Mariner Minors
Friday, June 18, 2004
Tacoma 0, Sacramento 3 (OAK)
RHP Gustavo Martinez (5.48, L) just wasn't good enough tonight, going six and two-thirds innings and giving up three runs on seven hits, three walks, and a wild pitch with six strikeouts along the way. RHP Jared Hoerman (9.17) went the next inning and a third and recorded a walk for every out, but surprisingly gave up no runs. The Rainiers were four-hit tonight, but two of those hits came from the bat of 3B Greg Dobbs (.400). It looks like LHP Craig Anderson pitches tomorrow.

Arkansas 5 (ANA), San Antonio 7
LHP Chris Key (5.46) went five and two-thirds innings tonight, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Three of those runs came in the sixth when RHP Emiliano Fruto (6.81) gave up two hits and two walks leading to one run of his own without recording an out. RHP David Gil (0.00) made his system debut and shut it down from there, giving up a hit and striking out a batter in an inning of work. LHP Jared Thomas (1.72) went the inning and a third that followed, giving up a hit and two walks, but striking out the batter in all but one of his outs. RHP Rick Guttormson (4.17, S) gave up a hit in the ninth, but nothing else. Four Missions batters, CF Dustin Delucchi (R, .307), 3B Hunter Brown (2 R, .289), C Brian Moon (R, 2 RBI, .212), and DH Luis Oliveros (RBI, .252) had two hits each. RHP Rich Dorman tomorrow.

Rancho Cucamonga 3 (ANA), Inland Empire 1
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (3.75, W) really pitched well enough to win tonight, going seven innings and giving up three runs on seven hits and throwing a wild pitch as he struck out nine. LHP Melvin Pizarro (4.32) went the last two innings, walked a batter, and struck out four others. The one-two in the lineup did all the punching tonight as SS Juan Gonzalez (3B, R, .305) hit a triple and 3B Jesus Guzman (RBI, .305/.408/.455) drove him in. Both ended up with two hits. RHP Juan Sandoval tomorrow.

Wisconsin 3, Clinton 10 (TEX)
It's generally feast or famine with RHP Nibaldo Acosta (4.52, L). He went five innings tonight and gave up NINE RUNS on ten hits (HR), FIVE walks, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and only two strikeouts. RHP Kenly Chang (4.54) went the two innings that followed and gave up three hits and a walk while striking out two. LHP Casey Abrams (15.75) pitched a meaningless ninth, good thing too, because he gave up a run on three hits. No multiple hits for the T-Rats tonight, nor extra-base knocks, so I'll note that 2B Eric Blakeley (R, .312), RF Chris Colton (2 RBI, .251), 1B Jeremy Dutton (R, .196), and CF Wladimir Balentien (.256). RHP Michael Moorhead tomorrow.

Vancouver 1 (OAK), Everett 11
Here's the big one, because I saw it all. RHP Aaron Jensen (0.00, W) wasn't totally on with his control tonight, going five innings and allowing one hit, but giving out five free passes and striking out only one. Jensen came through when it counted, though. He loaded the bases in the second, then threw two consecutive curveballs for strikes before getting the batter to ground into a double play. He induced three double plays over his five innings. RHP Cibney Bello (0.00) went the next inning, gave up a LONG flyout to right (you'll see more of them this season, only they'll go father and won't record outs), struck out a batter, then gave up a walk and a single in his inning before another groundout. RHP Kenny Falconer (4.50) went the next two innings and gave up the only run after a walk, a wild pitch, a ground out, and a single, and realistically, that seemed to be the only way Vancouver was going to get it done tonight. More notable, to me, was the battery duo of Falconer and C Omar Falcon (R, .250). The press loves things like that. RHP Jon Lockwood (0.00) walked the bases loaded after throwing a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth and looked like trouble before getting that final groundout to third to win it. As you can gather from the initial numbers, there were hits, and a lot. SS Asdrubal Cabrera (2B, 3 R, .500) is listed as going 2-4, but it was really more like 3-5 as he reached base on what was ruled a fielder's choice, despite the fact that no out was made. That's the official report though, to me, it looked like him surprising the Vancouver team and pulling out a bunt base hit on what should've been a sacrifice. That was what started the big inning today. One of Cabrera's hits was also a golf-type stroke on a ball that either bounced or was an inch off the ground, but he got it all the same and turned it into a hit. PH/3B Pedro Ozoria (2B, R, 2 RBI, 1.000) who came in for 3B Oswaldo Navarro (.333) in the sixth and got a pinch hit RBI single. By the way, the players introduced themselves at the beginning of the game and Ozzie Navarro sounds almost exactly like Andy Kaufman's character from Taxi, maybe even a little more high-pitched. Ozoria plays some mean third too. Other big hits came from 2B Yung-Chi Chen (R, 3 RBI, .250), who looked a lot better than he was hitting (seriously, I would have thought he had two or three hits just from what I saw), 1B Brian Lahair (2 R, 2 RBI, .400), though I wanted to see Soto play, CF Mike Wilson (2B, RBI, .250), who made a killer sliding catch in the outfield, LF Casey Craig (2B, R, RBI, .667), who is a bit quicker in the outfield than you'd think by looking at him, RF Elvis Cruz (2B, 2 RBI, .333), who looked a little lost until he hit the double, and DH Josh Ellison (2B, 2 R, .500), to whom I wanted to cheer "hit your way back to Wisconsin!" Surprisingly, no stolen bases for either team tonight. LHP Kendall Bergdall tomorrow, may be there, may not, but RHP Ivan Blanco is pitching on Sunday and I really want to see that.

