The Rainiers are hot and the Mariners are not.
We’ve seen this before, and we know what is about to happen: change.
It started this morning, with Ryan Divish of The News Tribune reporting that the Mariners are going to option Jesus Montero to Tacoma, call up Jesus Sucre to the big leagues, and transfer Brandon Bantz from Double-A Jackson to Tacoma.
For those scoring at home, that makes two new Rainiers, with one player leaving – so clearly there are going to be more moves. The timing on all of this could stretch out over two days, since the Mariners do not play today (and Montero may not report today; he’s allowed three days).
Personally, I expect additional moves after tonight’s Rainiers game, or prior to tomorrow’s Mariners game. Tomorrow morning the Rainiers fly to Reno, and I’ll be looking around the airport gate to see who is there and who isn’t there – not for the first time in my career.
Expect to see a large turnout from the Mariners front office tonight at Cheney, as they will want to look at players first-hand to see about possible call-ups to try to right the ship. Particularly, they will be looking at Tacoma starter Jeremy Bonderman, who is approaching an opt-out date in his contract, and the Mariners have to figure out what to do with him.
If the Mariners front office was there yesterday, they would have been impressed by Tacoma starter Andrew Carraway.
Carraway lasted 6.2 innings, giving up just one run on five singles. He struck out six and walked only two, turning in yet another quality start. Carraway is now 5-1 with a 2.98 ERA on the season.
Sucre led the way offensively, going 3-for-4 with a tie-breaking two-run double in the sixth inning. Nick Franklin had two hits and an RBI, and Carlos Triunfel reached base twice and scored both times.
The Rainiers won their fifth game in a row, improving to a PCL-best 29-18 on the year. Tacoma goes for a sweep in the final game of the homestand tonight.
We send our condolences to Nashville manager Mike Guerrero. His father Epy Guerrero – a famous scout – passed away today at the age of 71.
Mike Guerrero has missed this entire series to be with his father for his last days, and Brewers field coordinator Charlie Greene has filled in as Sounds manager.
Epy Guerrero had a huge impact on baseball in the Dominican Republic – he’s generally considered to be the man who opened the gates for baseball talent to flow from the Dominican to the US. He worked for the Toronto Blue Jays when Pat Gillick was the General Manager, signing stars like Alfredo Griffin, Tony Fernandez and Carlos Delgado. Going back before that, he signed Cesar Cedeno for the Houston Astros when Cedeno was considered one of the top teenage talents in the world.
I’m sure someone will write a great book about Epy Guerrero someday, but for now here is an archived Los Angeles Times story from 2009.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850, and streaming online right here. If you want to listen on a smart phone or iPad, use the TuneIn app. Tacoma starts RHP Jeremy Bonderman (2-3, 3.79) against Nashville LHP Zack Kroenke (1-6, 5.75).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- If you really want to read about the Mariners losing to the Angels yesterday, it’s here. The Mariners veterans called a players-only meeting after the loss.
- Here is Divish’s original blog post on the Mariners roster moves.
- Larry Stone writes that the move is all about figuring out what Jesus Montero‘s future is.
- Dave Cameron has some well-reasoned ideas about what the Mariners should do. It is important to note that he is punting on 2013 at the major league level.
- Rob Neyer looks at the roster move, and has a comp for Montero.
- Speaking of Neyer, there is some great long-form reading on his site: an excellent story on the all-time minor league home run king, Mexico’s Hector Espino. He has a follow-up item on Mike Hessman.
- Larry Stone has a story remembering PCL and Yankees legend Tony Lazzeri.
- Baseball Prospectus has a free “Prospect Video” interview with Taijuan Walker.
- In the PCL, we learn that the Rainiers will be facing a rehabilitating Willie Bloomquist when the get to Reno on Friday. Willie Ballgame!
- Reno Aces ace Tyler Skaggs shut down the Round Rock Express, 6-2. Baseball America says that Skaggs’ struggles this season are ballpark-created.
- Colorado Springs remained 1.5 games behind Tacoma by beating the stuffing out of Albuquerque, 9-1. Matt McBride was 5-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI. The Sky Sox got a little better, with Josh Rutledge getting optioned.
- The Salt Lake Tribune used the word “shellack” in a headline about the Bees – and not in a good way for the hometown nine.
- The Tucson Padres keep on winning – they took down Omaha last night, 7-5.
- Zack Wheeler and the Las Vegas 51s beat Iowa, 9-4.
- Las Vegas outfielder Jamie Hoffman spoke about a tough choice he made ten years ago: baseball or hockey?
- Fresno lost at home to Oklahoma City, 7-3.
- Sacramento starter Andrew Werner tossed a complete game against New Orleans – and lost, 2-0.
- Oh, boy. The new ballpark for the Hillsboro Hops in Hillsboro, Oregon has artificial turf. Good grief. Way to ruin a beautiful thing.
Let’s see if Tacoma can end this homestand in style.