Let’s get caught up on the news of the last few days..
- Pat Listach‘s team in the Dominican Winter League opened play on Friday. He’s managing Estrellas de Oriente, which is the DR’s version of the Chicago Cubs: they’ve been around since 1910, and their only championships came in 1954 and 1968. This league has only six teams in it – you’re supposed to win more frequently than that! Well, they went 2-1 on opening weekend, with Rainiers first baseman Ji-Man Choi helping out by going 3-for-12 with a triple, HR, and three RBI. Some other PCL players you may know are on the roster: Fresno DH Tyler White, Salt Lake outfielder Alfredo Marte, and New Orleans outfielder Jordany Valdespin have appeared in games.
- Bob Dutton has some additional notes on Rainiers playing winter ball.
- The Arizona Fall League continues today with James Paxton making his second start. Mariners farmhands D.J. Peterson, Tyler O’Neill, and Tyler Smith have each had a good start at the plate for the Peoria club.
- My spies tell me that the Mariners managerial search is down to five. The industry – which in this case means people who work for teams other than the Mariners – continues to think that Angels Special Assistant Tim Bogar is the leader.
- Former Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito announced his retirement today. He played in the PCL on his way up to the big leagues, and at the end of his career – he spent the entire 2015 season with Nashville, before getting a September opportunity to say goodbye in Oakland. He posted his own retirement announcement.
- Ex-Rainiers hitting coach Jeff Pentland was let go by the Yankees. He’s a true veteran of the game, and I love his quote at the end of the story. I can picture him just shrugging and saying, “it’s the Yankees.”
- On the field, the Mets have a 2-0 lead over the Cubs in the NLCS. Mets starting pitching has been dominant so far, but now the series moves to Wrigley – which played very small in the Cubs’ Division Series win over the Dodgers.
- Kansas City has a 2-0 lead over Toronto with the series moving to the homer-friendly Rogers Centre tonight. Jonny Cueto gets the start for KC tonight; he had HR problems in the regular season but then dominated in the decisive fifth game of the Royals series against Houston. Which Cueto shows up tonight?
Check back Wednesday for my thoughts on one of the big stories of the PCL in 2015.