We understand if you’re not totally worked up about the Triple-A All-Star Game yet. It’s still about seven weeks away, and the sun just recently came out for the summer here in Tacoma.
But today marks a big date in the All Star Experience: fan balloting for the Triple-A All-Star Game is now live online.
Fan ballots account for half of the all-star selection process. There is another ballot for Triple-A managers and media members – that’s the other half. Then the respective league offices make final tweeks, to ensure that all 30 teams are represented.
MiLB.com previewed the ballot, and they make it sound like the International League is loaded with top prospects who are candidates to appear in Tacoma. One of the top prospects in all of the minors is Charlotte infielder Yoan Moncada, and he’s tearing up the IL right now and is a strong candidate to make the all-star team if the White Sox don’t call him up.
You can start voting for the Triple-A All-Stars now. The ballot is right here. Don’t forget to pick some Rainiers!
Yesterday: Fresno ruined the Rainiers home mojo – at least for a day – by beating Tacoma on Thursday night, 5-2. A three-run rally in the top of the eighth inning snapped a 2-2 tie, with Colin Moran‘s two-out, two-run single the big hit. The Rainiers are now 18-5 at Cheney Stadium this season, and they wrap up the homestand tonight.
Today: Fresno (19-29) at Tacoma (29-17), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Houston Astros.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 2-1.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Francis Martes (0-2, 5.25) at TBA.
Don’t be fooled by the stats: Martes was ranked by Baseball America as the Houston Astros No. 1 minor league prospect entering the season. However, he’s been wild in his first taste of Triple-A ball, averaging nearly a walk per inning.
We’re waiting to see who Tacoma’s starter will be.
Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 12 straight games… Tyler Smith has gone 6-for-11 with a homer in this series against Fresno… reliever Ryne Harper hasn’t allowed a run over his last seven appearances, covering 8.2 innings pitched… Mark Lowe has gone seven appearances without allowing a run, spanning 7.1 IP – and also his velocity seems to have picked up a little bit.
Look Out For: Outfielder Derek Fisher is considered the top prospect among the position players on the club; he’s hitting .313 with ten homers… first baseman A.J. Reed was touted as a top prospect entering the 2016 season but fell off; he’s performing better in the PCL this year.
Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Casey Coleman was a productive reliever for Tacoma last year; he’s in Fresno’s starting rotation right now… reliever Aaron West was drafted out of the University of Washington in 2012, he’s a product of Snohomish High School.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.
- Craig Hill of The News Tribune suggests that last night’s Rainiers pitcher Andrew Moore could be next in line for a major league promotion.
- The Mariners ended their five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Washington on Thursday. Three takeaways from the game.
- Several Mariners players visited injured and recovering soldiers while in D.C.
- International signing season is five weeks away, and the Mariners are favorites to land a teenage shortstop named Juan Querecuto. His older brother Juniel is currently playing for Sacramento.
- Are switch-hitters a dying breed?
PCL Game Reports:
- The Rainiers didn’t get any help from the Iowa Cubs yesterday. The I-Cubs lost to Reno, 5-2, as Frank Duncan pitched well and the Aces pulled within one game of first-place Tacoma. The Des Moines paper has a feature on Iowa’s Stephen Bruno, who is training to be a police officer when his playing career ends.
- El Paso took down Salt Lake, 8-5, despite ex-Rainiers outfielder Jabari Blash going 0-for-5 with five strikeouts. Jose Pirela hit his tenth homer for the Chihuahuas. The Bees have lost five in a row, but they do have rehabilitating Angels closer Huston Street right now.
- Albuquerque outfielder Mike Tauchman homered twice in an 11-5 win over visiting Oklahoma City.
- Round Rock’s Jason Matinson snapped a 4-4 tie with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to beat Las Vegas, 6-4.
- Nate Orf doubled and drove in three runs to help Colorado Springs fend off the Baby Cakes, 7-6. New Orleans slugger Destin Hood hit his 12th homer – he has eight over his last 11 games!
- Omaha picked up a road win in front of a sellout crowd at Nashville, 8-4, ending the Sounds four-game win streak.
- Michael Roth pitched Sacramento to a 5-3 win over visiting Memphis.
Saturday we’re on the road again: eight games in nine days, at Salt Lake and Fresno. Tacoma returns home on June 5 to finally play division rival Reno.