirds allowing ten runs, though only four of those were earned. It isn't as if he pitched well, though; he allowed twelve hits (HR), a walk, and hit three batters, all without striking out even one. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (4.42) was a little rusty after not pitching for five days, going an inning and two-thirds but giving up a run on three hits, a walk, and a wild pitch with a strikeout along the way. RHP Darwin Soto (7.11) went through the eighth and struck out a batter. That costly error came via SS Juan Gonzalez (R, .319), who tried to redeem himself by picking up three hits. Also helping the Sixers cause were 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, R, RBI, .298), CF Gary Harris (2 RBI, .273), 2B Matt Rogelstad (R, RBI, .268), and LF Carlos Arroyo (R, .314) who all had two hits. LHP Bobby Livingston tomorrow, so chalk up a win in advance.
Wisconsin 4, Kane County 2 (OAK)
LHP Ryan Feierabend (3.02) had yet another strong outing, going six innings and allowing two runs on six hits (HR) and a walk while fanning four. RHP Bryan Heaston (2.61) went another two innings and allowed two walks while striking out four. RHP Bryan Stitt (1.50, S) had another save with a walk and a strikeout in the ninth. Not a lot of offense for the T-Rats, DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (R, .236) and CF Chris Colton (3B, R, RBI, .236) had two hits a piece, and RF Josh Womack (.229) and 2B George Sandel (.250) had singles, but there was nothing else. Wladimir Balentien came in as a defensive replacement for Colton late in the game, so that's good to see. RHP Nibaldo Acosta tomorrow!
Tacoma Rainiers: 19-12, .613, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 18-16, .529, 3.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 23-13, .639, 1st GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 15-20, .429, 5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 75-61, .551
John Sickels did his mailbag thing recently and in it we find a question about Rainiers 3B Justin Leone
. The section is at the very bottom, so scroll down to read it. Overally, it compares Leone to Rob Deer, if Rob Deer was a very good defensive third baseman (who can also play second and shortstop if needed). Ordinarily, I'll defer to Sickels greater knowledge, after all, Leone has struck out a lot this season. But in this case, I don't know if I can justify this, aside from suggesting that a large part of that assessment is based around what was a horrible start for Leone this season. Check it out, then take it as you will.
Well, I have to admit it, when the paper's been slacking off, Mike Saeger has been my savior when it comes to Sixers coverage. Following two or three days without an article, he sends me a great e-mail recapping the High Desert series and some things I've brought up in the blog. First off, the series against High Desert: 39/1 K/BB ratio from the starters, thirty-four runs scored by the Sixers compared to just five by the Mavericks, four straight errorless games. Following a nasty series against the San Jose Giants, it's jsut what the doctor ordered. Secondly, LF Jon Nelson, who had been one of the Sixers' hottest hitters of late, is currently out with some sort of abdominal strain. They're going to check it out on Sunday and the full extent of it should be revealed by then, but until that time the Sixers are rather short handed (again, not as if Guzman and Cho haven't done their parts). The questionable health of Nelson throws the outfield a bit, which makes it rather unlikely that Bohn would be promoted any time soon, despite his outstanding performance. But hey, as Mike notes, the Sixers have the fifth best record in the minor leagues, and that's fantastic.
The San Bernadino paper actually did put something out today though, an article on how they have a coach from Korea
that is spending some time with the team in an attempt to learn some techniques that he could bring back to his home country. At first it was a little difficult, due to the language barrier and the fact that Choo and Baek have moved up in the system. When Michael Garciaparra went on the DL and the Sixers brought up Hyung Cho, who can speak Korean, it became a bit easier. This is another way in which the M's are trying to better their international relations. First the pitching coach at the academy in Australia, then the training camps in Taiwan, and both are paying dividends as some of the top prep players (Zorn, Thorne, and Auty in Australia, Wu and Huang in Taiwan) are starting to sign contracts with the M's. I wouldn't be surprised if we started to see more Korean players sign with the M's after this.
Also, the roster for the Venezuelan Summer League team
has been compiled. I'm considering doing a very short preview based off of what I know and posting it for anyone that cares, provided Joe Kaiser (who is currently celebrating ITP's first birthday
) decides he doesn't want it.
Oh, speaking of ITP, I forgot the players of the week for last week
. And the great article on Missions DH John Lindsey
that was just posted. And Jason making a case for Lyle Overbay
on the boards. Lots of good stuff going on over there.
