The Mariners farm is both more exciting and more functional than it’s been in a long time, which means it’s worth paying attention to how the prospects are performing down at the lower levels of the organization. In addition to our stalwart State of the Farm weekly roundup that takes a longer view on the farm, we’ll have minor league roundups thrice a week or so to share some highlights, gifs, and notes in our Midshipmen’s Log (it’s a baby sailor, get it? **waits patiently for ‘ba dum tiss’ on the drums** yeah yeah).
Yesterday the minor league teams played some baseball games. They lost most of them! That’s too bad but what we’re really here for is the prospects, or, as I like to call them, HOPE IN THE DARKNESS LIGHTING UP THE PASSAGEWAY LEADING US AWAY FROM THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR EVENTUAL DEATHS.
Here’s some stuff!
West Virginia Power (22-22) Punt to by the Greensboro Grasshoppers (30-14), 10-7
take me home
to the place
West Virgina played a game that I was irrationally excited about as Damon Casetta-Stubbs got the start and he went to King’s Way Christian and my mom went to King’s Way Christian back when they taught out of a converted closet. He is also a promising young pitcher with big stuff. In this game, though, DCS struggled with his command while the defense struggled behind him (four errors!). Poor location also allowed him to get hit around and his day ended early with five runs in three innings. DCS is very young, but worryingly, Damon has now given up 22 runs in his last 15.1 innings after starting the year with three straight scoreless starts. Hmm. The rest of the pitching day went so well that third baseman Nick Rodriguez made his pitching debut and was the only pitcher to not allow a run. I am having Mariners flashbacks and must move on.
On the offensive side, Jarred Kelenic continues to be swoon-worthy with a big homer, his seventh of the year. It’s encouraging as he’d been in a mini slump, hitting only .200 in his last ten games. This bumps up his Sally slash line to .299/.385./518. This is good, we need this. To see this and know this. The rest of the offense played well, with both Nick Rodriguez and Charlie McConnel knocking their first dingers (Rodriguez had himself quite a day). Jake Anchia continues to come around with the bat to match his defensive prowess and knocked a double. Let’s see something really quick:
Jake Anchia’s last 10 games:— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) May 22, 2019
.361/.410/.833/1.243, 13H, 2 2B, 5HR, 6R, 14RBI, 3BB, 12K. #PowerUp
That’s... Well that is good. If Anchia can make enough contact he’ll be quite the late round find. If not, well, Mike Zunino still has a career, right?
Modesto Nuts (20-25) scrunched by San Jose Giants (20-23), 3-5
The Nuts! Lost!
Modesto started Raymond Kerr, who struggled to throw consistency strikes and wound up walking (5) more hitters than he struck out (3). On some very positive developments, both Sam Delaplane and JT Salter continued to strike out everyone with 3Ks in two and two thirds of an inning. Sam managed to get two outs and a strikeout in only three pitches. How? I’ll tell you how.
JT Salter, he of mass and length, has now thrown 6 innings for Modesto this year, allowed no runs, struck out 7 and, most importantly for him, only allowed 2 walks. He is pitching as good as he is large.
The Nuts continue to struggle offensively, but you can’t blame Joe Rizzo who had the lone extra base hit tonight. I am a vocal Rizzo doubter but he is trying very hard to make my opinions appear worthless and amateur instead of what I perceive them to be: valuable and amateur. Through 18 games in May he has two homers, seven doubles and is slugging .533. I obviously cannot be trusted to evaluate him, so it appears he’s fixed and he will hit like this for the rest of time and he will send me weeping into my grave of shame.
Arkansas Travelers (27-15) wait around while liquid falls from above.
Let’s check in on the Travelers.
Tacoma Rainiers (22-24) defeat with superior ability Fresno Grizzlies (23-22), 12-3
This game was a beautiful flower breaking through the crust of manure that has been the Mariners team lately. Everything was working. Well, almost everything. Erik Swanson, or as he’s known around my house, One Pitch Man (no one calls him this in my house), only managed three innings, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. I’m not sure why he was pulled early, but it definitely was not because he was pitching well. Which, I suppose, is never a reason to be pulled early. Still applies here though.
What was really encouraging about the pitching (such a relief to type that) was the performance from injury-recovery arms Gerson Bautista and Sam Tuivailala (Matt Festa pitched 2 scoreless as well!). With the bullpen in the bigs currently a carousel of mediocre arms and shattered dreams, having two live-armed pitchers may stop the madness.
Rehabilitating reliever Gerson Bautista hit 100 mph on the Cheney Stadium radar gun. I think he's the first Tacoma pitcher to do that since Thyago Viera in 2017.— Mike Curto (@CurtoWorld) May 22, 2019
Pretty fast in my opinion. Sam was able to work a scoreless inning with a pretty devastating curveball and some well located fasties.
Here he is making a hitter look not great.
On the hitting side, the Rainiers did plenty of it. I think Ian Miller deserves some praise for what he’s managed to do with the bat lately. I will not give it to him, but:
Ian Miller’s 1st 40 games of 2019:— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) May 22, 2019
.302/.352/.523/.875, 45H, 17 2B, 2 3B, 4HR, 27R, 30RBI, 13BB, 35K, 10/12 SB. #Rainiers
Today he went absolutely mad with two steals, four hits, and one home run which he hit while b-boying.
Kyle Seager tacked on a multi-hit day and 3 RBIs. He’s been hitting well in his rehab assignment. He appears to have his timing back and dear god does he step out of the box a lot stay in there, Kyle! Braden Bishop continued to get on base with a 3-6 day and play defense that makes me sad every time I watch Mallex Smith track a line drive.
Welp. That’s it. That’s all the hope we can juice from yesterday. Let’s hope we can squeeze some more hope juice from tomorrow’s slate of games.
Here’s this as a reward for reading.
Great pitching matchups tomorrow. Check some out!
Tacoma vs Fresno, 11:35 AM PT (LHP Justus Sheffield)
(2x header) Arkansas vs. Northwest Arkansas, 1:30 PM PT (RHP Ricardo Sanchez/ TBD)
West Virginia vs Greensborro: 4:05 PM PT (RHP Steven Moyers)
Modesto vs San Jose, 7:05 PT (RHP Ljay Newsome)