I caught another Triple-A game out on the minor league fields behind the main stadium in Peoria on Saturday.
This time, it was the Texas Rangers minor leaguers facing the Mariners farmhands.
Forrest Snow started for Tacoma against Round Rock, and the first batter he faced was one of the top-10 prospects in all of minor league baseball: Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar.
A left-handed batter, Profar opened the game by spraying a double down the left field line. He would later score.
Snow had an easy second inning, hitting 93 on the gun and showing an excellent change-up.
The third inning saw things get away from Snow. He faced Profar again with one out, and Profar laced a triple to the gap in right-center. That started a Round Rock rally, which included about five hits in a row before the inning was “rolled over” – meaning that they just changed sides, because Snow had reached his pitch count. You see this in minor league spring training games quite often.
Other notes from the day:
- Jarrett Grube followed Snow on the mound, and he looked sharp in his first two innings. The right-hander had a good 2011 season and seems likely to break camp with the Rainiers.
- The Rainiers scored their first run when Rich Poythress walked, went to second on a groundout, and scored on a sharp single off the bat of catcher Ralph Henriquez.
- Up the middle, Tacoma had Carlos Triunfel at shortstop and Edilio Colina at second base. Triunfel made two excellent plays – diving to his right to spear a sharp grounder with the infield in, freezing a runner at third, and another play where he ranged deep into the hole to rob a batter of a hit.
- In minor league spring training games, pitchers who are not throwing that day have to serve as bat boys and foul ball chasers. Scott Patterson is an excellent bat boy.
- Rainiers outfielder Johan Limonta was sitting in the bleachers with his right wrist wrapped up. He said he has a minor injury and is supposed to be able to play on Monday. I’m sure he’ll immediately start lacing line drives again.
- As I was walking to the field, I ran into former Rainiers slugger Brad Nelson. He re-signed with Texas and looks to open the season with Round Rock this year.
Before the game, we got word that seven players were cut from major league camp by the Mariners. Outfielder Trayvon Robinson was optioned to Tacoma, and pitchers Aaron Heilman, Josh Kinney, Jeff Marquez, Matt Fox, Sean Henn and Oliver Perez were all sent to minor league camp.
Every one of those guys could break camp with the Rainiers. The Mariners are going to have some tough decisions about the Triple-A roster at the end of spring training.
- Rainiers outfielder Mike Wilson is still hungry for the big leagues.
- Greg Johns has the story on today’s roster moves.
- Former Rainiers shortstop Oswaldo Navarro just signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets.
- The hated division rival Reno Aces roster is beginning to take shape.
- The Cheney Stadium open house drew approximately 2,500 fans today – and you guys ate 2,160 free hot dogs. Nice work!
Sunday is my last day in Arizona. I’m planning on hitting the fields in the morning, and catching the early innings of the Mariners 1:05 game in the big stadium before heading to the airport. Rain could play a factor – it’s supposed to storm here.