Hey guys, we’re back!
I hope you had a good holiday season, and are ready to get on with 2017. We expect to have a super-fun season at Cheney Stadium this year, highlighted by the defending division champion Rainiers, and the Triple-A All-Star Game in July.
Spring training opens in just six weeks. To build up to spring training, we’ll start a weekly series of blog posts looking at which players are going to camp with a chance to open the season in Tacoma. The first post will come on Thursday.
The Mariners were very quiet over winter break, and still need to acquire a starting pitcher (or two) for the big league club.
On the minor league front, the M’s signed free agent outfielder Kyle Waldrop, who is kind of interesting.
A 25-year-old outfielder, Waldrop has hit in the lower-level minor leagues but struggled with Triple-A Louisville in 2016, batting .252 with five homers and a .300 on-base percentage. What’s interesting is that he put up much better numbers in Double-A, and he is young enough to improve.
In 133 Double-A games for Pensacola of the Southern League, Waldrop has hit .295 with 14 homers and a .473 slugging percentage, while keeping his strikeouts at reasonable levels. He’s a left-handed batter.
Waldrop appeared in 15 major league games for the Reds last year, going 5-for-22, but was removed from the 40-man roster after the season and became a free agent. He’ll be a player to keep an eye on this season for Tacoma.
- A Canadian newspaper caught up with likely Rainiers outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
- A hometown newspaper feature on recent Mariners signee Micah Owings includes comments from his brother-in-law, ex-Rainiers infielder Matt Tuiasosopo.
- It appears that Edgar Martinez is making some big gains in the Hall of Fame balloting, Larry Stone writes.
- Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano started playing in winter leagues to prepare for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Felix made two starts before focusing on the WBC.
- Lifelong Cubs fan John McGrath finally wrote about his world Series experience.
- In the PCL, Reno has a new manager: former major league skipper Jerry Narron, who most recently has been a bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. An ex-catcher, Narron played for the 1978 Tacoma Yankees and the Seattle Mariners (1980-81, 1987).
- The Oklahoma City Dodgers announced that their entire coaching staff from 2016 is returning, led by manager Bill Haselman.
- Fresno Grizzlies reliever Brendan McCurry is going to sit for 50 games.
- Ballpark Digest recaps the current situation regarding the PCL eventually having a team in San Antonio. Nothing to see here – for now.