Rainiers Welcome Bernie Williams, Add New Infielder

It’s time for some more inter-conference play, as the Rainiers open a seven-game homestand tonight facing two American Conference opponents, followed by a road trip to face two more cross-conference foes.

Tonight the Omaha Storm Chasers arrive to begin a three-game series. The Kansas City Royals affiliate has the exact same record as the Rainiers, and is kind of a similar team: they don’t hit many homers despite this being the Year of the Home Run, and they make up for it by stealing a lot of bases.

After the Omaha series, the Iowa Cubs arrive for four games at Cheney Stadium which will take us through the weekend and into Monday’s homestand-ending day game.

Tacoma has just 18 home games left: this seven-game homestand, and an 11-gamer that begins in mid-August.

New York Yankees legend Bernie Williams will be at Cheney Stadium today. Despite the pleas of manager Daren Brown, we are not playing him in center field and hitting him third.

Williams is touring ballparks to raise awareness of rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that sadly took his father’s life.

We hope to have Bernie stop by the radio booth in the third inning and talk about what he’s doing today, and also dig up some of his favorite (and maybe a not-so-favorite – hello, 1995) memories of all of those playoff teams.

The Mariners made a trade on Sunday afternoon, sending utility man Kristopher Negron to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Daniel Castro.

It’s a great opportunity for Negron, who gets to join a playoff-bound Dodgers club that has reached the World Series two years running. The Dodgers lost their two multi-position players to injury, as both Kike Hernandez and ex- Rainier Chris Taylor are out. Negron will fill in, and hopefully stick with them for a while – perhaps even into the playoffs?

Tacoma is going to add Castro, who was playing for Oklahoma City before injuring his hand at the end of May. He’s been playing in rehab games in Arizona for the last week and will join Tacoma today.

Castro, 26, is known for his smooth glove more than his bat. He’s played in the majors with the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies, appearing in 98 big league games. We have seen him as a Rainiers opponent during his time with Albuquerque in 2017 and 2018.

Look for manager Daren Brown to play Castro regularly in the middle infield.

RAINIERS DAILY

YESTERDAY: The whole PCL was off yesterday, as teams traveled to start inter-conference play. On Sunday the Rainiers lost in Sacramento, 6-2, finishing up a 1-5 road trip. Jordan Pacheco continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-3 game, and Reggie McClain pitched 3.2 scoreless innings from the bullpen.

ROSTER MOVES: The Mariners traded utility man Kristopher Negron to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Triple-A infielder Daniel Castro, and Castro is expected to report to Tacoma today. Infielder Connor Kopach and his seven-game hitting streak have been returned to Class-A Modesto. The Mariners optioned reliever Matt Carasiti to Tacoma and he is expected to join the team today.

TODAY: Omaha (48-59) at Tacoma (49-58), 7:05.

OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Kansas City Royals.

OPPOSING MANAGER: Brian Poldberg.

SEASON SERIES: 0-0.

PITCHERS: LHP Eric Skogland (1-3, 6.64) at LHP Anthony Misiewicz (5-6, 7.52)

HOT HITTERS:  Jordan Pacheco has a nine-game hitting streak, and he went 7-for-11 during the three-game series at Sacramento… Jaycob Brugman is 9-for-30 with five homers over his last eight games… Ian Miller leads the PCL in stolen bases with 26, and he is tied for third on the Tacoma all-time list with 72 career steals. Miller also has a five-game hitting streak.

OPPONENT NEWS: Omaha just got swept at home in a three-game series by the PCL’s best team, San Antonio. The Missions scored ten runs in each of the three games… most of Omaha’s hitters have much better stats in home games than away games… Jorge Bonifacio has six hits with a homer during a four-game hitting streak… Kevin Gutierrez has a four-game hitting streak… outfielder Nick Heath was just promoted from Double-A where he has fifty (50) stolen bases this season.

FAMILIAR FACES: The only ex-Rainiers player on the Omaha roster is infielder Erick Mejia, who appeared in four games for Tacoma in 2015 as a fill-in player up from Everett.

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.

Links:

In the PCL:

The whole league was off on Monday. Some sweeps were completed on Sunday, most notably Las Vegas taking three straight at El Paso to pull within one game of first in the Pac-South. Vegas outfielder Seth Brown hit five homers during that sweep and won the Player of the Week award. Reno polished off Fresno for a three-game sweep, knocking the Grizzlies five games behind Sacramento in the Pac-North.

 

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