We’re having Ken Griffey Jr. Night at Cheney Stadium tonight, and all kinds of interesting news is breaking today.
First off, if you want one of the 2,500 Griffey bobbleheads, head out to the park very early. I don’t know exactly how early, but there is already a line now, so… yeah.
That probably wasn’t news. Here is some news:
The Pacific Coast League announced the All-Star Team today, and two Rainiers players were elected starters.
Stefen Romero was voted as one of the three starting outfielders. He’s been among the league leaders in batting average all season, and he’s currently batting .336 with nine homers, 43 runs batted in, and he has an OPS of .963. He’s made visible strides in his offensive development this year, cutting down his strikeouts and chasing fewer pitches outside of the zone. This is his first Triple-A All-Star honor.
Closer Blake Parker was elected as one of two “starting” relievers on the team. He and also-elected James Hoyt have been the top two closers in the league all year. After missing almost all of 2015 with an injury, Parker has bounced back in a big way this season: he’s 14-for-14 in save opportunities, and he has posted a 2.15 ERA in 29.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 41 while walking just six batters. Parker will be making his second Triple-A All-Star appearance – he represented the Iowa Cubs in the 2014 game.
The game is coming up on July 13, and it is in Charlotte. Next year, Tacoma!
We’ve got at least one major roster move today, and possibly more coming.
The Mariners have promoted former first round draft pick D.J. Peterson to Tacoma, and he is expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Unlike last year when he was moved up to Triple-A for no apparent reason, this time Peterson appears to be ready for the promotion.
Peterson has been on an extended hot streak at Double-A Jackson – a streak that has lasted for six weeks.
Since May 20, Peterson is hitting .331 with a .396 OBP and a .610 SLG. In his last 35 Double-A games, Peterson went 45-for-136 with 11 doubles, nine homers, and 23 RBI. He drew 13 walks and had 37 strikeouts.
It’s the first time he has had an extended stretch dominating the Double-A level, and he has earned the promotion.
Peterson now plays nothing except first base, and that’s where he’ll play for Tacoma.
Unfortunately, this made Efren Navarro expendable, and he was released after Tuesday’s game.
It’s surprising that Navarro’s stint with Tacoma did not go well. He had always been one of the most dangerous hitters in the PCL while with Salt Lake the past five seasons, but he struggled to hit in Tacoma.
Navarro batted .243-5-31 for the Rainiers, but the home/road split tells a story: he hit .171 with a .488 OPS at Cheney Stadium, and .298 with an .825 OPS on the road.
The Rainiers will feel a loss on defense and in the clubhouse. Navarro played his usual gold glove level defense at first base, and he was a good veteran presence on the team.
Yesterday: The Rainiers were off yesterday. They lost on Tuesday in Fresno, 5-3, and had to settle for a split of the four-game series there. It was still a successful road trip, with the team going 5-3 on the eight-gamer.
Roster Moves: D.J. Peterson joins the team from Double-A Jackson today, and Efren Navarro was released (see above if you just skipped down). Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger broke a bone in his hand last night, so they’ll have to call someone up today.
Today: Las Vegas (41-37) Tacoma (44-34-1), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: New York Mets.
Season Series: Las Vegas leads, 6-2.
Yeah, they’ve worked us over pretty good. All eight were in Las Vegas; Tacoma finally gets them on the home turf tonight.
Starting Pitchers: LHP Darin Gorski (0-1, 7.20) at RHP Jarrett Grube (0-0 3.77).
Hot Rainiers: Tyler Smith is 7-for-16 over his last five outings… Zach Shank is always a hot hitter, and right now he’s 9-for-his-last-19… Stefen Romero has gone 12-for-26 over his last six games… Rob Brantly has gone 9-for-24 over his last seven games, but he’s going to be away from the team for a few days.
Look Out For: Shark week? Roger “The Shark” Bernadina has a seven-game hitting streak, going 12-for-35 during the run. He hit two homers on Saturday against Sacramento… Eric Campbell lost his job as the Mets utility man, but he’s always hit well in the PCL. He has hit safely in nine of his last ten games (13-for-38).
Ex-Rainiers and Local Dudes: Las Vegas has former Rainiers infielder Ty Kelly, and Redmond high School product Michael Conforto. Manager Wally Backman is a native of Hillsboro, Oregon.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 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.
- Here’s the Rainiers game story from Tuesday’s loss in Fresno.
- Tonight’s starting pitcher for Las Vegas – Darin Gorski – was just rescued from an independent league.
- The Mariners lost to Pittsburgh last night, 8-1, and lost a catcher to injury.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook leads with an item on Ken Griffey Jr.
- Rosters for the MLB All-Star Futures Game were announced, and this link has capsules on all of the players. Several PCL players are in this game, the Mariners are sending outfielder Tyler O’Neill and pitcher Dylan Unsworth (who will not play due to a pulled hamstring).
- A young Oakland A’s pitcher made his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League and… um… a fifteen run first inning?
The entire PCL was off last night, but there are a few stories:
- The complete PCL All-Star Team is listed in this press release. The International League squad – which includes Jesus Montero – can be found here.
- Jorge Bonifacio is one of two Omaha players selected to play in the MLB All-Star Futures Game.
- The city government in Colorado Springs is trying to figure out a back-up plan to keep professional baseball if the Sky Sox move to San Antonio.
This is going to be a great holiday weekend at Cheney Stadium, hopefully you can make it out for a game or four!