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State of the Farm: 7/15/17

New uniforms, Carlson debuts, O’Malley returns, and more!

The Royal Highland Show - One Of Scotland's Most Iconic Events Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

It’s SOTF time, everybody, that magical time of the week when we catch up on everything that’s been going on in your favorite little farmhouse in baseball. As always, if I missed a player/event/happening that you want to discuss, drop something below in the comments.

(AAA) Tacoma Rainiers

Team Record: 46-45 (3rd in Pacific Northern Division)

Vogelbach puts on a show in Home Run Derby

  • 1B Daniel Vogelbach made it all the way to the finals of the 2017 Triple-A Home Run Derby, but came up short after Red Sox outfielder Bryce Brentz mashed 18 dingers in the final round to win it. Vogelbach hit 27 total home runs on the day: thirteen in the first round, six in the second round, and eight in the final round. Great job, Daniel.
  • Kate had more about Daniel’s big night here.

Tyler O’Neill starts a hit streak

  • After picking up a hit last night, O’Neill has now ran his hitting streak to eight games. Over that stretch, your favorite Canadian has slashed .354/.444/.677 with three home runs, five walks, a double, and two stolen bases.


  • CF Leonys Martin continues to be the heartbeat of the Tacoma offense. His hitting streak was snapped last night, but his numbers for the month of July are still phenomenal: .375/.380/.604, home run, 6 doubles, 5 stolen bases.

Casey Lawrence has turned into (arguably) Tacoma’s best starting pitcher

  • Not that it’s a particularly high bar to cross, but RHP Casey Lawrence is now up there with Christian Bergman as Tacoma’s most reliable starting pitcher. While most the rotation has been whacked around pretty badly (we’ll get to that in a second), Lawrence has emerged as a bit of an ace for them, surrendering just three runs over his last three starts (22.1 innings), including a shutout on July 3rd.

Chase De Jong is having a 2017 to forget

  • Chase De Jong’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2017 season has continued. After oddly getting a call up to Seattle to start the year and struggling mightily over 28.1 innings, De Jong returned to Tacoma, where he is struggling mightily over 54.0 innings. In ten starts, the 23-year-old has registered a 7.01 FIP and 5.27 xFIP to go along with his ugly 6.17 ERA. He’s surrendered 22 runs over his last four starts. There was one stretch where opposing hitters collected 22 hits over 10.2 innings. His HR/FB rate is at 19.8%. it’s all very bad. It’s all so very bad.

Machi appears in Triple-A All-Star Game

  • Jean Machi threw an inning of relief in the 2017 Triple-A All-Star Game, surrendering two runs (one earned run) on three hits. He also registered two strikeouts in the effort. Good job, Jean!

(AA) Arkansas Travelers

Team Record: 10-10 (North Division)

Ian Miller, Chuck Taylor cool off

  • Ian Miller so far in the month of July: .231/.273/.308, 59 wRC+. Everything still looks fine and I wouldn’t worry about him too much. This is honestly his first subpar stretch of the year.
  • Chuck Taylor so far in the month of July: .236/.288/.273, 56 wRC+. His numbers have steadily tumbled since his red-hot start, which is a bit of a bummer. It would’ve been kinda cool for a Rule-5 minor league portion pick to turn into a neat-ish prospect.

A wild Shae Simmons appears!

  • Shae Simmons popped up in Arkansas for a rehab assignment, putting him just a little closer to donning a Mariners uniform for the first time. In three appearances with the Travelers, Simmons has pitched 2.2 innings, striking out four and allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk.

Tago, Curtis continues scoreless streak

  • Peter Tago and Zac Curtis have arguably been the two most reliable relievers on the team all season long, but they’ve recently taken it to another level. Curtis hasn’t surrendered a run since June 24th. Tago has been running zeroes since June 15th. I’ve been pushing Tago pretty hard since the offseason as a potential breakout option for the bullpen, but the primary thing holding him back at the moment are the free passes (5.66 BB/9). When he’s getting the ball over the plate he looks downright filthy, but even during this scoreless stretch, walks are something he’s struggled with.

Waldrop makes the beat drop

  • Kyle Waldrop spent the last two years in Triple-A, so there really isn’t a ton to take away here, but it’d be silly of me to not mention that Waldrop is hitting .370/.403/.548 with a 166 wRC+ over the last three weeks. Keep it up, Kyle.

Anthony Misiewicz gets promoted

  • LL’s favorite fringe pitching prospect seems to officially be up in Double-A now, filling the rotation spot left empty by the trade of Tyler Herb. In two starts with the Travelers this past week, Misiewicz allowed 3 runs in 12.0 innings, striking out 9 and walking just 2.

