Taylor Looks Sharp And So Do His Teammates

Chris Taylor started his rehabilitation assignment with the Rainiers on Saturday night, playing the first five innings of the game at shortstop. Everything went well.

Taylor was 1-for-3 at the plate, lining a double to the left field corner in his third at-bat.

Defensively, Taylor was involved in a lot of action at shortstop. With groundballer Sam Gaviglio on the hill, Taylor saw a lot of action and even turned two double plays (one in which he was the pivot).

Taylor will DH today and get some more at-bats.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Sam Gaviglio delivered five scoreless innings and earned the win in his Triple-A debut as Tacoma beat El Paso, 10-2.

That Happened: Puyallup High School product Adam Cimber came in to pitch the ninth inning in his Triple-A debut for El Paso, and Tacoma’s Franklin Gutierrez greeted him with a homer to right-center.

Today: Tacoma (2-1) at El Paso (1-2), 12:05 (Pacific).

Affiliations: Tacoma is the Mariners affiliate; El Paso is the San Diego Padres farm club.

Starting Pitchers: LHP Mike Kickham vs. RHP James Needy

Kickham was a Mariners winter waiver claim, and the Rainiers know a lot about him having faced him with Fresno six times in the past two seasons (he went 0-2, 7.67 vs Tacoma in those six starts – he had two really good ones, and four not-so-good outings). Kickham works with a fastball, slider and change. This will be his Mariners organization debut.

James Needy is a 24-year-old righty who is coming off a great season at Double-A San Antonio last year (10-5, 2.90 in 24 starts), and this will be his Triple-A debut. He faces an uphill battle, though: nobody likes a needy chihuahua.

Hot Rainiers: Carlos Rivero is officially on fire. He launched a 3-run homer in the second inning and is 8-for-13 on the year, with two dingers. Rivero, Franklin Gutierrez, Ketel Marte, Jesus Montero, and Stefen Romero have each hit safely in all three games.

Look Out For: Chihuahuas OF Tommy Medica had two more hits last night, and he has been the team’s most consistent hitter through three games.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 11:50 AM (Pacific) on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.

PCL Scoreboard: follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story in The News Tribune looks at Carlos Rivero, among others.
  • The gamer from the El Paso Times has quotes from Sam Gaviglio (enjoy the multiple misspellings – my favorite is Gavigliano).
  • Once again I’m writing a Sunday Minor League Notebook for the paper, the first one is a PCL preview. The plan is to have notes from the Mariners farm system and the PCL in this weekly column.
  • The Mariners got a needed 5-4 extra-inning win against Oakland on Saturday, as Brad Miller did it all. J.A. Happ provided an excellent start.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook is a tidbit fiesta.
  • Guys, I’m out of town, so will somebody please check on my pal McGrath? We’re one week into the baseball season and he’s already stressed out. Maybe he’s just exhausted from compiling his power rankings.
  • Ryan Divish of the Times made some preseason picks for the big award winners. Stefen Romero is his prospect to watch.
  • We had our first ridiculously wild PCL game of the season last night in Sacramento. Tied 2-2 after 17 innings, Salt Lake scored three runs in the top of the 18th against Sacramento reliever Brett Bochy. But the Bees were out of pitching, so they brought in catcher Charlie Cutler to try to get the save – and he lost it on a walk-off grand slam by Jarrett Parker.
  • Albuquerque lost at home to Reno, 7-3. The news story is a feature on pitcher Aaron Laffey.
  • Nashville topped Colorado Springs, 5-3. The newspaper story is about the pitch clocks and says they are distracting. This is the total opposite of what I have seen in El Paso – I haven’t seen the clock get below 12 seconds; there has been no reason to look at it. It appears to serve no purpose, other than that of an unrealistic threat.
  • Hmmm. Apparently a Las Vegas pitcher was regularly running the clock down to the minimum at Fresno the other day. Now I want to see it in a different stadium – maybe it resets earlier, based upon who is operating it?
  • Fresno lost to Las Vegas last night, 7-2. There are some funny lines in this Fresno columnists’s article about the Houston Astros affiliation with the Grizzlies.
  • It took three games, but Kris Bryant finally homered in a 13-0 win at Memphis. Thank goodness the planets are once again properly aligned and all is right in the world.
  • Chris Heisey homered twice and Zach Lee pitched well as Oklahoma City defeated Round Rock, 8-2. Local product Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez starts for the Express at OKC today (he’s a big prospect).
  • Omaha shut down New Orleans, 5-1.
  • Tacoma native Ron Cey threw out a ceremonial first pitch in Tulsa and The Daily Oklahoman spoke with him.

Our first day game of the year – fun times! We bus to Albuquerque right afterwards; a four-hour drive. I’ll have a blog update for you early on Monday afternoon.

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