Today we’ll begin a series of posts in which we check in on former Rainiers players and see how they performed this year. We start by looking at former Rainiers who played Major League Baseball this season.
We’re not going to look at the current Seattle Mariners who played in Tacoma. My hunch is that if you read this blog, you probably already follow the Mariners and know that most of the players on their roster played in Tacoma some point. In fact, let’s count them… the Mariners used 38 different players last year, and by my count 26 of them are former Rainiers.
I’m going to list the player, his current team, and a few stats. The focus is on players who had an extended run in Tacoma – players who Rainiers fans are likely to remember. If you are wondering exactly when someone played for Tacoma, there are great resources for this under the “Roster” and “stats” tabs at the Rainiers official site.
To get the project started, we’ll open in the National League and work through to the AL.
- Willie Bloomquist, Arizona. Hit .302-0-23 in 80 games and 324 at-bats. Mostly played shortstop while Stephen Drew was injured.
- J.J. Putz, Arizona. Posted a 2.82 ERA with 32 saves and a 65-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Now has 183 career saves.
- Eric O’Flaherty, Atlanta. Left-hand reliever had a 1.73 ERA in 57.1 innings; he has flourished in Atlanta.
- Bryan LaHair, Cubs. Hit .259-16-40 in 340 at-bats with 784 OPS. Made NL All-Star team but tailed off in second half.
- Luis Valbuena, Cubs. Batted .219-4-28 in 90 games, played a lot of third base. Managed to walk 36 times.
- Jason Giambi, Colorado. The last active Tacoma Tigers player hit .225-1-8 in 89 ABs. Has 429 career homers and 1,968 hits.
- Greg Dobbs, Miami. Batted .289-5-39 in 319 at-bats. As usual, opened season as a pinch-hitter and ended up playing a lot.
- Nick Green, Miami. Spent most of season in Triple-A but got into seven MLB games.
- Rob Johnson, Mets. Played in 17 games as a back-up catcher, hit .250. We’ll have more on him in the minor league update next week.
- R.A. Dickey, Mets. Went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, 230 strikeouts in 233 IP, wrote a book, Cy Young award candidate.
- Jeff Clement, Pittsburgh. Went 3-for-22 pinch-hitting after a September call-up, spent season in Triple-A.
- Brian Fuentes, St. Louis. Split season between A’s and Cards, went 2-2, 7.20 in 30 innings. End of the line for the 37-year-old lefty?
- Mike Morse, Washington. Batted .291-18-62 despite injury-plagued season, currently in playoffs.
- Adam Jones, Baltimore. Hit .287 with 32 home runs and 82 RBI, will get down-ballot MVP votes.
- Scott Podsednik, Boston. Appeared in 63 games and hit .302 in 199 at-bats. Went 8-for-10 stealing – now 36 years old.
- Scott Atchison, Boston. Put up a 1.58 ERA in 42 games out of the bullpen in his age 36 season.
- Jose Lopez, White Sox. Appeared in 81 games as a utility infielder, hit .246 with four homers.
- Matt Thornton, White Sox. Had a 3.46 ERA in 74 relief outings; somehow got dinged for ten losses.
- Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland. Hit .270 with 35 doubles and 16 home runs as everyday shortstop. Do not talk about this trade.
- Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland. .283 with 43 doubles and 16 homers; don’t talk about this trade either.
- Ezequiel Carrera, Cleveland. Hit .272 with a .312 OBP in 147 at-bats. Split season between AAA and MLB.
- Jack Hannahan, Cleveland. Batted .244-4-29 in 105 games and 287 at-bats. Defensive whiz.
- Chris Seddon, Cleveland. Spent second half in MLB, went 1-1, 3.67 mostly as a reliever.
- Ramon Santiago, Detroit. Utility infielder batted .206 in 93 games.
- Doug Fister, Detroit. 10-10, 3.45 in 26 starts, currently in post-season.
- Yuniesky Betancourt, Kansas City. Hit .228 in 57 games, released in August.
- Adam Moore, Kansas City. Went 2-for-11 with a homer as a September call-up.
- Raul Ibanez, Yankees. Hit .240 with 19 homers at age 40. Career: 1,883 hits, 271 home runs, 1,116 RBI.
- Alex Rodriguez, Yankees. .272 with 18 HRs, 57 RBI, .783 OPS. Slowing down but still: 2,901 hits, 647 home runs, 1,950 RBI.
- Freddy Garcia, Yankees. 7-6, 5.20 as swing-man. Career record of 152-101.
- Derek Lowe, Yankees. Actually spent most of the season with Cleveland, went 9-11, 5.11 combined. 175 career wins.
- Rafael Soriano, Yankees. Saved 42 games with a 2.26 ERA for the injured Mariano Rivera.
- Travis Blackley, Oakland. Went 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA as one of the biggest surprises in the majors.
- Josh Lueke, Tampa. Got into three games for the Rays; spent most of the season in Triple-A.
- Mark Lowe, Texas. Went 0-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 36 games from the bullpen.
- Steve Delabar, Toronto. Put up better numbers after the trade: a 3.38 ERA with 46 K’s in 29 IP for the Jays.
- Brandon Morrow, Toronto.10-7 with a 2.91 ERA in 21 starts. Another trade we’re not gonna talk about.
That should cover most of them. I’m sure I missed a player or two; I had to look at the final stats for every team to find the players and I’m sure I glossed over a name or two – they all start swimming in your brain after a while.
Next week we’ll look at former Rainiers in the minor leagues and see what we find.
- The News Tribune’s Ryan Divish is back on the Mariners beat, and he returns with a blog post detailing the contract status of every Mariners player on the 40-man roster.
- The Arizona Fall League opened up yesterday, and Mariners prospect James Paxton pitched a strong game. Look for Paxton in a Rainiers uniform this coming April.
- It’s Mariners Domination Time in Baseball America’s list of the Top-20 Prospects in the Double-A Southern League. Subscribers can click through for scouting reports.
- In the PCL, a complicated stadium lease situation in Las Vegas has cleared up, paving the way for the team to be sold.
- Pretty amazing story out of San Francisco: Brandon Crawford grew up in a family of Giants fans, and his name is on a brick the family purchased when AT&T Park was built. The newspaper took a “sad fan” picture of the 5-year-old Crawford at a game in 1992. Now he is the team’s starting shortstop.
- While we are in the Bay Area, here is a funny little story on Tigers pitcher Al Albuquerque kissing the baseball.
- It’s Wednesday and you need a good laugh, so spend some time with these guys mocking Dennis Eckersley‘s haircut.
I’m going out of town for a few days and won’t be blogging again until Tuesday, when we’ll get caught up on the news and look at the former Rainiers in the minors.