Tacoma 4, Nashville 6 (PIT)
LHP Craig Anderson (5.06, L) threw four and two-thirds innings of batting practice tonight, five runs on six hits (3 HR!!!) and two walks, though he did strike out five. RHP Greg Wear (9.00), who still hasn't found his way back to San Antonio, went two innings and gave up a run on two hits and a walk. RHP Jared Hoerman (0.00) went the final inning and a third, fanning a batter. For offense, RF Elpidio Guzman (2B, .311) and 1B A.J. Zapp (HR, 2 RBI, .286) had two hits a piece. CF Hiram Bocachica (.302), DH Bucky Jacobsen (2B, R, RBI, .296), SS Jose Lopez (2B, .278), and LF Michael Nesbit (2B, .167) had some hits as well. C Ben Davis (.214), did not. LHP Travis Blackley tomorrow.
Tulsa 7 (COL), San Antonio 8 (ten innings)
If not for the defense, RHP Chris Buglovsky (3.86) would have won. Five innings and three earned runs on nine hits and two walks with a punchout, but there were four more unearned runs along the way. LHP Chris Key (4.32) followed with two innings, two hits, and two strikeouts. RHP Emiliano Fruto (8.27) had the same thing minus a hit. LHP Tim Rall (3.32, W) had two punchouts in the tenth to earn his win. Varied offense tonight, DH Jim Horner (2 R, .268) and C Luis Oliveros (.239) had two hits. CF Dustin Delucchi (RBI, .325), 3B Greg Dobbs (3B, R, 2 RBI, .356), LF Greg Jacobs (HR, 2 RBI, .363), RF Cristian Guerrero (R, .171), PH Shin-Soo Choo (RBI, .263), and SS Eddie Menchaca (R, RBI, .204) all had hits. RHP Gustavo Martinez tomorrow.
High Desert 1 (MIL), Inland Empire 6
RHP Rich Dorman (2.68, W) continued to prove how the Sixers rotation is bullying the rest of the league, going six innings, allowing a run on seven hits, and punching out nine. RHP Tanner Watson (4.32, S) closed it out with his third three-inning save, two hits and two strikeouts. The Sixers took advantage of the eight runs they were given tonight. Only 3B Jesus Guzman (2 R, 2 BB, .288), CF Gary Harris (.267), RF T.J. Bohn (3B, R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, .324), C Rene Rivera (RBI, .312), and LF Carlos Arroyo (R, .301). Guzman's line through his fourteen games started is .288/.365/.422. Kid's playing like he enjoys being "overmatched". Meanwhile, Bohn's line is .324/.445/.532. We hope to see Sherrill freed soon, but in addition, Jacobs to Tacoma and Bohn to San Antonio! RHP Juan Sandoval tomorrow.
Wisconsin 4, Kane County 9 (OAK)
Well, RHP Brandon Moorhead (5.30) isn't quite back to his earlier form. Four innings, five runs, five hits, four walks, four strikeouts, not a lot of good. RHP Juan Ovalles (5.60) continued his roller coaster season with two innings and two runs on three hits and walks, also striking out a batter. LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.52) continued the bullpen's woes, allowing an earned run on a hit and two walks. The unlikely hero was RHP Mike Hrynio (6.92) who had a strikeouts in the eighth. SS Adam Jones (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .252), DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (HR, 2 RBI, .221), and RF Josh Womack (.228) had two each. LF Josh Ellison (R, .348), CF Chris Colton (.227), and 2B George Sandel (.250) had one a piece. Odd note, Jones was pulled out of the game for Oswaldo Navarro. More details whenever I find out. LHP Ryan Feierabend tomorrow!
Tacoma Rainiers: 19-12, .613, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 18-15, .545, 2.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 23-12, .657, 1st GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 14-20, .412, 6 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 74-59, .556
A few points of clarification. One, the recap below has been changed. Turns out, Zapp's error had nothing to do with Atchison's outing and I misread it. Instead, a hit batter was the immediate precursor to the home run. Second, LHP Craig Anderson is getting a spot start tonight and not LHP Travis Blackley. I really have no idea why this is happening, but they did plan this for a while ahead of time, so maybe some of Pittsburgh's scouts are going to be watching this. No, I don't want those Kendall rumors to come back.
