Mariner Minors
Friday, May 21, 2004
Omaha 10 (KC), Tacoma 7
LHP Craig Anderson: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR
RHP Scott Atchison: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, K
RHP Jared Hoerman (L): 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, K, HR
RHP Andrew Shibilo: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K
RHP Greg Wear: 0.1 IP, BB, K
RF Elpidio Guzman: 3-5, 2B, RBI
CF Jamal Strong: 2-5, R
SS Jose Lopez: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
3B Justin Leone: 2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, HBP

Round Rock 7 (HOU), San Antonio 5
RHP Juan Done (L): 6.1 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, BB, 4 K, HR
LHP Tim Rall: 2.2 IP, 2 K
1B Hunter Brown: 2-4, 2 RBI
RF Cristian Guerrero: 2-3, R
DH John Lindsey: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
SS Eddie Menchaca: 1-3, 2B, RBI

Lancaster 2 (ARI), Inland Empire 16
RHP Felix Hernandez (W): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, HR
LHP Cesar Jimenez (S): 3 IP, 3 H, 3 K
SS Juan Gonzalez: 3-6, 2B, 3B, 3 R, 3 RBI
3B Jesus Guzman: 2-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, E
CF Gary Harris: 2-5, R, 2 RBI
RF T.J. Bohn: 2-5, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI
LF Vince Faison: 2-4, 2 R, RBI
2B Hyung Cho: 3-5, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI

West Michigan 6 (DET), Wisconsin 2
RHP Nibaldo Acosta (L) : 5.1 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, BB, 2 K, HB, WP
RHP Mike Hrynio: 1.2 IP, BB, 2 K
LHP Casey Abrams: 1 IP, H, L
RHP Bryan Stitt: 1 IP, K
3B Eric Blakeley: 2-3
2B Evel Bastida-Martinez: 2-4, R, E
1B Brent Metheny: 1-4, 2B, RBI

Venoco #2 2 (BAL), Aguirre 8
Rememeber yesterday when I suggested that games was the best pitching performance yet? Scratch that, today was. Ah, the joy of young seasons. RHP Alfredo Venega (0.00) went four frames, one hit, one walk, five punchouts. LHP Jose Jimenez (9.00) went the next two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. RHP Irwin Rodriguez (0.00) pitched the seventh and eighth with two walks and four strikeouts before giving way to LHP Hugo Castro (0.00), who allowed a walk and struck out the side. I don't know how common it is, but the Aguirre team's pitching core seems to be rather young this year, three of the four starters they've sent out so far have been rookies. Then again, with how successful Aguirre has been in the past few years, it can only be expected that there would be a number of new kids on the team. CF Dwight Britton (3B, 2 R, RBI, SB, .444) was the star tonight, the rookie Nicaraguan picking up three hits. DH William Ortiz (2B, R, 3 RBI, .364) had two hits on the night as well and picked up all of his RBIs in five-run third inning.

Tacoma Rainiers: 23-14, .622, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 21-20, .512, 5.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 26-16, .619, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 18-23, .439, 7 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 3-1, .750 0.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Organizational Record: 91-74, .555


Transaction Update:

With LHP Bobby Madritsch and RHP Cha Seung Baek sidelined, the Rainiers have signed RHRP Andy Shibilo to help out.

Shibilo nothing to write home about, he was just released by the Iowa Cubs after putting up a 6.23 ERA in nine appearances. However, he isn't necessarily a bad reliever either; since moving permenantly to the bullpen in 2001, he's put up a 2.11 ERA overall.

Missions 1B Ryan Balfe has been moved to the DL. No details on that, or possible callups yet.

Is it just me, or has the injury bug been out in full force this season? Nothing severe, just a lot of little things.

Thursday, May 20, 2004
Omaha 0 (KC), Tacoma 8
This game is strikingly similar to the M's game currently going on, sans 9th inning difficulties at least. LHP Matt Thornton (5.18, W) went five and a third and gave up three hits, three walks, and struck out three. LHP Randy Williams (1.54) went the next two and a third giving up a similar line, only with two each instead. LHP George Sherrill (1.57) went the final inning and a third and had two strikeouts, naturally. DH Bucky Jacobsen (2 HR, 4 RBI, .320) was the real hero tonight by going 3-4 with his eighth and ninth homers. C Ben Davis (RBI, .194) got two hits as well, and is approaching numbers that Mario Mendoza could respect. There were some more fireworks in the game, RF Hiram Bocachica (HR, .324) had a homer in his only at-bat before being pulled, possibly due to being plunked. LF/3B Justin Leone (HR, .252) belted his eleventh. In fact, SS Wee Willie Bloomquist (.417) was the only starter without a hit, though 2B Mickey Lopez (.279), who was added in the outfield shuffle didn't get a hit either. LHP Craig Anderson tomorrow, I'm thinking. Baek is out with a finger injury to his pitching hand.

