With so many players on the major league disabled list, the Mariners have relied heavily on Triple-A call-ups to help the major league team.
This, in turn, has caused holes on the Tacoma Rainiers roster. Holes that need to be filled.
The Mariners have responded by singing players out if the independent Atlantic League, and making a few lower-level trades and a waiver claim.
The team has signed infielder Danny Muno and pitchers Tyler Cloyd and Justin De Fratus out of the Atlantic League. Each has major league experience.
Muno and Cloyd are joining the Rainiers (Muno reported last night), while De Fratus is heading to Double-A Arkansas for the time being.
Recent waiver claim Casey Lawrence is also expected to join the Rainiers any day now. The right-handed pitcher made his major league debut earlier this season with Toronto.
This is the direction the M’s front office decided to go. The alternative was to do a wave of promotions throughout the organization – certainly involving some players being promoted before they were ready for it.
We’ve already seen one of these types of acquisitions pay big dividends for the Rainiers: third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, acquired from the Cincinnati’s Triple-A Louisville affiliate in a minor league trade for cash considerations, has made an instant impact for Tacoma by batting .379 and playing solid defense in his first eight games.
Cloyd could help. He’s made 70 career Triple-A starts – all in the International League – with a lifetime mark of 28-19, 3.49 at this level. He spent 2015 in the Korean League, came back to the IL last year but was limited due to injury, and was making his return with the Somerset Patriots before the M’s signed him.
Yesterday: The Rainiers pounded three homers, piling up eight runs and ten hits in a five inning, rain-shortened 8-2 win over Round Rock. Seth Mejias-Brean broke it open with a three-run line drive homer to left in the fourth inning. Steven Baron was 3-for-3 with a single, double, and homer.
Today: Round Rock (14-20) at Tacoma (21-11), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: Round Rock.
Season Series: Tacoma leads, 1-0.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Tyler Wagner (0-3, 8.16) at RHP Rob Whalen (0-0, 4.50).
Hot Rainiers: D.J. Peterson has hit safely in four straight games… Dario Pizzano is 6-for-15 with three doubles and a homer during a four-game hitting streak, and he’s 9-for-27 over his last eight games… Seth Mejias-Brean has hit safely in seven of his first eight games for Tacoma, with four multiple-hit games… Dan Vogelbach has reached base in 22 straight PCL games.
Look Out For: 21-year-old first baseman Ronald Guzman is considered the top prospect on the club; he’s hit safely in seven of his last eight games… PCL slugger Jared Hoying is a notorious streak hitter; he homered five times during an eight-game stretch at the end of April but has not gone deep since 4/30… long considered a top prospect before a series of injuries waylaid his career, Jurickson Profar hit his first homer of the season last night.
Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Travis Snider was a first round draft pick in 2006 out of Jackson high School in Mill Creek… Josh Wilson played for Tacoma briefly in both 2009 and 2010… the Express coaching staff includes former Mariners third baseman Jim Presley as hitting coach, and ex-Mariners lefty Greg Hibbard as pitching coach.
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.
- The News Tribune has a brief recap of yesterday’s Rainiers game.
- The Mariners have signed LHP Tyler Cloyd from the independent Atlantic League, and I’m told he’ll join the Rainiers shortly.
- Toronto scored five runs in the fifth inning after there were two outs (with no one on base!) and ended the Mariners four-game win streak on Thursday. Three takeaways from the game.
- There was concern that two Mariners players weren’t going to be able to get into Canada due to visa problems. The M’s went as far as to fly Rainiers shortstop Tyler Smith to Toronto – and when the players were admitted into the country, Smith went right back to the airport and returned to SeaTac.
- Larry Stone talked to Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto about dealing with four injuries in the starting rotation.
- Bob Dutton previews tonight’s Mariners game, in which Christian Bergman is set to make his first start.
- Lookout Landing checked in on the state of the Mariners farm system. Some good stuff here.
- This week’s edition of the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet has just one PCL player (Raimel Tapia) and no Mariners. Bummer.
PCL Game Reports:
- The Baby Cakes rattled Reno by hitting four homers in a 7-4 win at Greater Nevada Field. That gives Tacoma a two-game lead in the Pacific-North.
- Fresno picked up a 5-3 road win at Oklahoma City as Tony Kemp drove in a pair of runs.
- Down 6-3 going to the top of the seventh inning, Sacramento scored a franchise record 13 runs in one inning and beat Colorado Springs, 17-7. Orlando Calixte had two homers among his five hits.
- Royals top prospect Josh Staumont struck out ten Las Vegas batters over five shutout innings in Omaha’s 5-1 win at Cashman Field.
- Harrison Bader homered twice to help Memphis beat down the Chihuahuas, 6-4.
- Salt Lake got on the scoreboard early and hung on to beat Iowa, 6-5.
- Albuquerque scored in each of the final three innings to win the series opener at Nashville, 7-5.