Mariners Summon Listach, Hocking To Fill In

Pat Listach has been a winning manager at the helm of the Tacoma Rainiers, but we’re about to find out how the team can fare without him.

The Mariners have summoned Listach to help their major league staff for a few days, and he is going to miss the Rainiers next three games in Salt Lake City. Listach is expected to re-join the Rainiers when the road trip moves on to Fresno on Thursday.

Tacoma coach Denny Hocking will serve as manager for the Rainiers next three games. Hocking has managed in the lower-level minor leagues, and he’s been coaching third base for about half (or more) of the Rainiers games this season.

We’ll see if Hocking can pull the Rainiers out of a little tailspin. Tacoma has lost three straight games for the first time all year, and was even bumped out of first place in the Pac-North division standings last night by Reno.

Hocking is in familiar territory. He played three seasons for Salt Lake, 1994-1996.

One item Hocking will have to focus on these next three games is controlling the running game.

Salt Lake went 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts in the series opener last night, and the Bees now lead the PCL with 67 steals. They have been thrown out 30 times, so they do run into trouble at times. But they’re definitely going to run.

Tacoma is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to throwing out opposing base stealers. The Rainiers rank eighth in the league, gunning down 30.4%. Tuffy Gosewisch has thrown out 36.8%, and Steven Baron is at 28%.

But it doesn’t just come down to the catchers. The pitchers are really the ones in charge of keeping runners close to their bases, and being quick to home plate with their pitches. Managers can help keep running teams in check by calling for pickoff plays.

RAINIERS ROUND-UP

Yesterday: Despite being last in the PCL in home run hitting, Sale Lake ripped three solo shots in the first five innings and never trailed in an 8-4 win over Tacoma on Saturday night. The reanimated Eric Young Jr. went 3-for-5 with a leadoff homer, a double, two stolen bases, and three runs scored.

Roster Moves: The Mariners called up Rainiers reliever Ryne Harper, and optioned starting pitcher Rob Whalen to Tacoma. We’re very happy for Harper, who spent four years at Double-A without pitching in a Triple-A game until this season.

Today: Tacoma (29-19) at Salt Lake (27-23), 5:35 (Pacific).

Opponent Affiliation: Los Angeles Angels.

Season Series: Salt Lake leads, 1-0.

Starting Pitchers: RHP Tyler Cloyd (1-0, 0.00) at TBA.

It’s another ‘bullpen day’ for Salt Lake, which currently has only three starting pitchers on its roster. We understand, Salt Lake Bees, we understand.

Hot Rainiers: Leonys Martin has reached base safely in 14 straight games… Tyler Smith has gone 8-for-19 with two homers during a five-game hitting streak… Dan Vogelbach has a five-game hitting streak…  Tyler O’Neill has a four-game hitting streak, and he has reached base via hit or walk in ten straight games… Mark Lowe has gone seven appearances without allowing a run, spanning 7.1 IP – and also his velocity seems to have picked up a little bit.

Look Out For: Catcher Carlos Perez has gone back-and-forth between the majors and minors this year, but when he’s with Salt Lake he has been a monster. He has 17 hits during a ten-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 16 of his 17 PCL games… C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the New York Mets on Sunday and then was optioned to Salt Lake to “work on his swing”… Rey Navarro has a seven-game hitting streak.

Local Guys and Ex-Rainiers: Former Mariners and Rainiers infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley is with Salt Lake, and so is ex-Rainiers outfielder Ramon Flores… Bees pitcher Troy Scribner is the younger brother of Mariners reliever Evan.

Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 5:20 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.

Triple-A All-Star Game: We’re hosting it at Cheney Stadium on July 12, and fan balloting is live now – go here and vote for who you want to see.

Links:

PCL Game Reports:

Programming note: normally we play day games on Memorial Day, but not this year in Salt Lake City where they are trying out a holiday fireworks night, so it’s a 5:35 (Pacific) start on Monday.

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