(A+) Modesto Nuts

Team Record: 14-8 (First in North Division)

Eric Filia finally took a break from wrecking California League pitching

  • Filia appears to be human after all. The sweet-swinging outfielder, a massive headache for the lovely pitchers of the California League all year long, has slashed .229/.288/.229 so far in the month of July. Even with the mini-slump, his line for the year is still a very fun .306/.385/.399.

Okay but seriously Chris Mariscal just never stops

  • Mariscal is yet to have a particularly down stretch in 2017, and nothing has changed in July. The red-hot second baseman has gone 17-for-39 with nine walks, three doubles, a triple, and three home runs. He’s been showing a bit of pop this season, as well, which is interesting.

Nick Neidert had another impressive start

  • Nick Neidert. Five innings pitched. One earned run. Eight strikeouts. Clockwork. I love him.

Joe Pistorese returns from the DL

  • The Wazzu product is back! After rehabbing for a bit with the AZL Mariners, Pistorese is officially back on the Nuts’ roster.

Nathan Bannister is stabilizing

  • Bannister’s professional career had a rocky start. He suffered an arm injury in college, went straight to the disabled list, made his professional debut in High-A, got bounced up to Tacoma, came back, and has finally been given the chance to settle in. He seems to be getting up to speed, thankfully, as he’s surrendered just four runs over his last five outings (34 innings).

(A) Clinton LumberKings

Team Record: 8-14 (8th in Western Division)

Jack Anderson: Submarine Captain

  • With each passing Jack Anderson outing, I get more and more excited about the potential of having a legitimate submarine pitcher in the organization. The Penn State-product built on his strong season with a scoreless four-inning week, striking out four and walking two. His numbers for the year are impressive: 2.37 FIP, 2.77 xFIP, 9.48 K/9.

4th-round pick Elledge makes the jump

  • Elledge, taken out of Dallas Baptist in the fourth round in June, was moved up to Clinton after four appearances with the AquaSox. So far, Elledge has put together 2.1 perfect innings of relief with the LumberKings.

Poor Billy Cooke and Johnny Slater...

  • Also making the jump have been outfielders Billy Cooke and Johnny Slater. Both were selected in the 2017 draft and both have experienced their fair share of struggles with Clinton after being called up for depth purposes. Cooke is slashing .122/.246/.204. Slater is hitting .148/.179/.352. It’s an unfortunate situation.

(A-) Everett AquaSox

Team Record: 12-17 (3rd in North Division)

Everett debuts some sexy uniforms

  • Seriously just look at these things:

Andres Torres delivers six no-hit innings

  • The Everett AquaSox nearly pulled off a combined no-hitter this week, starting with Andres Torres tossing an impressive six no-hit innings. J.P. Sears, pitching in relief of Torres, would surrender the only Dust Devils hit of the day in the 7th on a double.

Evan White cranks it up

  • After starting out slow, the Mariners’ first-round pick has turned it on over the last week. In that time span, the Kentucky product has two three-hit games, two home runs, three walks, and has raised his slash line for the year up to .277/.345/.532.

David Hesslink is doing okay!

  • Hesslink, who you probably know by now was drafted out of MIT in the 34th-round for funsies before he takes over a role in the front office, has actually been pretty decent! He’s surrendered just two runs (both dingers) in 7.1 innings and has issued just one walk. No, he’s not really a prospect. No, he was not a hidden gem. No, don’t get your hopes up. Yes, I still hope he turns in an amazing season and goes down as one of the more entertaining “hey remember this” seasons in Mariners minor league history.

(R) AZL Mariners

Team Record: 9-7 (T-1st in West Division)

Sam Carlson debuts

  • Sam Carlson tossed a scoreless inning in his Mariners debut. He’s officially here!

The AZL Mariners are old

  • This is more of a general observation than analysis or anything like that, but the AZL Mariners feel really old. Most teams you see in the rookie leagues are exploding with teenagers, community college guys, and more teenagers. The AZL Mariners, meanwhile, have several players on the roster who are fresh off of three-year (or more) stints in D1 baseball. That, along with rehabbers Paul Paez, Shawn O’Malley, and Kyle Lewis makes this all feel a little unfair.

Shawn O’Malley is back to playing

  • As I just mentioned, he’s alive! He’s also hitting very well against the teenagers. Good job, Shawny Shawn Shawn.

Notable Transactions

  • 2016 26th-round pick Elliot Surrey released. Surrey had a 3.69 ERA in 31.2 innings with the AquaSox in 2016. His one inning for the AZL Mariners last week was his lone action for the season.
  • Sebastian Valle released. Valle appeared to be nothing more than spring training catching depth when the M’s grabbed him in January, and he ended up appearing in just one game in the Mariners organization (last week for the AZL Mariners).
  • UTIL Greifer Andrade to the Disabled List.
  • LHP Nick Wells to the Disabled List.