Universidad 5 (FLA/SD), Aguirre 10
It was the duo of RHP Ronald Uviedo (2.95) and RHP Alfredo Venaga (1.83) pitching again today. Both went four innings and struck out two, Uviedo gave up a run on three hits and a hit batter, and Venaga gave up nothing on two hits. RHP Danilo Barker (inf.) made his 2004 debut and gave up two hits and a walk which would turn into three runs, as RHP Diomny Gaetano (1.69) allowed two of those to score and one of his own by giving up three hits and a walk with a strikeout. Leading the offense in hits today was 1B William Ortiz (2 R, RBI, SB, .238) who had three, but other (sometimes, stronger) contributions were made in the two-hit group by SS Deybis Benitez (2 R, .259), 2B Luis Valbuena (2B, 3B, 3 R, RBI, .365), and RF Jose Graterol (Grand Slam, 6 RBI, .325).

Dominican is down, I'm not hearing anything.

Tacoma Rainiers: 37-28, .569, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 29-40, .420, 16 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 38-30, .559, 5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 30-37, .448, 11 GB MWL Western
Everett Aquasox: 1-0, 1.000, T-1st NWL West
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 14-8-1, .630 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 9-1, .900, 1st Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 160-143-1, .528

Just a friendly reminder that the Everett Aquasox season opener is tonight. You can listen it online via this site. Myself, I expect to be in the stadium for the game, but the tickets Joe hooked me up with are will call and so I'm mostly just hoping to get in right now.

Salt Lake 2 (ANA), Tacoma 4
This was the completion of the game that was rained out when Salt Lake was in town last, so don't get too confused by the recap. RHP Cha Seung Baek (3.97) started the game originally and went three innings allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. RHP Jeff Harris (1.76, W) finished the game weeks later with six innings of one-hit ball that saw him strike out five. DH Bucky Jacobsen (HR, 2 R, RBI, .313) and 3B Greg Dobbs (HR, 2 RBI, .500) both had the big htis for the Rainiers, two-run homers in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively. 3B/SS Justin Leone (2B, .274) also had a double and seemed to field an unusual position for him rather nicely, though he would go on to make an error in the second game.

Salt Lake 0 (ANA), Tacoma 7 (seven innnings)
LHP Travis Blackley (2.49, W) is practically automatic right now and at this rate he probably won't lose ever again in the minor leagues. He went the seven-inning complete game tonight, allowing two hits, hitting a batter, balking, and striking out six. LF Luis Ugueto (2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, .288) and DH Bucky Jacobsen (R, 3 RBI, .320) both had two hits and drove in all of the Rainiers' RBIs for the night. RHP Gustavo Martinez today.

Arkansas 3 (ANA), San Antonio 6
RHP T.A. Fulmer (6.85) seems to have rediscovered his form in the Texas League, as he went seven innings tonight allowing two runs on three base hits (2 HR!) while walking a batter and striking out seven. RHP Aaron Taylor (4.15, W) gave up the tying run in his inning and two-thirds, though, with three hits, a walk, and a strikeout overall. RHP Rick Guttormson (4.29, S) got the final out and the save. The offense seemed to be awake tonight, as 3B Hunter Brown (2B, R, .283), DH Ryan Balfe (R, RBI, .213), and 2B Rob Gandolfo (R, RBI, .246) all had two hits while RF Cristian Guerrero (2B, R, RBI, .209) and SS Eddie Menchaca (2B, .222) both hit doubles. LHP Chris Key tonight.

