Today’s the day. The Rainiers take the field and open the 2016 Pacific Coast League season at Cheney Stadium.
Let’s get right to the pregame box:
Yesterday: The team had a final workout under the lights at Cheney Stadium. Albuquerque flew in from wherever they were and arrived in town safely.
Roster Moves: Catcher Rob Brantly, who was designated for assignment at the end of spring training, cleared waivers and reports to Tacoma today. Catcher Steven Lerud was released in order to make room on the roster.
Today: Albuquerque (0-0) at Tacoma (0-0), 7:30 (Pacific).
This game starts later than usual because of the pregame ceremonies – be in your seats by 7:05 if you don’t want to miss anything.
Opponent Affiliation: Colorado Rockies.
Season Series: 0-0. Last year the teams split it, 8-8.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Eddie Butler (-) at RHP Joe Wieland (–).
Hot Rainiers: Outfielders Stefen Romero (.357 in 42 at-bats) and Daniel Robertson (.400 in 50 at-bats), and infielder Shawn O’Malley (.471 in 34 at-bats) were hot hitters in the Cactus League.
Look Out For: Albuquerque’s starting pitcher Eddie Butler was a highly regarded prospect who faltered in his first extended major league trial last year, going 3-10, 5.90 in 16 starts. He pitched well against Tacoma last season, giving up two runs over seven innings at Cheney on June 12.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 7:10 (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.
A quick note on the broadcasts:
I call most of the games myself, but I’m pleased to say that Bob Robertson will continue to join me and call the middle innings of all Sunday home games. Robertson, 87, has been calling Tacoma baseball since 1960. Of course, he’s in the College Football Hall of Fame for his lifetime of work as the voice of Washington State Cougars football.
All games are broadcast on 850 AM in Tacoma and stream online worldwide. The pregame show will start 15 minutes prior to first pitch and will usually contain an interview with someone interesting. There is a postgame show each broadcast with game highlights and a major league scoreboard.
MiLB.TV is a subscription product that has gained momentum the last three years. You get streaming video from all Triple-A and Double-A games, with the radio call simulcast on top of it. Quality of the camerawork varies by ballpark – ours at Cheney was really improved last year. Some ballparks seem totally professional and others are, uh, lacking. If you follow Rainiers road games this way you will hear the home team’s announcers, not me (that’s OK – a lot of these guys are really good). Learn more about MiLB.tv right here.
- The News Tribune put out a Rainiers opening day preview package today. We’ve got Lauren Smith’s big feature on Mike Zunino, five questions about the 2016 Rainiers from Todd Milles, a breakdown of the opening day roster, an update on the Cheney Stadium food from Sue Kidd, and – I can’t believe I’m typing this – city columnist Matt Driscoll’s exclusive interview with Rhubarb the Reindeer.
- John McGrath has a column on how the Mariners new player development process will affect three Rainiers players in particular.
- The Mariners scored five runs in the ninth inning and upended Texas on Wednesday morning, 9-5.
- Seattle’s bullpen was excellent in Texas – a relief in more ways than one, Ryan Divish writes.
- USS Mariner posted its thorough minor league preview.
- In the PCL, the Elmore Group – owners of the Colorado Spring Sky Sox – have committed to bring Triple-A baseball to San Antonio in 2019. Of course, they need a new stadium there. Small hurdle.
Let’s go start a baseball season!