With the season ending on Monday afternoon, we have quite a bit of housecleaning to take care of. Let’s get to it.
The Rainiers lost the final game and finished ten under the .500 mark, at 66-76. That final record is a real disappointment considering the club was 13 games over .500 (29-16) on May 24.
Excessive transactions eliminating any form of team chemistry caused the wins to appear less frequently – but still, the team was over .500 at 61-60 with 21 games to go. About that time, the Mariners “everyone is a long reliever and no starter goes more than four innings” rule went into effect, eliminating strategic managerial decisions and the opportunity to use proper bullpen management. Losses in 16 of the final 21 games occurred.
That would have been a real disappointment, except we already knew with three weeks to go that Tacoma wasn’t contending for a division title this year. The 2017 season was all about trying to prop up the injury-wrecked major league team.
Tacoma used a franchise-record 89 players this year. It was a revolving door in the clubhouse, and at the end of the season I hadn’t even met about 25% of the team because they had all just arrived.
Mark April 5 down on your calendar. The Rainiers open at home next year!
There was one call-up after the season: Dan Vogelbach was summoned to Seattle.
The Mariners also somewhat surprisingly released reliever Evan Scribner, who was rehabilitating with Tacoma.
Today the team announced that Shawn O’Malley cleared waivers and was outrighted to Tacoma, which is a paper move at this time. Shawn can elect free agency in November, I believe.
The Pacific Coast League playoffs start tonight. The Conference Championships are best-of-five.
Colorado Springs (Brewers) at Memphis (Cardinals), 5:05 Pacific. Taylor Jungmann against Dakota Hudson. Series preview from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
El Paso (Padres) at Reno (Diamondbacks), 7:05. Chris Huffman against Jake Buchanan. That smoke in the Tacoma sky is blowing in from Reno where the team is on fire, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.
MiLB.com has an info-packed PCL Playoffs preview.
Follow all games at this page, which includes links to audio and video streaming.
So, who you got? I’m taking Colorado Springs and El Paso. Neither team is supposed to win.
The Sky Sox are in the playoffs for the first time in twenty years, while Memphis just became the first PCL team to win 90 games since 2006. Of course the Redbirds will falter in the playoffs.
El Paso is the defending league champion, but they barely made the playoffs clinching on the second-to-last day. However, the Padres aren’t clearing out their roster with call-ups, while the Diamondbacks called up most of Reno’s bullpen.
I’ll post the game results each day, for those who just want to see who won in one click.
Tony DeFrancesco – the winningest manager in PCL history – will not be returning to Fresno in 2018. It sounds like he and his employer the Houston Astros had an amicable parting.
Managers are like players, they are looking to reach the majors too. I suspect Tony D would like to go to an organization in which he feels he has a better chance to eventually coach or manage in the majors.
I’m sure his phone is already ringing.
El Paso’s Nick Buss won the PCL batting title, finishing at .348 – just three points higher than Ivan DeJesus Jr. of Colorado Springs.
Fresno’s A.J. Reed is your home run king, launching 19 of his 34 homers after the all-star break (a 46-game span).
Wilmer Font of Oklahoma City led the league in ERA (3.42) and strikeouts (178).
Salt Lake’s Troy Scribner and Oklahoma City’s Justin Masterson tied for the league lead with 11 wins.
Tacoma had two individual league leaders: Dan Vogelbach led the PCL in walks drawn, with 76. Dean Kiekhefer led all PCL relievers with 16 holds.
- The Mariners have lost the first two games of the Houston series and are back under .500. Three takeaways from yesterday’s game. Andrew Moore starts tonight – remember, he hasn’t gone more than four innings or 75 pitches in the last month, due to the Mariners rules for Tacoma pitchers.
- Houston could dominate the AL West for a while, Larry Stone writes.
- Bob Dutton reports on the call-up of Dan Vogelbach.
- Seattle bullpen prospect JP Sears is a strikeout machine, according to Fangraphs.
We’ll be back Thursday to check in on the PCL playoff games.