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Mariners Moose Tracks, 9/31/17: Hisashi Iwakuma, Rick Ankiel, and The Wagon Wheel


Wildfires North Of Los Angeles Double In Size, 10,000 Homes Threatened Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Good morning and welcome to the final day of Mariners baseball this year. It feels not so long ago that we were discussing the Spring Training results of Guillermo Heredia and Ben Gamel and following the World Baseball Classic. This offseason looks to be a fascinating one and we will have everything you need right here, but for now, enjoy these: your final links of the 2017 regular season.

In Mariners news...

  • With his 5-for-5 night on Saturday, Mitch Haniger now has a 131 wRC+, 3rd-best ever among Mariners rookies (minimum 200 PAs). A good final game at the plate would see Haniger surpass Ivan Calderon’s 132 wRC+ from 1985, but it’ll take a mammoth performance to surpass Alvin Davis’ Rookie of the Year campaign in 1984 where he earned a cool 140 wRC+.
  • Hisashi Iwakuma officially has had “right shoulder debridement surgery” and will resume throwing in five months. With the Mariners expected to buy out Kuma’s team option for next season (at the cost of $1 million instead of the full $10 million), Seattle may extend a Spring Training invite to the 36-year-old starter, but first he’ll have to get healthy. It appears the surgery went alright:
  • Mike Marjama is the current frontrunner for the backup catcher position next year. In high school he missed an entire season of baseball due to an eating disorder. Now, the longtime minor leaguer, who is a substitute teacher in the offseason, is working to educate teens who may face similar struggles as those he did.
  • Daren Willman of Baseball Savant made a neat infographic tracking the travel of every team this season. The Mariners, as always, lead the pack in distance traveled.

Around the league...

  • Claire Smith, the first woman to win the J.G. Taylor Spink Award as an extraordinary baseball writer, which includes an induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, spoke about the award and her experience here.
  • Rick Ankiel, once a cant-miss pitching prospect, is infamous for his disastrous meltdown at the hands of the treacherous Yips. Though he salvaged his career, going on to be a decent outfielder, Ankiel’s name remains a cautionary tale. In his own words, he lends advice to his younger self.
  • Speaking of the Player’s Tribune, former Sounders’ star (and current Vancouver Whitecaps forward) Fredy Montero speaks on the transition from his native Colombia to the Pacific Northwest.

John’s Picks

  • My alma mater, Lewis & Clark College, is not known for athletic excellence in most sports, but yesterday they emerged victorious in the annual battle for the Wagon Wheel Trophy (a real wheel from an old covered Ticonderoga wagon) with Willamette University.

#RollPios and Go M’s.