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6/8 Minor League Wrap-Up

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I hope you're a fan of off days and rainouts because there were a lot of those.  Mixed in was an unlikely dominant pitching performance and some offense, plus an unlikely addition to the org's ranks.  No, it wasn't Jeff Pentland.

On to the wrap-up!

VENEZUELA~!  The VSL Mariners and the rest of the VSL always take Sunday off.

¡MUY CALIENTE!

Mario Yepez:  9-21, 3 doubles, triple, R, 7 RBI, 2 K, 2 SB
Gerardo Esparza:  2 GS, 11 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, walk, 8 K
Nolan Diaz:  3.2 IP, 0 H, 5 K, save

¡QUE LASTIMA!

Rigoberto Rangel (surprise!):  5-22, double, 3 R, 3 walks, 3 K, SB
Cesar Del Rio:  2-16, triple, 2 RBI, 4 K
Mayckol Guaipe:  2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 walks, K

Dominican:  The DSL does not take Sundays off, but the DSL Mariners did.  I'd lay out stats, but only 6 games into the season, there isn't much of a sample to examine, so never mind for now.

For my reference as much as yours:

The Arizona Summer League (AZL) Mariners kick off their season on June 22.

The Everett Aquasox kick off their season on June 17.

marc w has my back edit:  The Mariners also have an affiliate in the Appalachian League, playing out of Pulaski, starting this year.  They debut on June 17.

Expect to see plenty of the M's 2008 draft picks in action in all these leagues.

A:  Wisconsin's game with Quad Cities was rained out.  Since the 1st half of the MWL season is nearly over, the game will not be made up.  I'm pretty sure Phillipe Aumont wasn't out in the rain screaming towards the sky a la Josh Gibson at the end of Soul of the Game.  In fact, I'm sure he was back in the clubhouse enjoying a nice refreshing (non-alcoholic) beverage (because he is underage).

A+:  High Desert's Mavs also had Sunday off.  This is like throwing a party, inviting a ton of people, getting several friends to commit... and then they back out the day before and the only person who shows up is the hunchback file clerk at the office you work at... not that the hunchback file clerk is a loser or anything... it's just that he's the life of what has become a really lame party.  Toss me a Hefe, Max.

AA:  West Tenn 2, Huntsville 0
WTN:  38-26... HUN:  38-26
(League:  263/341/400... 4.24 ERA)

Justin Thomas:  CG Shutout!, 5 H, 10 K (11 GS +1, 4.50 ERA, 70 IP, 7 HR, 31/68 BB/K)
Michael Saunders:  1-4, RBI, 2 K (285/372/484)
Mike Wilson:  1-4, solo HR (256/347/518)
Johan Limonta:  2-4, 2 doubles (316/405/579)
Kevin Reynolds:  1-4, double, 2 K

Justin Thomas neded this game in the absolute worst way.  He ran into trouble a couple times, the closest he came to a shutout being in the 3rd, when Freddy Parejo tripled with one out, but Parejo was held to the bag on Michael Brantley's groundout to 1st, and Thomas got the next batter to ground out to end that threat.

Chris Errecart led off the 5th with a single into LF.  Mike Bell's attempt to bunt the runner over failboated when Adam Moore got Errecart at 2nd for the 1st out.  Freddy Paredjo grounded to short, where Mark Kiger got the lead runner again for two outs.  And despite an Adam Moore pased ball that moved Parejo to 2nd, Michael Brantley struck out to end the frame.

Thomas punctuated the first CG shutout of the year for the DIAMOND JAXX by striking out two of the last three batters he faced.  A dominating performance that shows why the M's put up with the man's maddening inconsistency places the DIAMOND JAXX in a dead heat with Huntsville for the division lead.

Groundballs:  13 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  3
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  0
Strikeouts:  10

AAA:  Tacoma 10, Fresno 7
TAC:  31-31... FRE:  29-33
(League:  273/345/431... 4.70 ERA)

Joe Woerman:  4.2 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 4 walks, 6 K (12 app, 7 GS, 9.44 ERA, 34.1 IP, 3 HR, 37/24 BB/K)
Cesar Jimenez:  2.1 IP, 5 K (22 app, 4.30 ERA, 29.1 IP, 3 HR, 7/36 BB/K)
Jon Huber:  1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K (21 app, 7.56 ERA, 25 IP, 1 HR, 9/21 BB/K)
Roy Corcoran:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR) (15 app, 5.02 ERA, 14.1 IP, 1 HR, 13/11 BB/K)
Tug Hulett:  3-4, double, R, 4 RBI, K (287/360/439)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  2-3, 2 R, 2 walks, K (244/325/350)
Jeff Clement:  2-4, double, solo HR, 3 RBI, walk (370/492/747)
Victor Diaz:  1-4, 2 RBI, walk, K (277/364/554 with Rainiers)
Rob Johnson (LF):  2-4, 2 doubles, 3 R, walk (240/310/311)
Nick Blasi:  3-4, double, 2 R, RBI

... wait a minute, back up.  Run that last line by me again.

Nick Blasi:  3-4, double, 2 R, RBI

So the Mariners, loving this whole 'pick up AAA talent off the scrap heap' thing, go and get Nick Blasi, just dropped by the A's organization after 105 rather meh ABs in AAA Sacramento (238/266/324).  He had been promoted a little more than a month before after a passable showing in AA Midland (296/356/389).  The former 12th round pick (2004) had a bit of base stealing speed at some point, but that has since left the 26 year old, and he's never shown more that doubles power with the speed to leg out an occasional triple.

As an outfielder, he's had nothing more than decent range, and that too has left him, though he's a solid glove with a whopping 8 career outfield errors in 833 career chances over a 5 year minor league career.  It would appear Blasi's a careful sort in the field who knows when he's not going to get to a flyball, and lets it drop rather than trying anything daring/stupid.  Ultimately, he's nothing more than depth... though he had himself a good Rainiers debut game.  As Marc noted in the comments, Blasi actually snuck in the door before Saturday's game, where he debuted and went 0 for 3.

Meanwhile, Joe Woerman missed bats and strike zones in failing to finish the 5th inning, getting within an out but reaching 113 pitches before getting that 3rd out, and manager Daren Brown didn't want to see a big 9-3 lead evaporate completely.

Groundballs:  4
Flyballs:  2
Line Drives:  5
Pop Ups:  6
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  6

Cesar Jimenez got Eugenio Velez on strikes, then finished a 1-2-3 6th and a 1-2-3 7th, as Jeff Clement showed us why Bill Bavasi sent him back down to Tacoma by lining a solo shot for his 13th AAA HR of the season to make it 10-3 Rainiers.

But Jon Huber came in the 8th and got bombed for 3 runs before somehow escaping alive with a 10-6 lead.  Roy Corco finished the ballgame, allowing a solo shot to Ivan Ochoa before finishing.