Update: Sidney reminded me that because of the doubleheaders over the weekend, Blackley did not get his usual amount of rest. Anderson gets the start to push everyone back a day. But I still don't want the Kendall rumors to come back.
Not much else to report at the moment. The Venezuelan Summer League will start up on May 17th. Yes, I will be covering it, but no, I don't intend to do a preview of it because information about each player is hard to come by. Sometime after that, the Dominican Summer League will start, though I don't know when exactly because their site, despite being very professional in appearance, has no worthwhile information to access. Interesting facts I've read comparing the two... the VSL rules state there is an active roster of 35, no more than 12 players can be over 20, no more than 4 over 21, no more than four years of minor league experience, and it excludes Puerto Rican and Dominican players. ESPN had an absolutely fascinating piece on the Domincan League a while back which you can access through the features section, though I can't directly link to it, unfortunately. I think they said that DSL players are primarily 16-18 in age.
Tacoma 2, Nashville 4 (PIT)
It was a mixed bag again for RHP Clint Nageotte (3.38). On one hand, he had a seven inning, two-hit shutout in which he struck out six. On the other, he walked five. The pen blew it this time, plain and simple. LHP Randy Williams (1.93), normally an outstanding reliever, went two innings and followed up a walk with a homerun in the ninth to tie the game at two. In the tenth, RHP Scott Atchison (4.91, L) allowed a homer after hitting a batter to end the game. Not much offense tonight either. CF Jamal Strong (R, .354), DH Bucky Jacobsen (2B, RBI, .298), SS Jose Lopez (RBI, .279), and C Brian Moon (.333) got the only hits. LHP Craig Anderson gets a spot start tomorrow.
Tulsa 1 (COL), San Antonio 0
You always hate to lose games like this, at any level. LHP Troy Cate (4.42, L) went seven and a third innings, allowing a run on four hits and striking out six, but it wasn't enough. RHP Rick Guttormson (3.50) got some work in by finishing up the final inning and two-thirds, giving up two hits and striking out one. Not much to tell here either, C Jim Horner (2 2B, .255) had two hits, but otherwise 3B Greg Dobbs (.356), 1B Ryan Balfe (.198), and 2B Hunter Brown (.247) only had singles. RHP Chris Buglovsky tomorrow.
High Desert 0 (MIL), Inland Empire 7
RHP T.A. Fulmer (3.86, W) is not a pitcher who gives up five or ten runs. T.A. Fulmer is a pitcher who will go seven shutout innings and give up only three hits while striking out eight. RHP Darwin Soto (7.71) also performed closer to what we should expect from him, going two innings and allowing one hit while punching out three. In what seemed to be the only offensive performance in the system tonight, the Sixers scored, and scored often, each one of the starters picking up at least one hit. CF Gary Harris (3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, .267) had three hits, while C Rene Rivera (2 2B, R, .311) and 2B Hyung Cho (R, .316) got two each. RHP Rich Dorman tomorrow.
Wisconsin 2, Kane County 4 (OAK)
LHP Thom Oldham (4.24, L) isn't quite back to norm, but showed some progress going six innings and allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk with five punchouts. LHP Brandon Perry (5.51) continued his up-and-down trends by giving up two runs on a hit and two walks in just a third of an inning. RHP Kenly Chang (5.49) allowed a hit, a walk, and a strikeout for the rest of the game. 3B Mike Cox (R, .245) had two hits, yet again, and is one of the bright spots right now on that team. LF Josh Ellison (R, .357) also had his usual hit, and 1B Jeremy Dutton (.191) made a contribution as well. RHP Brandon Moorhead tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 19-11, .633, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 17-15, .531, 2.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 22-12, .647, 1st GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 14-19, .424, 5.5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 72-57, .558
Great night for the system, everybody wins!
Tacoma 6, Nashville 1 (PIT)
LHP Bobby Madritsch (2.59, W) was brilliant in his seven innings, allowing a run on six hits and a walk agaisnt four strikeouts. That 2.59 ERA places him as sixth in the PCL. RHP Scott Atchison (4.22) followe with an inning that saw a walk and two strikeouts, while LHP George Sherrill (1.45) filled in after that and gave up a hit and struck out a batter. The Free George Sherrill campaign seems to be gaining steam, which is good. Some outstanding offensive performances tonight, RF Hiram Bocachica (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .305) went 4-5 and DH Bucky Jacobsen (HR, .300) went 3-5. The rest of the hits scattered between 2B Mickey Lopez (HR, 2 R, .295), C Ben Davis (2 RBI, .300), SS (!) Jose Lopez (2B, .278), 3B Justin Leone (2B, E, .274), and LF Elpidio Guzman (R, .316). RHP Clint Nageotte tomorrow.