Inland Empire 2, Lake Elsinore 12 (SD)
On tap for the Sixers; Wednesday, elimination, Thursday, annihilation. RHP Tanner Watson (5.60, L) started this game and went three and a third innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and three walks against three strikeouts. This seemed to rub off on LHP Cesar Jimenez (2.90), who went the next two-thirds and gave up two earned on three hits, a walk, and two wild pitches, though both of his outs were strikeouts. RHP Darwin Soto (4.34) would pitch three innings after that, giving up nothing earned on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts. RHP David Viane (4.29) pitched the eighth inning and had atwo walks and strikeout. 2B Taylor Pullins (2B, R, RBI, 2 E, .154) and DH Carlos Arroyo (2B, .351) both had two hits, though Pullins' two errors detract from his hitting performance. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith tonight.

Wisconsin 15, Dayton 14 (CIN)
The idea of "trading punches" doesn't seem to fully do this game justice. LHP Ryan Feierabend (3.91) started and had the best performance of seemingly anyone, going six innings and giving up three runs on five hits (2 HR!) and two walks, stiking out seven. After that, LHP Casey Abrams (16.71) was a disaster without an out, giving up a hit, two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a wild pitch, all of which would eventually lead to four more runs for the Dragons. Of course, two of those runs came via RHP Bryan Heaston (6.62), who served up a home run and would go on to allow four runs of his own on three hits (2 HR!), a hit batter, a walk, and a wild pitch. RHP Juan Ovalles (5.75, W) would pick up the win after the dust cleared, but he too woudl give up three runs on four hits, a wlak, and a wild pitch, striking out the side eventually. RHP Mike Hrynio (4.61, S) picked up his first save by getting through the ninth with a walk and two strikeouts. Now for the offense... how to describe... well, DH Hyung Cho (.440) was the only Rattler without a hit, and RF Wladimir Balentien (Grand Slam, .255) was the only position player without two hits. How's that? Notable in the two-hit crowd were SS Adam Jones (HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .264) and 1B Eric Blakeley (HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, .315). RHP Nibaldo Acosta tonight.

No scores were reported from Venezuela last night. I'm baffled.

Meanwhile, in the Dominican, that Mariners won yet again, this time under a start from Jael Luna who went five innings and is now second on the team with nineteen strikeouts. I can't remember much more than that, and the website is down YET AGAIN, so I can't fill in the blanks.

Sorry for the delay, storm, internet went out, couldn't type up the recaps late last night.

Tacoma Rainiers: 37-27, .578, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 28-40, .412, 16 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 38-29, .567, 5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 30-36, .455, 10 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 13-8-1, .614 1.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 9-1, .900, 1st Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 157-141-1, .527

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Transaction Update (THE BIG ONE):

Tacoma: SS Jose Lopez has been placed on the disabled list with a grade two sprain in his medial collateral ligament. To replace him on the roster, the M's have called up 3B Pedro Ozoria.
San Antonio: OF Vince Faison has been placed on the disabled list after reinjuring his hamstring. IF Ryan Balfe has been reinstated from the disabled list to replace him. RHP Ben Christensen has been released. Former Reds farmhand David Gil has been added to the roster to take Christensen's role.
Everett: (noting only the SIGNINGS) From the 2004 draft, the M's have signed OF Brent Johnson (14th), RHP Mumba Rivera (21st), RHP Aaron Trolia (27th), and LHP Adam Brant (28th).

Lopez, 20, was hitting .280/.332/.505 when he went down. As Tom pointed out in a recent comment, Bobby Crosby hit .305/.395/.544 last year at age twenty-three, and was widely regarded as one of the best prospects in the league. Lopez is putting up his numbers at twenty in a more extreme pitchers park. So where is his press? Now that I have that out of the way, a strain to the MCL is not terribly severe, but shoudl leave him out for at least four weeks. They are, however, seeking out a second opinion to determine whether the ACL is damaged, and if that's the case, then he'll be out for the rest of the year plus a bit of next year.

Ozoria, 20, hit .262/.338/.362 for the Peoria Mariners last season in his U.S. debut. He was the Domincan team's MVP back in 2003, and the fact that he didn't hit for a higher average and better power in Arizona was surprising, to me at least. That said, Ozoria was slated to play third for the Aquasox this season and it's unknown when he will return. What is known, is that the Sox roster now has three infielders, Cabrera, Chen, and Navarro, trying to play four positions. Soto, who is currently listed as a catcher, will probably take over at first, but that still leaves them on the edge in terms of infield depth. It's possible that Craig may move to second to give that depth, moving either Cabrera or Navarro to the bench whiel the other takes third. They already have seven freaking outfielders on the roster, including Craig.