Round Rock 5 (HOU), San Antonio 3
This was a game that was pretty much pitched by the bullpen, not the sort of thing you want going into a big series. RHP Emiliano Fruto (7.48) went three innings and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts. RHP Ruben Flores (5.40) had curious debut, one run, three walks, no hits, two punchouts, all in an inning and two-thirds. RHP Renee Cortez (1.23, L) allowed that run and one of his own on a homer in two and a third innings where he also allowed a walk and struck out three. RHP Rick Guttormson (3.32) went the final two innings, and gave up a run on three hits with one punchout. 1B John Lindsey (2B, RBI, .299) had three hits on the night, DH Greg Jacobs (R, .350) had two. Otherwise, it was all singles, except for CF Dustin Delucchi (.327), an odd occurence, and SS Eddie Menchaca (.191), commonplace. RHP Juan Done tomorrow.

Inland Empire 2, High Desert 12 (MIL)
LHP Bobby Livingston (1.59, L) got the start, so what happened? Well, two of those runs came off of an error by 3B Jesus Guzman (HR, .295/.402/.436)... but I'll forgive a kid who's putting up a 800+ OPS in high-A at age nineteen. But back to Bobby, he went six frames and allowed two earned on seven hits and a hit batter with four strikeouts to show for it. RHP Tanner Watson (4.08) followed with a nothing seventh inning, though he did plunk a batter. Then, all hell broke loose, or froze over, because LHP Melvin Pizarro (4.11, E) allowed five hits and a walk to all score without even recording an out. After Pizarro allowed the first four runs, RHP Darwin Soto (7.24) stepped in, promptly gave up a home run to clear the bases, and then finished up the inning without anything else of note. Not much offense to note, though 2B Hyung Cho (HR, .302) back-to-backed with Guzman in the third. CF Gary Harris (2B, .258), RF T.J. Bohn (.308), DH Pichi Balet (.283) and LF Carlos Arroyo (.305) also picked up some hits. RHP Felix Hernandez tomorrow.

West Michigan 5 (DET), Wisconsin 9
Wisconsin? Nine? But wait, there's pitching first. Well, sort of. LHP Ryan Feierabend (3.47) started and went five innings, giving up four earned on six hits with a strikeout. RHP Bryan Heaston (3.24, W) went the final four innings and allowed two hits while striking out an impressive five. SS Adam Jones (2B, 3B, R, 2 E, .247) was a short of cycling but CF Wladimir "Hammer" Balentien (2 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB, .250) was doing it all tonight. RF Chris Colton (2 2B, R, RBI, .230) wasn't bad either, two hits on the night. The only T-Rats without hits were LF Eric Blackely (.167), who walked twice and was hit, and 1B Jeremy Dutton (R, .200), who wasn't that resourceful. RHP Nibaldo Acosta tomorrow.

Aguirre 6, San Joaquin 2 (PIT)
Definately, the best pitching performance by Aguirre thus far. RHP Esteban Bolivar (2.08, E) went four and a third and gave up one earned run on three hits, three walks, and a hit batter. RHP Jorge Acosta (0.00, W) followed and went three solid innings in which he walked a batter and struck out another. RHP Diomny Gaetano (0.00) went the final inning and two-thirds, walking one and striking out two. RF Jose Graterol (2 R, SB, .429) was the only player to multi-hit, despite the fact that they did go a full nine innings today. 3B Deybis Benitez (3B, R, 3 RBI, E, .222) had a bases-clearing triple in the first and gets the offensive gold star for the day. C Juan Fuentes (.125), 2B Luis Valbuena (R, RBI, CS, .250), and DH Antonio Marcano (RBI, .250) also picked up some hits.

