Taijuan Walker and Logan Morrison had healthy days on Wednesday – with Morrison contributing in a big way at the plate – but the Rainiers lost yet again, this time by a score of 5-3 to Salt Lake.
After the game, Walker reported that he felt good. He threw 61 pitches and was 90-95 mph on the Rainiers scoreboard radar gun, which was working for the final two innings he pitched.
However, Walker took the loss by allowing four runs in the top of the third inning. Efren Navarro lined a three-run homer moments after left fielder Xavier Avery just barely missed making a diving catch that would have ended the inning. Luis Jimenez made it back-to-back homers by launching a hanging curveball to left field.
In the end, Walker looked like a guy who had not pitched in a high-level baseball game since last September – which is exactly what he is. I have no inside information, but I think Walker will probably make another two or three rehab starts for Tacoma before going to Seattle. We’ll see what Jack Z has in mind.
Morrison’s day was very encouraging. He lined an RBI single up the middle in the first inning of left-hander Brooks Raley, and then ripped a long homer to right-center in the seventh inning of Dane De La Rosa. Morrison his hitting .333 on his rehab assignment, which enters day seven today.
Still, Morrison might be here a while longer. He has only played one game on defense, and that was just five innings at first base on Monday. Usually they don’t activate a player until he has played consecutive full games on defense.
The final result was just more of the same for Tacoma. That’s five straight losses, losses in eight of the last nine, and a 4-16 record over the last 20 games.
Thursday’s game starts at 7:05 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Erasmo Ramirez (0-3, 4.94) against Salt Lake RHP Anthony Lerew (0-0, 9.00).
We have some non-news on the roster front.
The Mariners told the Seattle media on Tuesday that Stephen Pryor was placed on Tacoma’s 7-day disabled list, but that has actually not happened. Yesterday Tacoma manager Roy Howell said Pryor is still active, and he’s just getting a few days off.
Tacoma reliever Forrest Snow had his 50-game suspension for “drugs of abuse” end on Wednesday. He was activated from Tacoma’s suspended list, and transferred to extended spring training. It appears that he’ll have to wait for an opening in Tacoma or Jackson to get reassigned.
- Don Ruiz has the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune. Manager Roy Howell says Walker tired in the third inning and was leaving the ball up – hence the homers.
- MLB.com has a story on Walker’s rehab outing (ignore the caption to the video on top which says he has been “shut down for seven days” – that’s an old headline, intentionally designed to confuse us or something. Walker is OK as far as we know).
- Meanwhile, James Paxton has had a minor setback in his rehab. Bob Dutton has the details in his Mariners Notebook.
- The Mariners had a great start from Felix Hernandez and beat the Angels last night, 3-1. Felix is 7-1 with a 2.57 ERA.
- Former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher JJ Putz is about to come off the disabled list and is trying not to think about retirement.
- There was a miracle at Class-A High Desert, where three Mariners pitchers combined to toss an ultra-rare California League no-hitter last night.
- In the PCL, former Rainiers outfielder Trayvon Robinson had a big day for Albuquerque yesterday: he hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning, and doubled home the winning run in the tenth for a 4-3 win at Sacramento. Sacramento’s seven-game win streak ended.
- Nick Ahmed had the game-winning double in Reno’s 10-inning, 9-8 win over Fresno.
- Las Vegas won a slugfest at El Paso, 13-7. Las Vegas pitchers recorded 16 strikeouts in this game.
- Gonzaga product Clayton Mortensen and Omaha shut out Oklahoma City, 2-0.
- Brewers prospect Taylor Jungmann earned his first Triple-A victory in Nashville’s 7-2 win over Colorado Springs.
- Round Rock started 18-year-old Juremi Profar at third base in a 7-4 loss to New Orleans. Yes, he is Jurickson‘s little brother.
- Iowa and Memphis played a rain-delayed doubleheader last night in Memphis. The Redbirds won the first game 1-0 on Xavier Scrugg‘s walk-off homer. The second game was suspended due to PCL curfew rules with Memphis leading 2-1 after six innings at 1:00 AM. They’ll finish it today, and then play the CBS Sports Network Minor League Game of the Week tonight.
- The Des Moines Register has a story on how much new Iowa Cubs player-coach Manny Ramirez will play.
- No-hit pitcher Tyler Pike is one of the featured players in today’s Baseball America minor league round-up.
Thirsty Thursday tonight, you guys!