Here we go – the post all-star break portion of the PCL schedule starts tonight, with the Tacoma Rainiers starting an eight-game homestand at Cheney Stadium.
Tacoma welcomes the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to town, and it’s Tasty Thursday tonight. Blake Beavan starts for Tacoma in what looks like a final tune-up before returning to the Mariners starting rotation – the Mariners will need a fifth starter on the 17th, which lines up with today in terms of proper days of rest, etc.
Beavan will be followed in the Tacoma rotation by Danny Hultzen (Friday), Hector Noesi (Saturday), and Andrew Carraway (Sunday). Prior to the break, manager Daren Brown did not say who the fifth starter will be.
Tacoma won its final two games in Salt Lake City and won that series, three games to two. The Rainiers have gone 14-11 over their last 25 games, immediately after that dreadful stretch when they lost 12 of 13. Things have gotten better!
As I type this, we’ve had only one roster move announced: pitcher Jandy Sena was transferred to Double-A Jackson during the break. He’s logging a lot of airline miles this season.
I fully expect other moves to be announced before the game. Among them, I expect Mike Carp to resume his rehab for Tacoma (he played for High Desert during the break), and we may get a Stephen Pryor rehab, too. If Pryor jumps straight to Seattle, the M’s will have to send a reliever down. The Mariners don’t play until Friday, so stay tuned.
The PCL won the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday night, shutting out Buffalo, 3-0. It ended a three-game losing streak to the dreaded International League.
(You know how people sometimes laugh that Nashville and New Orleans, among others (Iowa!) play in the Pacific Coast League? Well, the International League contains only teams from the USA. At least we have some teams on the Pacific Coast – I even saw the ocean once this season, during a layover at LAX.)
The Rainiers contingent played a small role.
Luis Jimenez started at DH and batted fifth. He went 0-for-2 with two walks. His first walk, in the first inning, came with two outs and pushed a runner into scoring position so Wil Myers could drive him in with a single.
Guillermo Quiroz caught the last four innings, going 0-for-2 at the plate.
Finally, I’d like to commend the MLB Network and Triple-A Baseball for getting the broadcast right this year. After last year’s disaster-cast with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar, this year they called the game straight-up with MLB network host Paul Severino doing play-by-play, and prospect analyst Jonathan Mayo on color. They did a great job, with only a rambling Tom Seaver inning taking away from the players and the game.
Most importantly, they kept the suits out of the booth. Those inning-long interviews with various league presidents only took away from the players and the game. There was a brief stand-up interview from the dugout with Minor League Baseball kingpin Pat O’Connor between innings once, and that was fine.
And we got the game in HD! We welcome the Triple-A All-Star Game to 2012.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05 pm, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Blake Beavan (3-0, 3.19) against Colorado Springs RHP Guillermo Moscoso (5-3, 5.69).
- From the Triple-A All-Star Game, we have a game story. My man Wil Myers was the MVP, collecting a pair of hits. The four Reno all-stars were big contributors.
- Mariners prospect Jordan Shipers pitched a no-hitter for Class-A Clinton last night. Shipers (pronounced “SHY-pers”) is considered to be an excellent prospect who was generally ranked right outside of the Mariners Top-10 in the various off-season rankings.
- Larry Stone was at the MLB all-star festivities, and he has a story on Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen at the Futures Game. At the game, Walker explained why he has been struggling recently.
- Stone caught up with former Rainiers slugger Bryan LaHair at the MLB All-Star Game.
- Former Rainiers knuckleballer R.A. Dickey appeared on The David Letterman Show.
- Stone thinks that the Mariners should hire a second hitting coach, like many other major league teams are doing.
- Larry LaRue has a fine column in The News Tribune explaining why the Mariners probably won’t be making a lot of roster moves tomorrow. We knew this was a rebuilding year going into it, and it’s all about patience. Unfortunately, patience is something that us sports fans tend to lack.
- Hat tip to Grant Brisbee, we have the box score of the year from the Mexican League: just your standard 23-0 no-hitter. Lots of former PCL players in this one, but no ex-Rainiers.
- Apparently giving up on keeping the NBA’s Kings, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson is looking into bringing major league baseball to the city. The Oakland A’s say they are not interested in moving to Sacramento.
- From the Oregonian we have an article on two guys who developed the software used my MLB video coordinators.
- In the PCL, the Reno Aces are changing their name to the Reno Ghost Riders for the weekend.
Rested and ready – let’s get the “second half” started.