Faison, 23, has already been a frequent topic on this list. While he is slugging .452, and has a higher isolated slugging in San Antonio (.226) than in Inland Empire (.200), his batting average is almost .100 points lower. I'll grant you that Wolff Staidum is regarded as the worst hitter's park in the league, if not all of Double-A, but I'm still none too impressed.

Balfe, 28... well, I don't really have anything to add to this synopsis other than "Why, God, why?" Balfe has been hitting .204/.245/.226 this year, is too old to be considered a prospect by anyone's standards, and has little useo n the field. The Missions needed an outfielder, but instead of calling up some guy from Inland Empire, they reinstated a black hole in the lineup.

Christensen, 26, has left the M's farm system and is taking his controversy with him. Whatever your opinion is on the matter, he certainly wasn't pitching well enough to stay (.333 opp batting average, nine runs in 8.2 innings).

Gil, 25, was third-round pick by the Reds back in 2000. He had a career ERA of 3.65 coming into the season, but he tends to get hit a bit and that was underscored this season when he was giving up about a hit and a third per inning. If they get the pre-2004 Gil, well, then it should help, especially with the park down in San Antonio.

The draftees I don't have a lot of commentary on; it's hard to tell right now who will be pitching where. Trolia is rumored to be the closer, while Johnson could probably be the starting centerfielder. Beyond that, I'm not entirely certain.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Salt Lake 8 (ANA), Tacoma 13
Turns out that RHP Gil Meche (2.93) can pitch after all. He had a no hitter through six and two-thirds, and would go seven and a third overall. For the game, he allowed three earned on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts. LHP George Sherrill (2.43,W) came in after that and allowed three of Meche's runs and one of his own to score on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. RHP Andy Shibilo (11.05) continues to ask for a release after going two-thirds of an inning and giving up three runs on three hits and two walks, but LHP tim Christman (3.86) got the final outo f the game on a strikeout. With the bats, four Rainiers had two hits, 3B Justin Leone (3 R, .273), DH Bucky Jacobsen (2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .313), 1B A.J. Zapp (HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, .281), and 2B George Sandel (2 R, RBI, .300). CF Elpidio Guzman (2B, R, RBI, .283) also had a double while taking over in Jamal Strong's usual spot. RHP Jeff Harris and LHP Travis Blackley tomorrow.

Arkansas 6 (ANA), San Antonio 1
LHP Phil Devey (4.76, L) got his second start in the system and was less impressive this time out, going five and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts. RHP Chris Buglovsky (3.54), still trying to build up some arm endurance, went two and a third innings with a hit and a strikeout. But how about LHP Jared Thomas (1.88), who struck out the side in the ninth? He's been a pleasant surprise in an otherwise disappointing start for the Missions. The only offense worth noting was 1B John Lindesy's (HR, .291) solo homer in the ninth. RHP T.A. Fulmer tomorrow.

Lake Elsinore 1 (SD), Inland Empire 7
Kid K, RHP Felix Hernandez (3.06, W) was just one out, ONE OUT away from his first complete game, just allowing a run in the ninth inning and seven runs and a walk overall with another eight strikeouts, but he was pulled as LHP Miguel Martinez (6.26) got the final out of the game. The offense was led tonight by 3B Jesus Guzman (3B, 3 R, RBI, .302/.410/.459), who hit his first triple of the season and was 3-4 with a walk. LF Jon Nelson (2 2B, R, 2 RBI, .309) also contributed two doubles and is another one of the good surprises of the season. RHP Tanner Watson tomorrow.

Wisconsin 8, Dayton 7 (eleven innings)
One thing LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.10) is always going to do is keep a team in the game, and tonight he did just that, going six innings and allowing just a run on two hits, two hit batters, two wild pitches, and three walks while striking out TEN. Should've won too, but RHP Brad Rose (43.20) stepped in for a third and coughed up five runs on four hits and a walk. Two of those runs scored when RHP Mike Hrynio (4.78) came in with a home run to the first batter, but there was only a walk and a strikeout after that in his inning and a third. RHP Bryan Stitt (3.53, W) picked up the win with three and a third innings of scoreless relief where he gave up a hit and a walk but struck out four. DH Hyung Cho (2B, R, CS, .550) looks like he'll be key to the T-Rats offense in the second half, going 4-4 with a walk. LF Josh Womack (HR, 2 RBI, CS, .269), 2B Nick Orlandos (2B, R, .200), SS Adam Jones (2B, R, RBI, .263), and 3B Eric Blakeley (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .300) all had two hits as well, so the bats are really looking like they're heating up. LHP Ryan Feierabend tomorrow.

