AAA Tacoma Rainiers (64-61, Pacific Coast League)
In five rehab starts with the Rainiers, Michael Saunders is batting .353 with 7 walks, 1 double and 2 runs batted in. He's managed to reach base safely in 13 of his 24 plate appearances, which is pretty ridiculous. Whenever he rejoins the team, his bat and plate discipline will really help this lineup. If he can come back and produce the way he did before his injury, that would be a huge addition.
Roenis Elias was optioned to Tacoma after his last start in an effort to manage his innings, and he was absolutely spectacular in his spot start yesterday. The Cuban lefty tossed 5.0 scoreless, no-hit innings with 6 strikeouts and only 1 walk. Elias is should join the team in Philadelphia and is expected to start on Monday night against the Phillies.
In case you somehow missed it, Taijuan Walker looked a lot better in his latest start for Tacoma on Sunday. Just one week after his worst performance of the year, he pitched one of the best games of his career. Walker went 7.0 strong innings, allowing only 1 earned run on two hits with 13 strikeouts and a walk.
Where there's Smoak, there's.........ugh, nevermind. But seriously, Justin Smoak is kind of on fire lately. Over his last 10 games, he's hitting .378 with 7 walks, 3 doubles and 3 runs batted in.
Shortstop Ketel Marte has looked really good since getting the promotion to Tacoma last week. He has hit safely in all three games he's played in with the Rainiers and is 5-for-12 (.417) so far.