Tacoma Rainiers: 23-13, .639, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 21-19, .525, 4.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 25-16, .610, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 18-22, .450, 7 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 2-1, .667 0.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Organizational Record: 89-71, .556


Transaction Update:

Joe Ruiz, the San Antonio correspondant from, is reporting that RHP Allen Levrault has been diagnosed with a strain in his pitching shoulder and RHP Ruben Flores has been called up from Arizona.

Levrault, put simply, has been a mess, if not a failed experiment. The "veteran" righty has allowed eight runs in nine innings of work and couldn't record an out on Monday. Opponents are hitting .368 off of him and have an even scarier OBP of around .468. At this point, injury or no, it was looking like the Mariners were going to have to do something with him.

Flores gets the call as an odd sort of birthday present. The twenty-year-old righty was drafted by the M's in the 12th round of last year and was primarily a starter with Peoria, going 2-2 with a 3.73 ERA. Opponents hit just .233 off of him and he had a 2.17 K/BB ratio. Good numbers for Rookie League, but I wouldn't necessarily expect the same kindness from Double-A. Flores may end up just being a placeholder until another pitcher can be signed or promoted. But hey, you never know.

Following the Rainier's off day, the Tacoma News Tribune put up a feature story on LHP George Sherrill. This one goes into even more detail on a number of issues; what it's like to be waiting for a contract in the independant leagues, the competition for him (the Yankees offered and A-ball contract), why he may have been passed up, and how he's progressing in his pitching. Check it out.

Update, 1:05 PM: Sidney found another article for me on George, this time from Memphis, which is taking note of its native son. This one is the best piece I've yet seen, the depth to it covers everything. Noted in the article, the recent home run against him came when he hung a changeup, a pitch that he's been trying to work on. I think that, from what I've read, one of Sherrill's strongest traits is his willingness to adapt and his constant quest for improvement. The pitching coaches and managers seem to rave about the improvement they've noticed in his game as he's learning to pitch in and out of the zone in just a short amount of time. While I didn't see or hear the game myself, I don't think Sherrill's the type to back down from perfecting the changeup even if he does hit some rough spots at first. That's the mark of a pitcher that can dominate from the mound both physically and mentally.

The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that there's going to be a Mariners tryout camp for ages 15-23 at Wolff Stadium on June 19th.

Also, Mike Saeger e-mailed me with some details about what's going on with the Sixer. CF Gary Harris was ejected last night after arguing with the umpire, which is probably due to the fact that he's struck out in six of his last seven AB. LHP Bobby Livingston is getting an early start today in, literally, a few minutes. Mike also suggests that either LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith or LHP Miguel Martinez will get the start in Saturday's game. Thanks again, Mike.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Round Rock 2 (HOU), San Antonio 1
LHP Chris Key (5.04, L) was okay in his spot start, going four and two-thirds, giving up two runs total on six hits and two walks with four punchouts. RHP Elvis Perez (6.99) stepped in after that and was unusually effective, three hits and a walk with four strikeouts over three and a third innings, though he did throw a wild pitch and balked. LHP Tim Rall (2.91) went the ninth and allowed a walk while striking out two. Not much offense to speak of, LF Greg Jacobs (2B, R, .348) had two hits, but otherwise it was singles for CF Dustin Delucchi (.338) and C Luis Oliveros (.250). 3B Greg Dobbs (.324), but he went 0-4. RHP Emiliano Fruto tomorrow, RHP Gustavo Martinez is still out with the flu.

Inland Empire 4, High Desert 3 (MIL)
RHP Juan Sandoval (4.91) was bumped up in the rotation to make the start and went five innings and gave up three runs on six hits (HR) and three walks with four strikeouts. Not good, but not fatal. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (3.98, W) picked it up from there going two innings with two strikeouts to show before LHP Miguel Martinez (5.14, S) went the final two innings with three strikeouts. Unusually low offensive number for the Sixers; 1B Matt Hagen (2B, RBI, E, .214) had two hits, but no one else multi-hit. 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, R, .297), 2B Hyung Cho (.306, RBI), 2B/LF Matt Rogelstad (.261) and LF/RF Carlos Arroyo (.308) had the other hits for the Sixers. If you're wondering about the outfield changes, CF Gary Harris (.258) was removed after striking out three times and was replaced by RF/CF T.J. Bohn (R, .307). If there's anything to it, I'll make note. I'm guessing that RHP Tanner Watson will go tomorrow.