Tulsa 0 (COL), San Antonio 1 (six innings)
An abbreviated game, due to rain. RHP Juan Done (4.50, W) got the start and had his best outing on the season thus far, going five and two-thirds while giving up two hits, six walks, and punching out five. LHP Tim Rall (3.50, S) got the memorable third of an inning save with a strikeout. On offense, 3B Greg Dobbs (HR, .361) had two hits, and CF Dustin Delucchi (.336) had one. LHP Troy Cate tomorrow.
High Desert 3 (MIL), Inland Empire 9
RHP Felix Hernandez (2.87) wasn't his usual self tonight. Through six frames, he gave up ten hits, though those only turned into three runs overall, while striking out only two. LHP Melvin Pizarro (0.63, W) pitched two hitless, walkless innings of relief with four strikeouts. Like I said in my article, he's like the Sherrill of the Cal League. LHP Cesar Jimenez (3.14) loaded the bases in the ninth via a hit, a hit batter, and a strikeout/wildpitch, but got out of the game on a grounder to third. SS Juan Gonzalez (2B, 2 R, .320), DH Pichi Balet (R, .329), 2B Matt Rogelstad (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .255), and RF Carlos Arroyo (2B, RBI, .303) all had two hits. 3B Jesus Guzman (R, .283) and C Rene Rivera (R, .299) went hitless. RHP T.A. Fulmer looks to get back on track tomorrow.
Wisconsin 12, Kane County 9 (OAK)
LHP Eric O'Flahery (3.93, 2 E, W) went five innings to pick up the win and allowed five earned runs on nine hits and two walks, ringing up only one opposing batter. RHP Bryan Heaston (2.89) had a rough two-thirds to follow, three earned runs on three hits and two walks. RHP Juan Ovalles (5.17), who seems to be getting back on track, pitched the next inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit and two walks while striking out three. RHP Bryan Stitt (1.59, S) wrapped up the game with three strikeouts in his inning and two-thirds. The offense was amazing for the T-Rats tonight. SS Adam Jones (3B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, .252), CF Chris Colton (R, 2 RBI, .232), 3B Mike Cox (2B, R, RBI, .233), and 2B George Sandel (2 R, .242) all had three hits each. Meanwhile, LF Josh ellison (R, RBI, .368), C Chris Collins (2 2B, 2 R, RBI, .247) picked up two each. LHP Thom Oldham tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 19-10, .655, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 17-14, .548, 2.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 21-12, .636, 1st GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 14-18, .438, 5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 71-54, .568
The Mariners have placed RHP Rafael Soriano
on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday. To fill roster space, the M's have called up SS Ramon Santiago. Why God, why?
Soriano has a mild ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow. This may serve to explain the lack of control and velocity of late, but whatever it is, I want him to be back in shape and up to full velocity before the M's consider bringing him up again. Let Putz do his thing in the meantime.
Santiago hasn't exactly been hitting his way out of a wet paper bag thus far (.180), but he's gotten on base at a decent clip (.284), and that could help out some. Aurilia hasn't been doing much better anyway, and Santiago will at least give you some solid D. Now, there are probably more deserving players
on the Tacoma roster, but the added benefit of this is that Jose Lopez will probably take over shortstop now and if he proves he can handle it there as opposed to third, then he would be a lot more valuable as a player.
Also, at Baseball America, there's a new prospect hotsheet up. No M's on the main part of it, though Bobby Livingston gets honorable mention, again.
As is commonly the case during off-days of late, the local papers have some info on the minor leagues.
My boss at ITP, Joe Kaiser, wrote this piece on the seeming failure of M's first-round picks and the hope resting on the shoulders of Adam Jones
. Well, not so much about the former as the later, though I will note that Thornton did get, quite literally, a cup of coffee. One thing I did not know was that they did offer Jones a choice between the mound and the field. Currently, I'm aware that there are some criticisms of this choice, particularly because he is only hitting around .241 at this point, but I will note that Wisconsin is nearly impossible to hit in early in the season. There are also some notes on Choo, Castro, and other notables. Steve at Wheelhouse has additional commentary on the first-round picks
, and it's fairly accurate, unfortuantely. Further salt-in-the-wounds emphasized by the performance of Conor Jackson, for whom we have Quinton McCracken to show. To paraphrase one of the posters on Top Forums, we hate the draft, but we love our international scouts.
