Big day yesterday at the ol’ ballyard.
First, the Rainiers ended a four-game losing streak by defeating Sacramento, 3-1. Anthony Vasquez delivered another gem, allowing one run over six innings, relievers Shawn Kelley and Scott Patterson were outstanding, and the Rainiers had some clutch hitting from Ralph Henriquez and Kyle Seager.
After the game, we got word that the Mariners signed Triple-A slugger Wily Mo Pena to a contract, and he will be joining the Rainiers in a few days.
This immediately made me happy, because Wily Mo is one of the most fun players to watch in Triple-A baseball due to the enormity of his home runs. He may not connect often, but when he does, it’s a sight to see. Pena also puts on a display during batting practice every day.
Pena put up big numbers for Reno earlier this season, hitting .363 with 21 home runs and 63 RBI in 63 games for the Aces. He got called up to Arizona and went 9-for-45 with five homers, but 19 strikeouts. Arizona designated him for assignment and Wily Mo elected free agency, signing with the Mariners.
It will be fun having Wily Mo here, but still, it was a curious signing. What, exactly, are we going to do with him?
Pena is a designated hitter. Tacoma already has a DH in Luis Jimenez, who is putting up a solid 285/374/477 line. John Limonta is also primarily a DH, although he does get starts in the outfield corners.
The outfield is full, with 40-man-roster players Carlos Peguero, Mike Wilson, and Michael Saunders out there. Then there are Matt Tuiasosopo and Ryan Langerhans – Langerhans is playing very well right now, and while Tui is having a rough season he’s still on the 40-man.
Tacoma already has an unbalanced roster, with 13 position players and 11 pitchers. You need a 12-man pitching staff in the PCL (unlike the majors, in the high-octane PCL you actually need seven relievers). So when Wily Mo gets here, it will put even more of a bind on this roster unless changes are made.
It’s a real logjam. The team has a couple of days to work it out, while Wily Mo is getting in shape down in Peoria.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05 at Cheney Stadium and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM, and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Nate Robertson (3-3, 7.68) against Sacramento LHP Carlos Hernandez (5-3, 4.55). It seems like something strange happens every time Robertson takes the mound, so be ready…
KJR 950 AM is broadcasting its afternoon show live from Cheney Stadium, and several Rainiers players will be guests – check it out, from 3 to 7!
- We’re getting lucky – another Rainiers game story by Larry LaRue of The News Tribune.
18. Cancelled! Thanks, Felix and Ichi and Ack and Carpy…
- Here’s more on Wily Mo Pena.
- Sad news: the Peanut Man has passed away.
- In the PCL, first place Reno lost to Las Vegas thanks to two home runs by Brett Lawrie. Despite that, and despite the fact that we signed Wily Mo, the Aces are printing playoff tickets.
- Tucson’s Anthony Rizzo says he has fixed his swing – it’s either that, or maybe it’s just hitting in Tucson against Triple-A pitching.
- Jonathon Sanchez had a successful rehab start, and Fresno put the hammer to Salt Lake.
- New Round Rock outfielder Val Majewski had a big game and the Express romped.
- Oklahoma City added Lucas Harrell to the rotation, and he tossed six shutout innings – but he’s concerned about his hitting.
- Omaha star Clint Robinson had the big hit as the Storm Chasers defeated Albuquerque.
- Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer and New Orleans beat Iowa.
Off to the ballpark. Tasty Thursday tonight!