Tronconero #2 6 (NYM), Aguirre 2
LHP Jose Escalona (6.00) got the start and went three innings, giving up a pair of runs on four hits and a walk with SIX punchouts along the way. RHP Edgar Guaramato (27.00) followed with one inning and was hit hard, allowing three earned on three hits, a hit batter, and a walk. RHP Daniel Yerovi (0.00) went the final two innings before the game was called due to rain and gave up only a walk along the way. Since today's game was, again, abbreviated, there isn't a lot of offense to be expected, but the only Mariners to get hits tonight were LF Edzul Robles (2B, .400), SS Deybis Benitez (CS, .200), CF Jose Graterol (2B, .250), and 2B Terry Serrano (2B, 2 RBI, E, .500)

Tacoma Rainiers: 22-13, .629, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 21-18, .538, 3.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 25-15, .625, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 17-22, .436, 7 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 1-1, .500 1.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Organizational Record: 86-69, .555

I forgot to mention earlier; I'm going to be gone this weekend and nowhere near a computer. Friday and Saturday, I'll be unable to do my usual updates on the prospect world. I'll be back on Sunday, in either the afternoon or evening, but chances are I'll be rather drained by then, so whatever weekend recap I try to put up will likely be box score highlights as opposed to a full, typed out synopsis.

If you want some minor league recaps while I'm out, I recommend Jeff's blog, because he also does a daily review.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Tacoma 11, Memphis 3 (STL)
LHP Travis Blackley (3.46, W) still isn't quite back to form yet, but for now, this will do. He went six innings tonight, giving up an earned run on two hits, four walks, and a wild pitch with a single strikeout along the way. RHP Scott Atchison (4.28, S) followed with a three-inning save where he gave up a run on two hits and three walks while punching out one as well. The Rainiers offense decided to take tonight and is it as credence that they could probably do better than the major league team. CF Jamal Strong (2B, 4 R, RBI, .349) went an amazing 4-5 and looks like he's soaring right out of the slump he was in. SS Willie Bloomquist (R, RBI, .625) and DH Bucky Jacobsen (2B, R, 3 RBI, .305) both went two-for. RF Hiram Bocachica (HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .315) also muscled up to hit his fourth home run and is definately helping his case for a spot in the majors. C Ben Davis (.148), unfortunately, isn't and went 0-4 with a walk tonight, the only Rainier to go hitless. LHP Matt Thornton on Thursday.

El Paso 0 (ARI), San Antonio 4
How's this for earning a (temporary?) promotion: RHP Rich Dorman (0.00) went seven, three-hit frames and struck out NINE. Fellow newcomer RHP Renee Cortez (0.00, S) pitched the next two innings with a hit and two strikeouts to pick up the save. Cortez is already making the Missions' bullpen that much stronger. On offense, CF Dustin Delucchi (R, 2 CS, .340) had his usual 2-4, but was the only Mission who multi-hit. RF Shin-Soo Choo (2B, R, RBI, .279), LF Greg Jacobs (2B, R, RBI, .342), C Jim Horner (2B, RBI, .284) and SS Eddie Menchaca (R, .202) picked up the other hits. Dobber is still out, apparently it's an oblique thing that he was trying to play through. RHP Gustavo Martinez tomorrow.

Inland Empire 6, High Desert 7 (MIL)
RHP T.A. Fulmer (3.94) had one of those okay starts that's rather bad by his own standards. He went six frames and gave up three runs on five hits (HR), two walks, and a hit batter with four punchouts. RHP David Viane (2.31, L) followed and gave up two earned on four hits with one strikeout. C Rene Rivera (2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .324) had a huge night with the bat, going 3-4 and bumping him up to ninth in the league in batting average. LF Carlos Arroyo (.310) had two hits, but neither amounted to anything. RF T.J. Bohn (HR, 2 R, .315) had a homer and two walks. He's really become an on-base machine of late. SS Juan Gonzalez (2B, RBI, .320) and 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, R, .300/.400/.417) both contributed doubles to the losing cause. RHP Juan Sandoval is getting bumped up to start.