One again, I'm doing the recap a bit too late to get the exact statistics, but the Santo Domingo Mariners won again. Juan Zapata went five scoreless innings, which now qualifies him for the ERA lead at 0.00. Meanwhile, Eddy Fernandez jumped to fourth on that list when one of the pitchers on it got hit a little too much. Ronald Garth and Manelik Pimentel are now one-two in the batting average rankings, and Garth is now leading the division in hits.

I'm planning a MASSIVE transaction update for tomorrow, so be on the lookout for it.

Tacoma Rainiers: 35-27, .565, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 27-40, .403, 17 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 38-28, .576, 5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 29-36, .446, 10 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 13-8-1, .614 1.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 8-1, .889, 1st Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 152-140-1, .520

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Salt Lake 6 (ANA), Tacoma 1 (seven innings)
For the first game of the doubleheader, the Rainiers sent up LHP Matt Thornton (6.32, L). The results... well, six innings, but four runs, four hits, seven walks, a hit batter, and three strikeouts. I don't know what his pitching issues are at the moment, but he's not exactly making a case for why he deserves to be on the 40-man right now. LHP Tim Christman (4.05) followed with an inning where he allowed nothing earned on a hit and a walk. SS Luis Ugueto (HR, .283) hit a homer, and that was your game-one Rainiers offense.

Salt Lake 1 (ANA), Tacoma 5 (seven innings)
This was more like it. RHP Scott Atchison (3.94, W) went five inning and allowed the one run on four hits while punching out six. LHP Randy Williams (2.68, S) got a two-inning save where he gave up two hits and struck out one. 1B Bucky Jacobsen (HR, .308) and RF Greg Jacobs (R, .290) both had two hits, while 3B Justin Leone (HR, .267) hit his eighteenth out of the park and SS Mickey Lopez (3B, RBI, .290). The usual Lopez playing shortstop does not have as serious an injury as originally thought, though his knee has sprained ligament and he will be out for a while, just not out with surgery. Also being bit by the injury bug was CF Jamal Strong (R, .328), who felt a pop in his knee while rounding third in the second game of the doubleheader. RHP Gil Meche starts tomorrow, Sid has informed me that the next doubleheader is on Thursday.

Frisco 5 (TEX), San Antonio 3
RHP Juan Done (5.80, L) went six and two-thirds and allowed four runs on seven hits, a hit batter, and four walks with four strikeouts. I will note, however, that three of those runs came in the seventh, and Done was having his best outing to date up until that point. He was relieved by LHP Tim Rall (3.79), who went an inning and a third of his own giving up a run on a hit, a hit batter, and a walk wiht a stirkeout. RHP Rick Guttormson (4.33) had a hit and a strikeout in an otherwise meaningless ninth. For the offense, 3B Greg Dobbs (R, .325) and C Luis Oliveros (.245) provided the multi-hits while LF Vince Faison (2B, RBI, .226) and RF Cristian Guerrero (2B, RBI, .212) provided the power. But on an unfortunate note, it was Guerrero who replaced Faison in the lineup, as Vince left when he felt his hamstring tighten up upon hitting second base. They're dropping like flies. LHP Phil Devey tomorrow.

Lake Elsinore 1 (SD), Inland Empire 9
Bobby is back. LHP Bobby Livingston (3.38, W) won tonight as he went seven innings, allowing all nine hits by the Storm but only allowing that to turn into one run, on a solo homer, no less. He also managed to strike out six. Looking good, hopefully he can pull it off consistantly now. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (3.73) had a one inning relief appearance that saw him strike out two before giving way to RHP Ruben Castillo (0.00) who walked a batter and struck out another. Lots of offense tonight, but the kudos belong to CF Gary Harris (3B, R, 3 RBI, .282), who had the first five-for-five performance by a player in the system this season. RF Carlos Arroyo (2B, 2 R, RBI, .347) and C Rene Rivera (2B 2 R, RBI, .277) had identical 3-5 performances and LF Jon Nelson (R, RBI, .304) pitched in two hits but struck out in his other three at-bats. 3B Jesus Guzman (2 R, RBI, .290/.399/.439) was only 1-2, but he walked three times and his patience at the plate seems incredible for a player his age. RHP Felix Hernandez tomorrow.

