The Mariners sold Tacoma Rainiers mainstay Ian Miller to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, ending his two-year tenure in the Rainiers outfield. Miller is reporting to Triple-A Rochester of the International League.
Miller came to Tacoma in late July, 2017, and he dazzled us with his pure speed for two years. He is going in the books as one of the most prolific base stealers in Tacoma Rainiers history.
Steals were his specialty, and Miller delivered regularly. His 75 stolen bases ranks No. 3 on the all-time Tacoma stolen base list, just one behind second-best Mike Davis of the 1980s Tacoma Tigers. Del Alston‘s 92 steals from 1978-1980 remains the top figure in franchise history.
Miller stole with a tremendous success rate for Tacoma, going 75-for-90 during his Rainiers career. That’s an 83.3% success rate, which is outstanding. For comparison, Carlos Beltran has the best percentage in Major League Baseball history, just a few clicks higher at 88.1%.
He still has a chance to be the first Tacoma player to lead the PCL in steals since Cleon James in 1971, but he’s going to need a lot of non-stealing help. Miller has the top spot at the moment with 29. San Antonio’s Cory Spangenberg has 26, and Round Rock’s Kyle Tucker has 25, and both are still active in the league with over 20 games to play. We need those guys to get called up, or maybe just stop stealing, or something.
Speaking of getting called up, Miller has a chance with the Twins. Minnesota is in an absolute battle with Cleveland to win the AL Central, and they may decide that they need a speedster on the bench to help out in the final month of the season. If Miller shows well in Rochester these next three weeks – especially on the base paths – he has a shot at his first big league call-up.
We’re pulling for you, Ian. Thanks for all of the fun on the bases these past two seasons.
YESTERDAY: John Andreoli hit the second pitch of the game for a homer, and the Rainiers took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning, but ultimately New Orleans prevailed with a 5-3 win in the series opener on Saturday night. Tyler Heineman‘s go-ahead homer in the bottom of the sixth inning decided the game. Andreoli went 3-for-5, and Kelby Tomlinson had two hits for Tacoma.
ROSTER MOVES: Ian Miller was sold to the Twins, so Tacoma added outfielder Aaron Knapp from Double-A Arkansas. The Mariners optioned Ryan Court to Tacoma and he is expected to report Monday.
TODAY: Tacoma (52-66) at New Orleans (63-53), 11:00 AM (Pacific).
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Miami Marlins.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Keith Johnson.
SEASON SERIES: New Orleans leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: LHP Sean Nolin (3-2, 5.65) at RHP Robert Dugger (2-3, 9.34)
New Orleans is starting Nick Neidert and Dugger back-to-back against Tacoma. The Mariners drafted both of these pitchers, and traded them to the Marlins for Dee Gordon in December 2017.
HOT HITTERS: John Andreoli has reached base in nine straight games, with hits in eight of them, going 12-for-30 with ten walks during this stretch… Kelby Tomlinson has a seven-game hitting streak… while it’s a reach to call him a “hot hitter,” four of Chris Mariscal‘s last six hits have been home runs. He’s gone 6-for-45 during this stretch.
OPPONENT NEWS: New Orleans just lost two-of-three to Reno, but they won five in a row prior to that… catcher Wilkin Castillo has a seven-game hitting streak; earlier this season he was called up for the first time since 2009 and had a game-winning hit in his first game… Austin Dean has a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .414 with seven homers in 15 PCL games since the all-star break.
FAMILIAR FACES: Two former Rainiers left-handed pitchers are now Baby Cakes: Brian Moran and Mike Kickham.
BROADCAST: The pregame show starts at 10:45 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.
- The New Orleans newspaper does a great job covering the Cakes, and today’s story includes a feature section on former New Orleans player Austin Nola excelling for Tacoma and reaching the majors.
- Welp, Mike Zunino hit a three-run homer to lead Tampa to a 5-4 win over the Mariners.
- Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic was promoted to Double-A Arkansas.
- Edgar Martinez is going to get a statue out front of T-Mobile Park.
- Ryan Divish has his weekly Mariners Q&A.
In the PCL:
- Nashville hammered Sacramento, 13-3, as Patrick Wisdom hit two of the Sounds six home runs. Wisdom has homered in six consecutive games, and has 26 on the year.
- Reno stayed hot with a 6-1 win at Oklahoma City, as five Aces pitchers combined to toss a one-hitter. That’s 15 wins in 18 games for Reno.
- Memphis blasted Fresno, 12-3. Harrison Bader homered twice and drove in five runs, and Jake Woodford provided a strong start to earn the win. John Carbray – the man who brought PCL baseball to Fresno – passed away at age 80.
- Seth Brown continued his late-season push for the home run crown, launching his 32nd as Las Vegas nipped Omaha, 6-5.
- El Paso scored seven runs in the second inning and hung on for a 10-9 win over San Antonio. Ty France went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a homer, raising his batting average to .406. Is he gonna do it?
- Albuquerque ran over Round Rock, 13-3, as Peter Mooney went 4-for-4.
- Iowa had a solid start from Tyson Miller in a 7-3 win over Salt Lake. Eddie Vedder showed up at Principal Park.