Cedar Rapids 2 (ANA), Wisconsin 3
LHP Jason Mackintosh (2.45) responded well to a sudden spot start, going five and two-thirds with two hits and six strikeouts to his credit. RHP Kenly Chang (4.56) followed with three innings, three hits, three strikeouts, and two unearned runs on two wild pitched. RHP Juan Ovalles (5.40, W) got one out in the top of the ninth and it stood for a win. The T-Rats offense was unusually efficient tonight, three hits, three runs. Of course, they capitalized on four errors and five walks as well (though they struck out seventeen times as a team, and no, Balentien only accounted for ONE of those). DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (2B, RBI, .233), 1B Jeremy Dutton (R, .207), and 2B Eric Blakeley (2B, R, .200) got the hits for the T-Rats. LHP Ryan Feierabend on Thursday, I think?

Aguirre Mariners 3, Cagua Reds 1 (CIN) (five innings)
Newcomer RHP Marwin Vega (3.86) had a somewhat forgetable kickoff to the 2004 season. The Columbian went two and a third innings and gave up a run on one hit, SIX walks, a wild pitch, and punched out four along the way. RHP Ronald Uviedo (0.00, W), another seventeen-year-old newcomer to the team from Venezuela, relieved Vega in the third and went an inning and two-thirds, giving up a hit, a hit batter, and three walks, but without any runs or strikeouts (though he did pick a batter off). RHP Kelvin Alcaron (0.00, S) stepped in during the fifth and got two strikeouts and the save, due to the game being called due to rain after the fifth. Not much hitting in abbreviated games, usually, but 1B William Ortiz (RBI, 1.000) and DH Gerardo Avila (1.000) both managed a 2-2. CF Edzul Robles (.500, CS, RBI), 2B Luis Valbuena (2B, R, .333) and LF Dwight Britton (R, HBP, 1.000) all had one hit a piece. No insight on the rotation order; while distinct starters end up emerging, it's more free-form than U.S. affiliates. Also, no insight on the projected lineups either, Juan Fuentes was playing third and he's listed as a catcher, Ortiz was playing first and he's listed as an outfielder.

Tacoma Rainiers: 22-13, .629, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 21-17, .553, 2.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 24-15, .615, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 17-22, .436, 7 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 1-0, 1.000 0.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Organizational Record: 85-67, .559

Baseball America finally took note of LHP Bobby Livingston in their Prospect Hot Sheet...

15. Bobby Livingston, lhp, Class A Inland Empire (Mariners)
Whiffed ten in complete game three-hitter Friday night, and that raised his ERA to 1.44

... Hey. Hey! Go vote for him. C'mon, Cabrera only makes the honorable mention.


Around the minors...

As is only natural given the state of the M's and the passing of an off day, there are minor league articles about. The PI has a minor league notebook with some details on the Inland Empire rotation (apparently, the manager was given a choice between Felix and Livingston for opening day. How could you go wrong?), Blackley's return to form, Jones going yard, short notes on others, and the top ten right now.

Not to be outdone, the Times counters with even more details on Kid K, a recap of the past week in the affiliates, and their own top ten, plus injury reports.

Meanwhile, the News Tribune is reporting what may seem like doomsaying. Larue believe change is afoot which could result in a dramatic restructuring of the roster. This actually IS what I'm hearing from other sources, so while we are not immediately certain of the moves that could/will be made, I would take this article fairly seriously.

Oh yeah, Tacoma DH Bucky Jacobsen is the Mariners Minor League Player of the Week. Nothing like a poor season to raise interest in the minor leagues, yessir. Jacobsen is also being mentioned as possible successor to Edgar, which is an intriguing possibility. Jason has his own minor league players of the week over at ITP. The pitcher is a no-brainer, but the position player is none other than Jesus Guzman! Knew the kid was going to be good...

The San Bernadino County Sun has an amazing story on LHP Bobby Livingston. Didn't realize that he had it so rough early on in life, he always seems so positive in his interviews with ITP, though I guess it explains his determination to succeed and improve no matter what. I've heard him described as Ryan Ketchner with a curveball, so I'm liking the sounds of that, of course.

In the Appleton Post-CRescent, LHP Ryan Feierabend gives tips on how to prepare for a full season of pitching. There's also a feature on OF Samuel Bradford Jr., who broke his arm frying to catch a ball in the outfield and will be out until further notice, leaving Josh Ellison's job fairly safe. All the same, bad run of luck for Bradford, I hope he recovers nicely. Also, minor slip up, LHP Jason Mackintosh seems to be getting the start in place of RHP Brandon Moorhead tonight and no, I don't have an explanation.

