Like the big fish that got away, the Rainiers had their clean-up hitter for a few minutes on Wednesday afternoon. Now, they’ll probably never get him back.
The Mariners signed PCL crusher Mac Williamson to a minor league contract on Wednesday, with the thought that he would bat in the middle of Tacoma’s lineup, and possibly help the big league club down the road.
Williamson flew into town late on Tuesday night from his home in North Carolina, where he had been spending time since declaring free agency after being designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants in late May.
He came to Cheney Stadium on Wednesday, passed his physical, and signed his minor league contract. He met with manager Daren Brown to go over the club policies, the signs, etc.
Brown posted a lineup card with Williamson hitting clean-up. Williamson was fitted for a uniform, stretched with the Rainiers, and went out to take batting practice with his new teammates.
During team stretch, Brown got a call from the Mariners. Braden Bishop was going on the injured list, and your new clean-up hitter is coming north instead.
Williamson took batting practice. He hit in the first group, which is standard for the top four in the Rainiers lineup. When the group was done hitting, Brown pulled Williamson aside and they walked into his office.
“Mac, that was one impressive round of B.P.,” Brown told him. “It was so impressive, you’re being promoted to Seattle. First pitch is at 7:10.”
And with that, Mac Williamson jumped in an Uber and rode off to the big leagues, and the Tacoma Rainiers lost their clean-up hitter before they even had him.
We’ll probably never see him play for Tacoma. Williamson has been DFA’d twice, which means that any time it happens again he has the right to declare free agency. That’s how he left the Giants organization, and was signed by the M’s.
The Rainiers did just fine without the slugger in the lineup. Tacoma scored seven runs in the first inning and beat Memphis, 10-4.
Williamson did just fine, too, launching a pinch-hit three-run homer in the eighth inning of his Mariners debut.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma scored seven runs in the bottom of the first inning – all with two outs – and rolled to a 10-4 win over the Memphis Redbirds on Wednesday night. Kristopher Negron‘s two-run single started a barrage of two-out action in the first. Jaycob Brugman hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, icing the game for Tacoma. The Rainiers evened the series at a game apiece, and reached the .500 mark once again at 30-30.
ROSTER MOVE: Yesterday the Rainiers added Mac Williamson to the roster for an hour or so, only to have him promoted to Seattle without appearing in a game for Tacoma.
TODAY: Memphis (24-36) at Tacoma (30-30), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: St. Louis Cardinals.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Ben Johnson.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (4-4, 4.13) at RHP Mike Wright (0-0, 4.50)
HOT HITTERS: Robert Perez has hit safely in seven straight and ten of his last 11 games… Jaycob Brugman has homered in three of his first four games for Tacoma… Chris Mariscal has a five-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Memphis lost 12 straight games coming into the series, one shy of the franchise record established in 2003… infielder Tommy Edman has a five-game hitting streak, and Rangel Ravelo is 9-for-22 over his last seven games.
FAMILIAR FACES: Former Rainiers outfielder and B.C. native Tyler O’Neill brings his power hitting and Canadian pride back into Cheney Stadium as a member of the Redbirds. In the bullpen, the Redbirds have former Rainiers and Mariners reliever Dominic Leone.
BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Talk 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.
- Mariner starter Mike Leake did not get traded, and instead pitched a complete game victory over first-place Houston.
- Braden Bishop is hospitalized with a lacerated spleen. Yikes.
- The Mariners finished up the draft, making a total of 41 picks. They went heavy on college pitching.
- Seattle Times sportswriter Larry Stone is the co-author of Edgar Martinez‘s brand new autobiography, and the Times ran an excerpt today. You can purchase the book right here.
- Matt Calkins came up with some reasons to keep watching the Mariners this season.
- Lookout Landing has a “State of the Farm” report.
- This requires a subscription to The Athletic, but Corey Brock has a fun story on the summer of Bucky Jacobsen.
In the PCL:
- Fresno’s Yadiel Hernandez became the first PCL player since 2016 to hit two home runs in one inning, accomplishing the feat during an eight-run rally in the top of the fourth at New Orleans last night. Hernandez is batting .360 with 16 home runs for the season. Fresno won the game, 10-4. The Snyder brothers played against each other – we have several pairs of brothers in the PCL right now, with the Joseph‘s and the Urias‘s and perhaps others I’m not yet aware of. New Orleans broadcaster Ron Swoboda has released an autobiography on the 50th anniversary of his 1969 Miracle Mets.
- Chris Shaw hit a go-ahead RBI double in the top of the eighth inning to give Sacramento a 2-1 win over Oklahoma City, ending the Dodgers six-game win streak.
- Domingo Leyba‘s three-run homer in the fourth inning stood up as Reno hung on for a 3-2 win over visiting Nashville.
- Federal Way and WSU product Nick Tanielu homered twice for Round Rock in an 11-5 win at Las Vegas.
- San Antonio shut out Salt Lake, 9-0, as Aaron Wilkerson conquered the high elevation and delivered 5.1 scoreless innings. He’s 5-0 with a 0.40 ERA in eight starts, but does not yet have enough innings pitched to qualify for the PCL lead in ERA.
- Once again, Omaha’s Scott Blewett didn’t in a 5-1 win over Albuquerque. Blewett allowed just one run over six innings to earn the win.
- Iowa took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against El Paso, but forgot to add more runs and eventually lost to the Chihuahuas, 6-4. Francisco Mejia hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the eighth.