Wisconsin 8, Dayton 10 (CIN)
No one's going to deny that LHP Thomas Oldham (3.73) deserved to win this one. Five and a third innings, three runs, six hits (HR), two walks, TEN strikeouts. I tell you, if he and Bobby are both back to their early-season form, then the injuries that have been going around to the pitchers won't hurt as much. Unfortunately, the bad version of RHP Juan Ovalles (5.14) showed up and coughed up four runs on three hits and two walks in just a third of an inning, allowing two of Oldham's runs to score in the process. RHP Kenly Chang (4.79, L) picked up the loss after giving up two runs in an inning and two-thirds on three hits with a strikeout. Of course, one of those runs was allowed to score by LHP Casey Abrams (11.57), who left giving up a hit without an out, and THAT run was allowed to score by RHP Bryan Heaston (5.73) who also gaveu p a walk in the final two-thirds of the game. Just ugly bullpen work for the T-Rats. The offense was all right though, as C Justin Ruchti (HR, .198) hit his first homer and LF Josh Womack (2 R, SB, .268), 1B Eric Blakeley (2 R, .288), SS Adam Jones (R, .261), and CF Michael Nesbit (2B, 2 RBI, CS, .450) all had two hits a piece. 2B Hyung Cho (3 RBI, .438) drove in two of his three RBI with the only other hit for the Rattlers. LHP Jason Mackintosh tomorrow.

Aguirre 5, Tronconero #1 6 (PHI)
The Aguirre team was pitted against the only team with a better record today, and the results were similar to what you could expect. LHP Jose Jimenez (2.40) went four innings today allowing no earned runs on four hits and a walk with a strikeout. RHP Daniel Yerovi (3.86) went the next two innings and gave up a run on a hit with a couple of strikeouts. Things fell apart when the usually-solid RHP Jorge Acosta (4.15) came in and gave up three runs on a hit and two walks only recording one out, by strikeout, no less. LHP Hugo Castro (1.93) would allow all of those runs to score on a hit and walk of his own, but managed to record two outs, one of them on the strikeout. RHP Kelvin Alarcon (2.89) allowed a hit, but nothing else in the eighth. For the offense, CF Edzul Robles (R, .147) was the only one with two-hits and no one had a an extra-base hit today. Aguirre has the day off tomorrow.

I can't seem to access the Dominican site right now, but I can tell you that they won another game recently, one that Michael Mercedes seemed to start. The batting average charts are still pretty much the same (Garth is still hitting .500!), and Eddy Fernandez is now fifth in ERA with 0.68, I believe.

Tacoma Rainiers: 34-27, .557, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 27-39, .409, 16 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 37-28, .569, 5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 28-36, .438, 11 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 13-8-1, .614 1.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 7-1, .875, 1st Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 148-139-1, .516

Monday, June 14, 2004
Salt Lake 6 (ANA), Tacoma 4
Well, bad news first I guess. LHP Craig Anderson (6.23) got the start and was actually effective tonight, going six innings and allowing two runs on four hits (HR), a walk, and a hit batter with six strikeouts. RHP Jeff Harris (2.89), who is scheduled to start one of the games on Wednesday, had two strikeouts in the seventh. After that, things sort of fell apart for two of the most reliable relievers in the pen. Well, things fell apart for one of them, at least. LHP Randy Williams (2.83) went a third of an inning, striking out a batter and giving up two walks before LHP George Sherrill (2.23, L) stepped in, gave up a hit to Kotchman to score both inheritted runners, then allowed Kotchman to score on another hit, then served up a home run in the ninth. I will note, however, the the hit after Kotchman's should have been caught by Jamal Strong, limitting the damage considerably. Sherrill also struck out three. DH Bucky Jacobsen (2b, 3 RBI, .306) was the only Rainer to have an extra-base hit on the night, and there were no multi-hit games for anyone either. They received nine free passes tonight as a team, but just couldn't do anythign with them. In a troubling note, SS Jose Lopez (.280) was pulled from the game after trying to break up a potential double play and was seemingly unable to put any wait on his right leg. LHP Matt Thornton and RHP Scott Atchison start the games of the doubleheader tomorrow. Worry.

Frisco 3 (TEX), San Antonio 2
RHP Rich Dorman (4.88, L) pitched well enough for a win on just about any other team, going six innings and allowing the three runs on six hits (HR) and three walks with eight strikeouts, again. Dorman's only been on the team a few weeks, but he's tied with Chris Key for second on the team with thirty-eight strikeouts. RHP AAron Taylor (3.38), continuing his rehab, had an uneventful seventh before giving way to RHP Emiliano Fruto (6.57), who had two hits and two strikeouts in his two innings. Both catchers had two hits tonight, with C Ryan Christianson (2B, RBI, .300) behind the plate and DH Luis Oliveros (R, CS, .237) with the bat. The presence of Christianson seems to be providing some competition for Oliveros, ever so slightly at least; his batting average has gone up .009 points. RHP Juan Done tomorrow.