For those curious, BA ran a feature on the top minor league catchers recently, and no, there weren't any Mariners prospects on the list. I know.

And over at Top Prospect Alert LHP Bobby Livingston is still losing to Yankees SS Melky Cabrera in the feature poll. A shortstop who's second in the Midwest League in average and hits but not in the top five in anything else, or the pitcher who's tearing up the league and leading in wins and innings pitched, number three in ERA, and two in strikeouts. Go make the right choice.


Transaction Update:

The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that RHP Chris Buglovsky was placed on the DL retroactive to Saturday and RHP Rich Dorman has been called up to make the spot start tonight.

Buglovsky, 24, was acquired in the trade with Colorado in the winter for RHP Allan Simpson. He has filled out the second spot in the Missions rotation and has gone 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in seven starts with one complete game. He's not particularly a prospect anyway.

Dorman, 25, has been a key piece in the Sixers rotation throughout the season, though all of them could probably be considered aces on another staff. In a solid hitters' league, he's had a 3-2 record, a 2.68 ERA, and a 3.00 K/BB.

Dorman was scheduled to pitch tomorrow. There's no word yet on who might take the spot start for him, but I would guess LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith and RHP Tanner Watson would both be good possibilities.

Monday, May 17, 2004
Tacoma 7, Memphis 13 (STL)
An eight-run fourth bounced RHP Clint Nageotte (5.01, L) from the game early today. Overall, he allowed ten hits (2 HR!), nine runs, a walk, and struck out three. He was followed by RHP Jared Hoerman (3.38), who isn't the kind of guy you want to bring in when the other team decides to hit, and he ended up allowing two runs in two innings of work on four hits (HR), a walk, and a hit batter as he punched out three. LHP Craig Anderson (5.40), not the kind of guy you want to bring in when a team gets homer happy either, allowed two solo shots in his two innings of work. On offense, the star was none other than LF Willie F. Bloomquist (HR, 2 RBI, SB, .750), who went 3-4 before being lifted for Michael Nesbit in the seventh. In the two-hit club were CF Jamal Strong (2B, R, 2 RBI, .321) and SS Jose Lopez (2B, R, .271). 3B Justin Leone (HR, 2 RBI, .250) also hit his tenth home run, which has him at seventh in the league. LHP Travis Blackley tomorrow, I guess.

San Antonio 8, El Paso 7 (ARI)
LHP Troy Cate (4.46, E, W) got the start and was okay, five and two-thirds with three runs on six hits (HR) and a walk, four strikeouts. RHP Emiliano Fruto (7.71) came after that and was rather typical of what he's been doing lately, two and a third innings, run on three hits (HR), five strikeouts. The trouble really came i nthe bottom of the ninth when RHP Allen Levrault (8.00) allowed three runs on three hits (HR) without recording an out. Luckily, RHP Renee Cortez (0.00, S) stepped in and cleaned things up, striking out a batter without anyone reaching base. CF Dustin Delucchi (3 RBI, E, .336), C Luis Oliveros (2 2B, R, .247), RF Cristian Guerrero (2 R, SB, .196), and SS Eddie Menchaca (2B, 3 R, RBI, SB, .198) all had two hits a piece. 1B John Lindsey (.301) and 3B Hunter Brown (.242) both were hitless (and the paper still refuses to report what happened to Dobbs). RHP Chris Buglovsky tomorrow.

Cedar Rapids 6 (ANA), Wisconsin 9
Not a lot to dislike about this game. LHP Thom Oldham (3.51, W), after going through a rough stretch his past few starts, roared back and held the Kernels to five hits over seven innings as he punched out thirteen, which bumps him up to fifth in the league in strikeouts. Things got a little shakey from there, with RHP Bryan Heaston (3.86) allowing three runs on two hits (HR) and two walks with a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning, before giving way to RHP Bryan Stitt (2.75, S) who did the same basic thing in an inning and two-thirds, only with one more hit and strikeout and one less walk. While SS Adam Jones (3B, R, RBI, .239) and 1B Jeremy Dutton (RBI, .202) also had two hits each, it was CF Wladimir Balentien (2 HR, 5 RBI, .229) who hammered two pitches over the walls to make the difference. Three games since his return, and three homers already, which ties him for 18th in the league. Not bad for a guy who only has 70 at-bats. DH Brent Metheny (HR, .197) also had ah omer, his first of the year. The only T-Rat to go hitless was LF Josh Ellison (R, .286), which is, of course, rather unusual. RHP Brandon Moorhead tomorrow.

