Note: tonight’s Rainiers game in Salt Lake City is on national TV, as the CBS Sports Network’s Minor League Baseball Game of the Week. Check out the beautiful Salt Lake ballpark and watch the Rainiers at 7:00 (Pacific). Channel Finder: Click! 423/667 (HD), Comcast: 412/633 (HD), DirecTV: 221 Dish: 158.
Last night Abraham Almonte reached base four times, hit a three-run homer, singled in a big insurance run, and lead the Tacoma Rainiers to a 6-3 victory at Salt Lake.
Today he and reliever Stephen Kohlscheen were traded to the San Diego Padres for major league outfielder (and former PCLer) Chris Denorfia.
This move strengthens the Mariners outfield but obviously it’s a big hit to the Rainiers.
Almonte is batting 267/333/390 with six homers and 31 RBI. He’s 7-for-11 stealing bases. The season stats don’t really tell the whole story: Almonte struggled mightily in the majors in April, and he continued to struggle in Triple-A in May. But since June 1 he is batting .309 in 178 at-bats for Tacoma, and he has looked like the player he was last season when he was the Rainiers team MVP.
Kohlscheen opened the season in Double-A and was promoted to Tacoma in mid-June. In 15 games for Tacoma, he’s 2-0 with a 3.28 ERA. He pitched 24.2 innings and had a 22-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Kohlscheen doesn’t light up radar guns but he’s really tall and gets great downhill plane on his pitches, making him very effective.
Almonte is getting a promotion in the deal – he reports to San Diego tomorrow. I believe Kohlscheen is on his way to join El Paso, who is playing in Las Vegas right now.
Trade No. 2 just happened: in a three-team deal, the Mariners send Nick Franklin to Tampa and acquire major league CF Austin Jackson from Detroit.
This is a great trade from the Mariners standpoint, simply because Franklin is blocked in their own organization by Robinson Cano. The M’s just didn’t need him.
I think that Franklin is going to become a good major league player, and I hope he does with the Rays. That being said, the M’s didn’t need him, and they did desperately need a quality big league outfielder, so here we are.
This trade should help the Mariners try to reach the playoffs this year, and it fills a big hole in the lineup for 2015 as well.
OK, back to the current Rainiers team: Jordan Pries picked up the win yesterday, allowing three runs after just four batters in the first inning and then giving up no more runs while making it through seven innings. That’s a nice recovery.
Tacoma is back to .500 at 56-56, and is still seven games behind first place Sacramento. Reno is sandwiched between the two teams, in second place and three games behind Sacramento.
I’m hoping the Rainiers have some players coming in today, because they lost three from the roster and gained none in today’s deals. Tonight’s lineup will be interesting.
Thursday’s game starts at 7:05 PM (Pacific) – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Forrest Snow (1-2, 1.52) against Salt Lake RHP Chris Volstad (0-0, 5.40).
- Here is the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- Baseball America analyzed the Mariners-Padres trade.
- John McGrath has a column on the Mariners and the trade deadline.
- Felix Hernandez pitched well as usual, but the Mariners bats were silenced by Corey Kluber in a 2-0 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday night.
- Bob Dutton’s crucial Mariners notebook is right here.
- In the PCL, Sacramento starter Arnold Leon earned his 10th win in a 7-2 victory over Albuquerque. The article suggests River Cats outfielder Shane Peterson is an MVP candidate. I haven’t started thinking about that yet, but it seems reasonable.
- Mark Serrano had a strong start as Reno won in Fresno, 3-1. Fresno has had a ton of roster moves lately – even by Triple-A standards.
- Local guy Donn Roach pitched El Paso to an 8-5 win at Las Vegas.
- John Lamb and Casey Coleman combined on a one-hitter and Omaha shut out Memphis, 5-0.
- Oklahoma City held on for a 5-4 win at Round Rock.
- The Iowa Cubs swept a doubleheader on the road in New Orleans. Javier Baez hit his 20th homer in the first game.
- The Nashville at Colorado Springs doubleheader got suspended in the third inning… of game one. That means back-to-back doubleheaders today and tomorrow. Yikes!
That’s it for today. I’ll have more links to articles analyzing the Mariners trades on tomorrow’s blog.