Three members of the Tacoma Rainiers have been named to the MLB All-Star Futures Game, which will be played as part of the all-star festivities at Citi Field in New York on Sunday, July 14.
Each major league organization send two players to the game, with a chance for a third via a fan ballot. Usually these players come from lower in the farm system, but this year both Mariners representatives will be from Tacoma: Taijuan Walker and Brad Miller will play for the USA team at the event.
Furthermore, Rainiers hitting coach Howard Johnson has been named a coach for the USA team. This will be a big weekend for HoJo, who is a former Mets all-star.
In recent years, Alex Liddi has been a regular participant in the All-Star Futures Game, playing for the World team. As a native of Italy, it was a natural fit for him – he made the World team three times (which may be a record), most recently in 2011. He has too much MLB time to be eligible anymore.
The game is always televised – probably on the MLB Network. I’m sure Taijuan, Brad, and HoJo will have a blast.
The Rainiers enjoyed the off-day yesterday, with several of the players and coaches participating in the annual Tacoma Rainiers Golf Tournament. This year the event raised roughly $30,000 for Mary Bridge Tree House.
Tonight the Rainiers are back in action, welcoming the Las Vegas 51s to town. Vegas just split a four-game series with Salt Lake, and the 51s are 6-6 since the end of the Eight Game Mega Series on June 13.
If it seems like the Rainiers are playing Las Vegas nearly all of the time, it’s because they are. When this series ends on Sunday, Tacoma will have played 12 of its last 24 games against Las Vegas. However, this is the final series of the year between the two teams. Tacoma is 9-3 against Las Vegas so far.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM, and streaming online right here. Use the TuneIn app for iPads and smart phones. Tacoma starts LHP Danny Hultzen (3-1, 2.78) in his much-anticipated return from the disabled list. He’ll be opposed by Las Vegas RHP Chris Schwinden (3-7, 6.37).
- Lots of stories from Wednesday on Taijuan Walker’s Triple-A debut. Here is a selection: Ryan Divish from The News Tribune, Larry Stone from the Seattle Times, a national piece from MiLB.com, a write-up from Lookout Landing, and Jason Churchill from Prospect Insider.
- Danny Hultzen told Larry Stone exactly what he went through while on the disabled list.
- Divish also has a piece on Hultzen.
- The Mariners called up Dustin Ackley on Tuesday (and placed Franklin Gutierrez back on the disabled list), but he hasn’t played yet.
- The Mariners were swept by Pittsburgh, and it seems like manager Eric Wedge is getting frustrated.
- John McGrath has a column on the amazing Raul Ibanez.
- Apparently possessing oodles of free time, Stone listed the 23 Mariners catchers from Dan Wilson to Mike Zunino.
- Former Rainiers star Michael Pineda hit 94 mph during his latest rehab start.
- Here are the full rosters for the Futures Game. There are seven PCL players.
- The entire PCL was off yesterday. Tacoma leads the Pac-North by 2.5 games over Colorado Springs. The Sky Sox open a five-game series at home against Tucson tonight.
Tickets are still available for the July 3rd Fireworks Extravaganza, but that game always sells out. We advise you to act soon if you don’t have tickets and are planning to attend.