The opener for the Seattle team in the Venezuelan Summer League was rained out tonight. I know, I am saddened as well.

Tacoma Rainiers: 21-13, .618, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 20-17, .541, 3.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 24-14, .632, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 16-22, .421, 7 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 81-66, .551

If you feel so inclined, go over to Top Prospect Alert and cast some votes for Bobby Livingston to get the next feature. Because, you know, he was just named California League Pitcher of the Week (2 W, 15 IP, 18 SO, opp. BA .200, 1.80 ERA)

Sunday, May 16, 2004
Tacoma 5, Memphis 4 (STL) (thirteen innings)
RHP Cha Seung Baek (5.06) deserved to win this one. He went five and a third innings, giving up an earned run on four hits and a walk as he fanned five. Baek was followed by LHP Randy Williams (1.71), who went two and a third and gave up only two hits (though they led to an unearned run) and a strikeout. On a sad note, someone scored on LHP George Sherrill (1.66), once, via the long ball. He allowed three other hits and two punchouts in his one and a third innings of work. In the majors they would have considered that a blown save, unfortunately. RHP Jared Hoerman (0.00) went the tenth and gave up a hit and struck out a batter, a somewhat typical inning for him. RHP Greg Wear (5.14, W) went the next three innings and allowed a hit and two walks but nothing else. "The Other Lopez", 2B Mickey (2B, HR, .287) went 3-7. DH Bucky Jacobsen (HR, .306) and 1B A.J. Zapp (HR, .288) hit their seventh and eighth home runs, respectively. RF Elpidio Guzman (R, SB, .309) and LF Luis Ugueto (2B, 2 RBI, .247) had two hits each out of the eight and nine spots in the lineup. 3B Justin Leone (2B, R, 2 E, .248) had only one hit at the plate and two errors, but that wasn't as bad as SS Jose Lopez (2 E, .264), who had two errors and went 0-6. Also not hitting were CF Jamal Strong (.316) and C Ben Davis (.174). LHP Travis Blackley tomorrow.

San Antonio 6, El Paso 2 (ARI)
Is it a breakout or just another teaser? RHP Juan Done (4.10, 2 E, W) was pretty solid tonight, going seven and a third innings and allowing two runs on six hits, three walks, and a hit batter while he struck out six. LHP Tim Rall (3.05) went an inning to follow and gave up two hits and walk, striking out a batter in addition to that. RHP Rick Guttormson (3.20, S) got a two-thirds of an inning save with a punchout. Lots of hits for the Missions tonight, LF Shin-Soo Choo (RBI, SB, CS, .278), 1B John Lindsey (2B, R, .311), DH Greg Jacobs (RBI, .346), and 3B Hunter Brown (2B, 2 R, SB, .256) all went two-for. Brown got the start after replacing Dobbs at third last night. I still don't know what happened, news coverage gets a little scarce when the Missions are on the road, though it's excellent at home. The only Mission who didn't get a hit tonight was SS Eddie Menchaca (SB, .188). LHP Troy Cate tomorrow.

Inland Empire 6, Rancho Cucamonga 9 (ANA)
Not like the defense was helping him any (four errors on the night), but RHP Felix Hernandez (3.67, L) lost today, going four innings and giving up five earned on eight hits (2 HR!), a hit batter, and three walks while he rung up only three. LHP Cesar Jimenez (E, 2.60) followed with three scoreless frames in which he gave up a walk and struck out two. LHP Miguel Martinez (6.00) continues his off-and-on struggles by giving up two runs on three hits (HR) in the eighth inning. On offense, it was the newcomers doing most of the work, with 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, 3 E, .308) and 2B Hyung Cho (R, RBI, .311) getting two hits each. They are hitting .308/.400/.430 and .311/.326/.400 respectively, and it will be hard to decide who to send down when Garciaparra comes off the DL. The only Sixers without hits tonight were 1B Pichi Balet (R, .297) and LF Carlos Arroyo (R, .301), which is rather unusual for both. RHP T.A. Fulmer on Tuesday.

