Three straight days off in April – it’s like an unplanned all-star break. The Rainiers got rained out on Monday and Tuesday, and then yesterday was a scheduled league-wide off-day.
If you are wondering why Salt Lake didn’t just stay in town an extra day and play the games on the off-day, well… the league just doesn’t do that. Teams fly commercial airlines, and months ago the Bees booked 30 seats to fly home on Wednesday morning. It is expensive and often impossible to change 30 airline tickets at the last minute, so the league just doesn’t do make-up dates like that.
The Rainiers will announce the dates and times of the make-up doubleheaders in the next week or so. Because it is a very rare situation – six games in four days, June 22-25 – the league and the major league affiliates have to approve the schedule. It takes a little extra time.
So today the Rainiers host Reno – the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate. Reno was Tacoma’s dreaded enemy last year – in their first year in the Pacific Coast League, the Aces went 13-3 against Tacoma. Aces Ballpark in Reno is a nice place to watch a game – unless you’re a Rainiers fan; Tacoma went 1-7 in that House Of Horrors last year.
Fortunately, the two Aces who really hurt the Rainiers last year are gone: Trent Oeltjen was a free agent who signed with Nashville, and Rusty Ryal made the Diamondbacks big-league roster.
Today the Rainiers will start RHP David Pauley (0-2, 4.00). Pauley has had each of his last three scheduled starts either rained or snowed out. There, hopefully I just jinxed his streak. Reno is going to start RHP Matt Torra (0-1, 2.84). 7:00 game, 850 AM, streaming on www.tacomarainiers.com.
The Aces top prospect is probably slugging first baseman/outfielder Brandon Allen. Allen was acquired from the White Sox in a trade last summer, and he hit well for Reno late last year before struggling in a September call-up to Arizona. Allen is back in Reno to start 2010, and he is hitting just .208 but with 3 home runs and 10 RBI. Allen has walked 13 times giving him a .341 on-base percentage.
The Aces are 9-11 on the year, and they just split a four-game home series with Colorado Springs.
Now a few links – but not too many, the entire PCL was off yesterday:
- Yesterday, the TNT printed Ryan Divish’s Rainiers Notebook. Today, Divish has some good links in his Minor League Report.
- The big story on the farm right now is Class-AA OF/1B Carlos Peguero, who blasted three home runs yesterday and is now tied with Marlins uberprospect Mike Stanton for the minor league lead. Peguero – who belted his three bombs from the leadoff spot – is now batting .378-9-18 on the year. Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald got some quotes about Peguero.
- The Mariners finished the “no Cliff Lee” portion of their schedule with an 11-11 record – not too shabby. Geoff Baker blogged about how forutnate the Mariners are to have not signed Jarrod Washburn.
- Bellarmine Prep grad Jon Lester had his first really good start of the year for the Red Sox.
- San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy pulled Tim Lincecum early, the Giants bullpen (and outfield) blew the game, and an absolute firestorm has started in the Bay Area. Here, here, here, and more here.
- The Cubs lost, and Lou got a little prickly.
- Former Rainiers lefty Brad Thomas got his first major league victory at age 32.
- Here’s a nice feature on Oklahoma City pitcher Derek Holland, who was once an unnoticed scrawny high school kid and now is a big-time prospect.
- Salt Lake centerfielder Peter Bourjos is really fast. He’s also going to be really annoying to Rainiers and Mariners fans for the next six years or so.
- Former Mariners prospect Chris Tillman tossed a no-hitter for Triple-A Norfolk last night. He was included with Adam Jones, George Sherrill, and Kam Mickolio in the headache-inspiring Eric Bedard trade. Tillman’s no-hitter came against the Gwinett Braves – who are managed by former Rainiers skipper Dave Brundage.
- Politics and baseball have intertwined once again, and now the Arizona Diamondbacks are dealing with protesters on the road.
Now, please…. let’s actually play a game tonight!