In contrast, also by Kaiser, we find a report on former draft choice John Mayberry
, who suggests that he would like to be drafted by the Mariners again in the draft next year. Interesting proposal, though we'd need a higher pick, and at this point I wouldn't put such a thing outside the realm of possibility (provided we don't do anything stupid on the free agent market). His numbers thus far for Stanford have been outstanding, .348 with twelve homers, 48 RBI, and seven steals.
Those are your recommended readings for the day, though if you crave blog-based minor league content that isn't done by me or Jeff
, I recommend checking out Mariner Bullpen
. Rick has some good observations there in his archive.
The Tacoma game tonight was suspended with Salt Lake leading 2-0 in the thid inning. But hey, if you want your Rainiers fix, they've got an article on George Sherrill
up at the Mariners' MLB.com site. I like that he's getting this sort of attention.
Tulsa 3 (COL), San Antonio 0
RHP Evlis Perez (7.40, L) got the start and was little better this time, five frames, three runs on eight hits and a walk, six strikeouts. LHP Jose Nunez (6.19) had his best outing so far, three innings in w hich he gave up two walks. If he had been hit as hard as he has been in recent games, I probably would have advocated giving up on him, but don't ask me who to replace him with. RHP Allen Levrault (5.19) went the final inning and allowed two hits but struck out one. 3B Greg Dobbs (2B, .346) met his two-hit quota for the night and DH John Lindsey (.294) even got his one hit, but otherwise, not even CF Dustin Delucchi (.336) could manage a good swing against these guys. RHP Juan Done tomorrow.
High Desert 1 (MIL), Inland Empire 11
The normally potent Sixers offense, unusually stifled after a series against the Giants, came back with a vengence. LHP Bobby Livingston (1.33, W) picked up his league-leading fifth win after six frames where he allowed one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts. I'm a little concerned about his recent lines; he's been getting the job done, but he's allowed an increasing number of hits, perhaps at the exchange of more strikeouts. I'm not certain, but I'll be keeping tabs on this. RHP David Viane (0.93) went the next two, giving up two hits and a walk. LHP Miguel Martinez (4.91) is looking like he's returning to the form that put him on the radar in Wisconsin last year, pitching a ninth that saw no hits and a strikeout. Tons of offense tonight, as one could expect. DH Pichi Balet (2 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI, .321) went an amazing 4-5 to bump his average up considerably. LF Jon Nelson (2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, .300) continues his hot-hitting by going 3-5. C Rene Rivera (RBI, .310) picked up two hits as well. Everyone got a hit in this lineup except RF T.J. Bohn (R, .318), which is rather unusual... for Bohn, not the lineup. The other notables were 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, 3 R, .302), SS Matt Rogelstad (2B, RBI, .244), and 2B Hyung Cho (2 RBI, .294). RHP Felix Hernandez tomorrow.
Battle Creek 5 (NYY), Wisconsin 11
I'll admit; I'm baffled when it comes to the Wisconsin offense. For games upon games they can't buy a run and then something like this happened. Good thing too, because it was RHP Nibaldo Acosta (2.66, W) starting tonight. He went an impressive seven innings givign up two runs on four hits (HR) and a walk as he struck out three. This guy has really come out of nowhere to become one of the better pitchers in the league. RHP Mike Hrynio (7.50) couldn't get an out in the eighth, three runs from three hits and a walk, though LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.14) may be responsible for some of those as he allowed a hit and struck out one. RHP Bryan Stitt (1.76) closed out the ninth with a similar pattern, sans inheritted runners. LHP Eric O'Flaherty tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 18-10, .642, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 16-14, .533, 3.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 20-12, .613, T-1st GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 13-18, .400, 6 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 67-54, .554
The San Bernadino County Sun has a generic Sixers notebook
. Most noteworthy is Ismael Castro is having surgery to repair his ACL, MCL, and meniscus today. He'll be headed to Peoria to rehab either Tuesday or Wednesday. The road to recovery is going to be long and painful for him, I hope he pulls through. There are also notes on the stadium in San Jose, how they did on this road tripe, the three Canadians on the roster, etc. It seems like last night's game
was a little messier than I originally thought, but it's good that they're trying to get Sandoval on track again. Inconsistant motion seems to be something that plagues a lot of pitchers at some point in their careers.