Lake Elsinore 8 (SD), Inland Empire 3
More bad news! RHP Juan Sandoval (4.44) started and was solid through seven, allowing two runs on four hits and a couple of walks with five strikeouts and looking to be up to his old tricks. Then LHP Miguel Martinez (6.35, L) steps in for two-thirds and strikes out a batter, but allows six runs on four hits and a walk, two of those coming when LHP Melvin Pizarro (4.60) comes in for the final out and serves up two-run triple. RHP David Viane (4.50) had a okay ninth, hitting a batter without any other events, but by then, the one-run lead was long obliterated. On the two-hit front for the Sixers offense was CF Gary Harris (2 3B, R, RBI, .268), 1B Pichi Balet (2B, RBI, .304), and RF Carlos Arroyo (.338). LHP Bobby Livingston tomorrow.

Wisconsin 10, Dayton 9 (CIN)
I'm sure you want to hear about the hitting too, but first there was pitching, and also, three errors. RHP Brandon Moorhead (5.20) started and went four innings giving up one earned run (but five unearned) on four hits, a hit batter, two wild pitches, and two walks against six strikeouts. RHP Brad Rose (20.25) had a curious debut for Wisconsin, going one and a third and allowing three runs on a hit, a walk, and hit batter with only one strikeout. Well, as you can probably guess, RHP Mike Hrynio (4.68, E, W) allowed two of those runs to score on a hit of his own, the only one he would give up in his two and two-thirds as he went on to strike out three, though he would throw a wild pitch as well. RHP Bryan Stitt (3.90, S) picked up his thirteenth save with a strikeout in the ninth. On to the interesting part... The Hammer, playing in right for the first time this season, RF Wladimir Balentien (2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB, .264) went 4-5 and seemed to have no problems with his new position. SS Adam Jones (3B, 2 R, RBI, SB, .258) also had a big night, going 3-5 overall. LF Josh Womack (2B, RBI, .265) and CF Chris Colton (HR, 2 R, SB, .263) also managed two hits each. Colton has just been on fire of late. LHP Thom Oldham pitches tomorrow.

Venoco #1 1 (HOU), Aguirre 4
Pitching and who plays where is always a mystery in the Venezuelan Summer League... RHP Felix Correa (0.53) started and went four innings, giving up a couple of hits, a couple of walks, and striking out six. RHP Edgar Guaramato (3.60) went the four innings after that, giving up nothing earned on two hits and three walks agianst three strikeouts. Closer (?) LHP Hugo Castro (2.08, S) pitched a ninth that saw a hit and nothing else to pick up the save. With the bats, RF Jose Graterol (2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, .320) was the only one who did anything noteworthy, going 2-3 with a walk. I want to predict who might pitch tomorrow, I really do...

Tacoma Rainiers: 33-26, .559, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 27-38, .415, 16 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 36-28, .563, 5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 28-35, .444, 11 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 13-7-1, .625 0.5 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 6-1, .857, 1st Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 145-136-1, .516

In Venezuelan League news, Luis Valbuena and Jose Escalona of the Aguirre team have been named the most valuable player and pitcher in the league for week four of the season.

Valbuena needs no explanation, just look at the numbers. Two of the previous winners got their awards for batting around .400 for a week. The first two won it after batting .588 and .520. Valbuena gets it for batting .625 and slugging over 1.000.

Escanlona was a surprise pick for me, but I was also surprised when he was used in relief back on Saturday. Hard to argue with an eight inning stretch where you only allow one hit, one walk, and strike out eight though.


Transaction Update:

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have placed LHP Eric O'Flaherty on the disabled list and called up RHP Brad Rose to take his place.

O'Flaherty, 19, was a guy who I thought was going to leave the Midwest League reeling after his initial Peoria/Everett campiagns. What a difference a year makes. After putting up a 4-0 record, a 2.43 ERA, a .189 batting average against, a 2.7 K/BB, and a 0.95 WHIP (I could go on) in 2003, those stats are 3-3, 6.12, .344, 1.65, and 1.85, respectively this year. Keep in mind that the league he's in tends to favor pitchers as well. The details of his injury are not yet known, but could this be the source of his pitching woes? I can only hope, and similarly, hope that he comes back having worked out whatever issues he has so that he can return to his previous form (hopefully, as a starter).

Rose, 20, has been well-travelled this season, seeing time in Tacoma and San Antonio after starting out in Everett last season. Rose provides a level of versatility to the roster, being able to start or relieve, and given how they handle their double-headers, I'd say manager Steve Roadcap is pretty big on versatile pitchers.

