We covered the wild card games on Tuesday. Today, we’ll look at the ex-Rainiers on the remaining playoff teams.
Los Angeles Dodgers
While I have yet to see their final roster for the NL Division Series, it appears that Justin Ruggiano will be the only former Tacoma player on the Dodgers.
Ruggiano was with the Rainiers this season, before the Dodgers acquired him to thump left-handed pitchers – and he did exactly that, hitting .291 with four homers in 55 September at-bats.
New York Mets
The Mets don’t have any ex-Rainiers, but they do have a local player in Redmond’s Michael Conforto. I’m very interested to see how the talented rookie performs on the big stage.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals don’t have any ex-Rainiers or local guys. If they lose the series against the Cubs, this will be the reason why.
The Cubs won the wild card game last night. Local products Jon Lester and Jason Hammel will make their impact in the upcoming series.
Texas has a pair of former Tacoma players on their active roster for the Division Series: catcher Chris Gimenez and outfielder Shin Soo Choo.
Choo. Ugh. He first played for Tacoma in 2005, and returned to the Rainiers in 2006 when he became one of the best players in Triple-A baseball at age 23. He was hitting .323/.394/.499 when he was traded to Cleveland on July 26 for Ben Broussard. Of course, the Mariners weren’t giving up enough in that deal, so they even added a player to be named later (pitcher Shawn Nottingham, who did not reach the majors).
Gimenez is a bit of a journeyman who spent much of this season playing in the PCL for Round Rock. He appeared in 13 games for Tacoma in 2011, while spending more of that season in the majors with the Mariners.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays have a whopping four ex-Rainiers on their roster for the series against Texas: pitchers R.A. Dickey and Mark Lowe, first baseman Justin Smoak, and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera.
The knuckleballing Dickey pitched for Tacoma in 2008, making seven starts before being called up by the Mariners. This year for Toronto he went 11-11, 3.91 and is currently listed as the Game Four starter.
Lowe continued his outstanding season after being traded to Toronto by the Mariners at the deadline. Lowe began this season with Tacoma, and he also pitched for the Rainiers in 2007.
You all know Smoak, who appeared in games for Tacoma every season from 2010 to 2014.
Carrera was with the Rainiers in 2010 before being traded to Cleveland. He’s been up-and-down between Triple-A and the majors for the last five years – with four different big league teams.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals don’t have a single ex-Rainiers player on their postseason roster. Clearly, they are doomed.
We covered the ‘Stros on Tuesday. Three ex-Rainiers.
Word got out this morning that Chris Gwynn resigned from his post as the Mariners Director of Player Development.
This is more fallout from the change at the top, with the new General Manager. There will be many additional moves.
Chris is a class act and was always fun to work with. He’ll land on his feet with a new job in baseball, for sure.
- Chris Gwynn explained his move here. The TNT has the latest on the Mariners front office changes.
- Baseball America posted its Top 20 Prospects list for the PCL, and Tacoma’s Ketel Marte made the list. They also hosted a chat about the list – here’s the transcript.
- BA put the 2015 Pacific Coast League in a box.
- Ryan Divish has his Mariners season postmortem. He also writes that so far there are no hints which way Jerry Dipoto is leaning on the Lloyd McClendon decision.
- This is a grim situation: no Mariners made Baseball America’s Top 20 Prospects list for the Double-A Southern League. Only ten teams in that league, and Jackson got shut out.
- Some PCL news: the Sacramento River Cats unveiled new alternate uniforms – check ’em out. Dare I say I kind of like them?
- Good story from Houston on Matt Duffy, this year’s PCL MVP who got called up in September and was on the roster for the wild card game on Tuesday.
Have a great weekend and enjoy some playoff baseball.