The Rattler's recap of yesterday's game
mentions, as an added note, that Balentien hasn't been seeing any playing time due to a sore left shoulder. No one seems to be certain when he'll return, but I wonder if it contributed at least in part to his hitting woes of late.
Salt Lake 0 (ANA), Tacoma 1 (seven innings)
LHP Travis Blackley (3.79, W) was outstanding, two-hitting the Stingers over seven innings with three walks and six punchouts. On offense, 3B Justin Leone (HR, .270) did the only real damage, accounting for the only run of the game. DH Bucky Jacobsen (.280) and RF Hiram Bocachica (.255) both had singles.
Salt Lake 1 (ANA), Tacoma 6 (seven innings)
LHP Matt Thornton (6.75, W) seems to be back to his usual stuff. He went five innings today, allowing a run on two hits and three walks, striking out three. RHP Jared Hoerman (0.00) made his PCL debut with a scoreless sixth in which he allowed one hit, though that hit would have turned into a run if not for RF Hiram Bocachica's (2B, R, .259) throw beating him to the plate on an attempted sac fly. LHP Craig Anderson (3.78) pitched the seventh and had a strikeout to close out the game. There were rumors on the radio that he's going to spot start soon, again. LF Justin Leone (HR, 2 RBI, .275) and 1B A.J. Zapp (HR, 2 RBI, .299) were the stars tonight, Leone hitting his eighth homer (tied for fifth in the PCL) in the second and Zapp picking up his in the third. CF Jamal Strong (R, .379), DH Bucky Jacobsen (R, 2 RBI, .282), SS Ramon Santiago (.180), and C Brian Moon (R, .333), making his Mariners' system debut, all had singles as well. RHP Cha Seung Baek tomorrow.
Wichita 1 (KC), San Antonio 0
Can't fault RHP Gustavo Martinez (2.76, L) too much in this case. He went seven innings and allowed a run on six hits and two walks, ringing up two as well. RHP Allen Levrault (5.76) allowed a walk in his third of an inning before being lifted for LHP Tim Rall (3.72) who went an inning and two-thirds with two strikeouts to his credit. 3B Greg Dobbs (.351) had two hits, CF Dustin Delucchi (.362) 1B John Lindsey (2B, .295) had one a piece.
Inland Empire 1, San Jose 4 (SF)
RHP Juan Sandoval (4.54, L) had an okay outing, six innings, three hits, two runs, three walks, two strikeouts. Progress, though not much. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (4.32) followed with two innings in which he gave up two runs on four hits with three punchouts. 2B Hyung Cho (.300) and 1B Pichi Balet (2B, 3B, .288) had two hits each. DH Jon Nelson (HR), .287) also hit his third bomb to account for all of the Sixers offense. LHP Bobby Livingston tomorrow!
Battle Creek 5 (NYY), Wisconsin 0
This Seattle-New York series had a similar patter to the major league one... hmmm. Once again, the T-Rats defense was shoddy and their offense was insufficient. LHP Ryan Feierabend (3.03, E, L) was the victim this time, going seven frames with seven hits (HR) and two walks turning into one earned run via a three-run error in the fifth by his own hand. He also struck out three in his outing. RHP Kenly Chang (6.00) finished up with two innings in which he allowed a run on two hits and two walks. DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (.211), whose name I'm getting sick of typing out every day, had two hits in the game. LF Josh Ellison (.379), SS Adam Jones (.241), and 1B Brent Metheny (.222) had the other hits for the Rattlers. RHP Nibaldo Acosta tomorrow.
Tacoma Rainiers: 18-10, .642, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 16-13, .551, 2.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 19-12, .613, 0.5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 12-18, .400, 6 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 65-53, .551
The News Tribune reports ona some of the stranger Rainiers promotions
of late, one of those being an attempt to set a world record for msot people brushing their teeth at a sporting event, though that one was cancelled due to the rainout. I'm as baffled as you are. There are also notes about the possiblity of Olympia building a ballpark, which may have relevance to the Rainiers if they can't get their act together at Cheney Stadium. Also, at the end of the article, there are some general minor league notes. Among them, T-Rats 3B Mike Cox has hit in seven of his last eight for a .313 average with six runs, three doubles, a triple, three home runs, and 12 RBI. Pretty impressive, considering the rest of the team.