Sunday, June 13, 2004
Tacoma 5, Tuscon 14 (ARI)
Just ugly pitching all around tonight. RHP Gustavo Martinez (6.14, L) started and went only two innings, allowing five runs on six hits, four walks, a wild pitch, and a balk with four strikeouts. RHP Jared Hoerman (9.92) fared only slightly better in his two and a third innings, giving up three earned on four hits (2 HR!), three walks, and a hit batter against a lone strikeout. The mayhem continued when LHP Tim Christman (4.76) stepped in for an inning and two thirds and gave up three runs on five hits (HR) with three punchouts. But who would have thought that the "best" pitching performance woudl be turned in by RHP Andy Shibilo (9.64), who would go two innings and allow a run on a hit and a walk with an impressive three strikeouts? 3B Justin Leone (HR, 2 RBI, .274) put together a three-hit night and his seventeenth homer ties him for second in the league, six behind a guy who was a Mariner for a couple of weeks, Omaha 1B Calvin Pickering. DH Bucky Jacobsen (HR, .307) and 1B A.J. Zapp (.290) had two hits on the night, while LF Luis Ugueto (3B, RBI, .288) had a triple. LHP Craig Anderson could be pitching tomorrow. My heart goes out to the bullpen.

Frisco 3 (TEX), San Antonio 6
LHP Chris Key (5.36) had a decent start tonight, going five innings and allowing three runs on three hits and a couple of walks and strikeouts. RHP Chris Buglovsky! (3.76) returned after several weeks of being MIA and put together a single inning where he allowed a hit, threw a wild pitch, and struck out the side. Now if only we could get Madritsch and Baek healthy... LHP Tim Rall (3.68) went an inning and a third after that, walking two, before giving way to RHP Rick Guttormson (4.46, S), who pitched the final inning and two-thirds, allowing a hit and striking out two. Two Missions two-hit tonight; the hot-hitting LF Shin-Soo Choo (2 R, RBI, 2 SB, .293) as one of them and C Luis Oliveros (2B, .228) as the other. 2B Hunter Brown (HR, .287) also hit his sixth homer while 1B John Lindsey (2B, RBI, .292) hit his thirteenth double, which ties him with Oliveros for second on the team. RHP Rich Dorman tomorrow?

High Desert 4 (MIL), Inland Empire 2
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith got sick at the last minute, so the start went to LHP Cesar Jimenez (2.50, L), who had just pitched on Thursday, and not too effectively. Jimenez would go four innings and give up two earned runs on six hits and a hit batter while strike out four. RHP Darwin Soto (4.85) pitched the next three innings and was highly effective, allowing two hits and striking out two. RHP Ruben Castillo (0.00) pitched the final inning and allowed nothing earned on a hit. DH Pichi Balet (.299) and C Rene Rivera (RBI, .272) both had two hits for the Sixers, but 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, R, .295/.397/.450) had the only one to go for extra bases tonight. RHP Juan Sandoval tomorrow.

South Bend 1 (ARI), Wisconsin 5
You know it's an odd night when San Antonio and Wisconsin win, but Tacoma and Inland Empire lose. Well, RHP Nibaldo Acosta (3.79, W) finally had the offense come through for him, but it didn't look as if he needed the help today. Acosta threw a nine-inning one-run complete game with five hits and four strikeouts, not only the first such game for Wisconsin this year, but also the first nine-inning complete game for Acosta in his career, dating back to the 2001 Aguirre team. The offense wasn't so bad either, with only two Rattlers going hitless in the game. SS Adam Jones (2 2B, R, .250), RF Chris Colton (2B, HR, 2 RBI, .260), and 2B Michael Cox (2B, HR, .230) got two hits each and contributed all but one of the extra-base hits for the day. The last one was a triple by LF Michael Nesbit (3B, R, .467) in the bottom of the seventh. RHP Brandon Moorhead tomorrow.

Tacoma Rainiers: 33-25, .579, 1st in PCL North
San Antonio Missions: 27-37, .422, 15 GB in TL West
Inland Empire 66ers: 36-27, .571, 4.5 GB CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 27-35, .426, 11 GB MWL Western
Seattle Mariners (VSL Aguirre): 12-7-1, .625 1 GB in VSL Valencia
Seattle Mariners (DSL Santo Domingo): 6-1, .857, 1st Santo Domingo Norte
Organizational Record: 143-133-1, .518

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

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2006 Minor League Splits
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2005 M's Minor League Review

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