We have a big week ahead here on the blog, as I make my annual spring training trip. I’ll be watching the minor league games, checking out some of the new players in the organization who could be Rainiers on April 5.
You can expect reports from three days of Triple-A action on the back fields of the Peoria Sports Complex. The first report will go up either early Tuesday evening, or late Wednesday morning.
In the meantime, let’s get caught up on everything that happened the past few days.
There have been a few more roster moves:
Optioned To Tacoma
- Catcher: David Freitas
Reassigned To Minor League Camp
- Right-handed Pitchers: Shawn Armstrong, Mike Morin, Art Warren
- Outfielder: John Andreoli
Additionally, left-handed reliever Sam Moll has been lost on waivers to the Toronto Blue Jays. We’ll scratch him off our potential Rainiers roster.
Rainiers related reports from the last few exhibition games:
On Thursday the M’s took down the A’s, 6-2. Taylor Motter hit a grand slam. And while he definitely won’t be with the Rainiers, we should note that Edwin Diaz struck out the side on nine pitches – an “immaculate inning.”
The Mariners edged the Rangers on Friday, 9-7. Dan Vogelbach continued his monstrous spring training, launching a homer (he even hit it off an established major league left-hander in Matt Moore). Rainiers shortstop Zach Vincej also went deep with a solo homer. Kirk Nieuwenhuis returned to action and went 1-for-4.
Saturday the Mariners mutated into split quads and played two games, winning both. A 4-1 victory over the Angels was decided in the ninth inning, when infielder Zach Vincej hit a bases loaded triple to snap a 1-1 tie. Casey Lawrence pitched four scoreless innings and now has a 0.75 ERA on the spring. In the home game against the Angels, Marco Gonzalez and the major league relievers combined on a three-hit shutout in a 7-0 win. The Mariners hit three homers, including another by the red-hot Dan Vogelbach, but Ryon Healy returned to action which makes it hard to see how Vogelbach can crack the opening day roster – this is becoming a story to follow; Vogelbach is forcing his way into the picture.
The less said about Sunday’s 16-3 loss to Cleveland, the better. Rob Whalen started and had his first rough outing of the spring. Eugene Helder – who served as an emergency fill-in for Tacoma a couple of times last year and figures to play at Class-A Clinton this season – got into the late innings and hit a single.
- Larry Stone shared his thoughts from his spring training trip – lots of good insight here, from a veteran baseball mind.
- Color me surprised: baseball purist John McGrath kind of likes the new extra innings rule in Minor League Baseball.
- McGrath talked to our groundskeeper Michael Huie about the field transitions between soccer and baseball.
- Erasmo Ramirez isn’t going to be ready to pitch when the Mariners need a fifth starter. Ryan Divish breaks down the situation.
- The latest round of roster moves means Mike Marjama is the back-up catcher. In the story, Mariners manager Scott Servais comments on some of the other players who were sent to Tacoma.
- Former New York Mets infielder Ed Charles passed away at age 84. He led an interesting baseball life.