The San Antonio News-Express has your typical Greg Jacobs story
, though this one has a few new twists. Did you know that he only started pitching in college? Did you know that he asked for his release from the Astros after finding out that he would be pitching again in the Midwest League? Check it out, there is some new and interesting info in it.
The San Bernadino County Sun has notes on 1B/DH Pichi Balet
, another former indy league signing. Balet is hitting .271 this year, though he hit .310 last year. He's hoping to eventually get a similar opportunity to that of former Sixers teammate Dustin Delucchi.
There are some general T-Rats notes
in the Appleton Post-Crescent today. Frank Mattox, director of player development, paid Wisconsin a visit, and there is typically a bit of intensity that comes with that, see as he controls their destiny to some degree. LHP Eric O'Flaherty says that he wants to make the big leagues in an M's uniform, but wants to focus on improving right now first. Regular 1B Jeremy Dutton's status is still day-to-day after rolling his ankle in infield practice on Friday. Manager Steve Roadcap advises players on how to field a bunt
. Also, in the human interest department, C Chris Collins will be taking some time off soon as his girlfriend is going to have a baby
Tacoma's games yesterday were postponed due to rain. LHP Travis Blackley and LHP Matt Thornton in the second, or such is what the News Tribune is reporting at the moment. The same article notes that Enumclaw native SS Billy Boyer, drafted by the Angels in the 19th round last year, will probably be making his PCL debut tonight. Boyer was called up from extended spring training when the Stingers needed an extra utility player. Good deal for the hometown kid.
Wichita 0 (KC), San Antonio 3 (seven innings)
Wichita 4 (KC), San Antonio 3 (seven innings)
I've given up on waiting for the idjits over at SportsNetwork, so I'll tell you what I do know and fix the full recap later.
In the first game, RHP Chris Buglovsky (W) one-hit the Witchita offense in a complete game. LF Greg Jacobs hit his fourth home run, two-run shot which gives him the team lead with 18 RBIs. CF Dustin Delucchi, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 2B/1B Hunter Brown, and SS Eddie Menchaca all hit doubles. In the second game, LHP Chris Key started and was followed by RHP Emilano Fruto (L), who went two an a third with two hits and three strikeouts. LHP Tim Rall closed out the game. John Lindsey hit a monster three-run HR in the first, but the Missions were shut down by Wichita the rest of the way. RHP Elvis Perez tonight.
Inland Empire 4, San Jose 5 (SF)
Finally, a real game. RHP Rich Dorman (2.90, L) got the start and went five and a third, giving up two earned on four hits and two walks as he struck out five. LHP Melvin Pizarro (0.73) followed and, yes, allowed his first earned run of the year, on two hits in an inning and two-thirds, though he struck out two. LHP Cesar Jimenez (3.38) closed out the eighth with two strikeouts. On offense, CF Gary Harris (2 R, E, .263) had three hits, tops on the team. 3B Jesus Guzman (E, .308/.386/.385), and RF T.J. Bohn (2B, R, 2 RBI, .338/.438/.545) had two hits a piece. I was listening to the game a bit and one of Guzman's hits was to the opposite field, and any time a switch-hitter can pull that off, I take note. 2B Matt Rogelstad (2 RBI, .253) had the only other hit. RHP Juan Sandoval today.
Battle Creek 9 (NYY), Wisconsin 2
RHP Brandon Moorhead (4.55, L) had a mess of a start, going only two and two-thirds while giving up eight runs on eleven hits (HR) and two walks, though he did strikeout six of the batters he faced. LHP Brandon Perry (4.50) followed with one of his best outings yet, three innings, one hit, two walks, no earned runs, two strikeouts. RHP Juan Ovalles (5.79) went another two and a third allowing only a walk and striking out two. RHP Mike Hrynio (5.25) allowed a hit in the ninth, but nothing else. Good to see all of those guys step up. The offense was rather typical of the T-Rats. LF Josh Ellison (RBI, .400), 1B Chris Collins (2B, R, .250), RF Josh Womack (.224), and CF Chris Colton (.218) were the only ones with hits. LHP Ryan Feierabend starts today.
Tacoma Rainiers: 16-10, .615, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 16-12, .571, 1.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 19-11, .633, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 12-17, .414, 5 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 63-50, .558