Cedar Rapids 8 (ANA), Wisconsin 0
Messy game for the T-Rats, allowing eight runs, three errors, and only getting four hits. LHP Eric O'Flaherty (4.81) got the start and went five innings giving up six runs on nine hits, a walk, and two wild pitches while punching out four. RHP Juan Ovalles (5.49) threw two frames after that, giving up a run on two hits (HR) and striking out one. RHP Mike Hrynio (6.00) had an impressive stunt in the eighth, three hit batters and a wild pitch, but no runs and two strikeouts. LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.31) went the ninth and gave up no earned runs with two hits and a strikeout. As I said before, there were only four hits for the T-Rats, so there isn't much to talk about. DH Evel Bastida-Martinez (.234), 3B Michael Cox (2 E, .237), 1B Jeremy Dutton (.190) and CF Wladimir Balentien (.212) split those hits. Balentien also walked once, which isn't bad, his OBP is .056 higher than his average, but it certainly wouldn't hurt him to walk a little more and maybe strike out a little less. LHP Thom Oldham tomorrow.

Tacoma Rainiers: 21-12, .636, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 19-17, .528, 3.5 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 24-14, .632, 1st CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 15-22, .405, 7 GB MWL Western
Organizational Record: 79-65, .549


Transaction Update:

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have sent LHP Brandon Perry and 2B George Sandel to extended spring training in Peoria. To replace them, LHP Casey Abrams and IF Eric Blakely have been called up.

It's not the move that surprises me so much as the fact that they did it. Generally speaking, it's sort of unusual for the M's to demote players during the season.

Perry had a 5.51 ERA in eleven appearances this season, and was allowing an opposing OBP of around .397. He has all the stuff you'd ever want from a left-handed reliever, he just seems to have trouble keeping his control consistant. Barring anything major, he might be Everett's closer to start the season.

Sandel wasn't bad by MWL standards, he just wasn't particularly good either. He hasn't hit a single ball for extra bases yet this season, and he's primarily only used at second, so he doesn't provide a lot of roster flexibility (considering there are any number of player on the roster who are also equipped to play there).

Abrams, a fifth-round pick last season, was shut down in Everett with arm problems shortly after being drafted. With the Aquasox, he only pitched six and a third innings, with a 7.71 ERA and an opposing OBP of .414. He's a college arm, so he should be more polished than the rest once he gets back on track.

Blakeley, put bluntly, is just more useful than Sandel. Last season with the Aquasox, he saw time at first, second, shortstop, and the outfield, all while putting up a .303/.371/.415 line. And he can seem to play third with some ease as well, because that's what he did last night.

A closer look at the minor league system of the Seattle Mariners baseball club.

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2006 Minor League Splits
2006 Organization Stats
2006 Runs Created and SECA
2005 M's Minor League Review

Top Prospect Lists:'s Mariners System Review
InsideThePark's 41-50 Mariners Prospects
Baseball America's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
John Sickels' Top 20 Mariners Prospects
Diamond Futures' Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Rotoworld's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Sportsblurb's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Creative Sports' Top 10 Mariners Prospects

Charts and Data:
2004 Minor League Hitting Review
2004 Minor League Pitching Review

Around the Minors:

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ProspectInsider Blog
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Global Baseball Blog
Sportspot Minor League Forum
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Broadcaster Blog
Everett Aquasox (SS-A):
Official Website
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Current team stats
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Current team stats
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2003 Prospect Lists:
Rotoworld Top 100 Prospects
Rotoworld Top 10 Mariners Prospects
The Minors First Top 100 Prospects
Inside The Park's 21-30 Mariners Prospects
On Deck Baseball's Mariners Prospect Rankings
On Deck Baseball's Future 500
On Deck Baseball's Future 500 (AL Only)
Wait Til Next Year's Top 50 Prospects
Wait Til Next Year's 51-90 Prospects
The Sports Network's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Creative Sports' Top 10 Mariners Prospects
CBS Sportsline's Top AL West Prospects's Top 10 Mariners Prospects's Top 50 Prospects
Seattle PI's Top 15 Mariners Prospects
2003 Runs Created (Current system players)
2003 Runs Created (New acquisitions)
2003 Secondary Avg. (Current system players)
2003 Secondary Avg. (New acquisitions)
2003 WHIP Charts (Current system players)
2003 WHIP Charts (New acquisitions)
2003 K/BB Charts (Current system players)
2003 K/BB Charts (New acquisitions)

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