It’s going to be quiet here on the blog until Thursday – I’m taking two days off from Rainiers radio to cover the big club, so I’m focusing on that tonight and tomorrow.
The Rainiers are hosting Tucson in a four-game series starting tonight at Cheney Stadium. Bob Robertson will handle the play-by-play, with guests Ian Furness (Tuesday) and Mike Gastineau (Wednesday). You can catch the broadcasts on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here.
The pitching matchups look like this:
- Tuesday, 7:05: RHP Hector Noesi (0-1, 14.04) vs. RHP Jorge Reyes (6-9, 5.34)
- Wednesday, 11:35 AM: TBA vs. RHP Matt Palmer (6-6, 6.16)
TBA will probably be rehabilitating Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Wednesday’s scheduled starter was Andrew Carraway, but he landed on the disabled list with a strained lat. It’s unclear how long he will be out for.
So, the Mariners traded Ichiro.
I was stunned by this, just like most of you guys. I thought for sure that Ichiro was a Mariner For Life. I actually expected the Mariners to sign him to a contract extension for next year, even though it probably wasn’t in the best interest of the team.
There is no question that Ichiro’s skills are starting to fade. He is such a speed-based player that “losing a step” really brought down his overall production.
Still, he is one of the greatest players in Mariners history, and watching him play the last 11 years was a true joy.
I remember spring training 2001, when Lou Piniella expressed concern that Ichiro wasn’t going to be able to hit. I was at the game in September of 2004, in the left field foul pole seats where The King’s Court is today, when Ichiro broke the single-season hit record.
He brought us a lot of great memories. Since the Mariners aren’t in it this year, I might – might; don’t hold me to it – root for the Yankees in the playoffs, just for Ichiro to get to a World Series. Ugh, it pained me just to write that sentence. I need to do some soul-searching on this one.
In return for Ichiro, the Mariners received two Triple-A pitchers: D.J. Mitchell and oft-traded reliever Danny Farquhar.
Both pitchers are joining Tacoma. Mitchell is a starter, Farquhar a sidearm reliever. They are expected to arrive on Wednesday – but I’m not sure if they will arrive in time for the 11:35 AM game. No roster moves will be made until these guys actually show up; they were on a road trip in the International League – in fact, they played for a homeless team, the “Empire State Yankees.” More on that later this week.
Also, Justin Smoak has been optioned to Tacoma, the Mariners are activating Mike Carp from the DL tonight, and they have one more roster spot to fill before tonight’s game.
So, we’re getting a flurry of transactions here – and the trading season is just getting underway! Deadline time is always wild at the Triple-A level.
- My Rainiers game story for The News Tribune on Tacoma’s 9-1 loss in Colorado Springs on Monday, in which Danny Hultzen struggled.
- The Seattle and Tacoma papers are chock-full of Ichiro coverage – just hit their front pages for tons of stories.
- One Ichiro story you must read, that you might have missed: columnist and Mariners historian Art Thiel weighs in right here.
- Sacramento’s Dan Straily kept it going last night, shutting out Tucson as the River Cats avoided a sweep. Straily is keeping them guessing.
- A column from Las Vegas about the late, great Bob Blum.
- Salt Lake beat Fresno last night, 1-0, and the only run of the game scored on a balk. Baseball!
We close out with a big, warm ”Goodbye” to long-time Rainiers front office employee Mallory Beckingham, who is leaving the organization to pursue other opportunities. Best of luck down the road, Mallory, and come back and see us – you will be missed.