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).
It was a rough day up and down the system despite some more encouraging performances earlier in the weekend. However, the Arkansas Travelers clinched a first-half championship and continued to assert they are the Final Bosses of the Texas League, so that part was pretty good.
West Virginia Power (30-33) run over by the Greenville Drive (28-35), 7-4
The Power have been on a bit of a downturn lately, but tried to get right behind staff ace (and recently named All-Star) Clay Chandler. Unfortunately, Chandler had a rough outing, surrendering six runs on nine hits, including two home runs, over his 4.2 innings of work. Keegan McGovern, who continues to look strong in his return to action, hit his second home run since coming off the IL, and Nick Rodriguez, Joseph Rosa, Cesar Izturis Jr., and Bobby Honeyman all contributed doubles, but it wasn’t enough to prop up the Power. In better news, top prospect Julio Rodriguez figures to come off the IL as soon as tomorrow, so the Power should get a fresh infusion of pop in their lineup after recently losing Jarred Kelenic.
Arkansas Travelers (40-21) unplug the Tulsa Drillers (32-30), 11-7
This one wasn’t as close as it looked, as the Travs held a 9-0 lead after four innings. Andrew Moore, fresh off his MLB spot start, carried a perfect game into the 6th, when he visibly tired (as one might expect, considering his schedule over the past week) and surrendered four runs (three on his direct watch); reliever Zac Grotz wasn’t able to stop the bleeding, giving up three runs of his own. That would be the only inning Tulsa was able to score in, however, their seventh-run sixth falling short of the Travs’ eight-run second. The Travs were bullies in that inning; here was the sequence of hits:
- Dom Thompson-Williams leadoff double;
- Jordan Cowan two-run HR;
- Logan Taylor walk;
- Joe Odom single;
- Nick Zammarelli three-run HR;
- Donnie Walton single;
- Evan White two-run HR;
- [Pitching change]
- Jake Fraley solo HR;
- Kyle Lewis groundout—the first out of the inning;
- Then two more hits from DTW and Cowan, making them both 2-for-2 in the inning.
Come for the Jake Fraley HR (his second on the day), stay for the kid in a Mariners shirt making a tumbling catch on the berm pic.twitter.com/BeZ3HTlbk9— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) June 9, 2019
Kyle Lewis doubled in the third to add another run, and Jake Fraley added another home run in the 5th to give the Travs enough of a cushion that the Drillers, who are the second-place team in all of the Texas League even though they’ve been forced all season to play the Washington Generals to the Travs’ Globetrotters, were never able to come back. The Travs are the first-half Texas League champs, and it’s not close.
Tacoma Rainiers (30-34) silenced by the Nashville Sounds (25-38), 3-0
The Rainiers haven’t quite gotten their groove back after seeing a wave of promotions to the big league club, and then another wave after that after injuries felled J.P. Crawford and Braden Bishop. Anthony Misiewicz was mostly fine, giving up three runs (two HRs, which has been a problem for him in Triple-A) over five innings; Nick Rumbelow worked three effective, scoreless innings of relief. But the bats just never came around; the Rainiers were only able to scatter five hits across the game, including stranding Ian Miller and his PCL-leading 22nd double at second early in the game.
Modesto Nuts (28-35) tanned by the Visalia Rawhide (39-19), 10-2
Playing without Jarred Kelenic again, who is not officially on the IL but has been held out of action for the third straight day, the Nuts weren’t able to conjure up much offense, only squeezing two runs out of Oregon alum Matt Mercer. Austin Hutchison, himself recently being returned from an injury after getting struck by a comebacker, held the line for six innings, surrendering seven hits but only three ER while striking out nine. Unfortunately, the Nuts defense and Ray Kerr melted down behind him, committing three errors and giving up six additional runs. Cal Raleigh did have two hits, including a double that just missed being a home run, and continues to improve his offensive numbers across the board. Come back soon, Jarred.
The DSL Mariners season has started, and while there’s no way to follow it live, you can check in on how the kids are doing in the box score that’s part of the affiliate box scores on MiLB. They play at 7:30 AM PT tomorrow if anyone is up for following along with some extremely early morning baseball. The Rainiers also play early in the day, if you’re looking for some hometown baseball on the M’s off day. (Playing hooky to go to a Rainiers game = STRONG recommend.) The Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles) haven’t been in to West Virginia yet, but it doesn’t portend to be pleasant; the Shorebirds have a winning percentage of .742, which is the highest in all the minor leagues (non-DSL) by like, a lot. Tune in anyway (no TV) to see if Julio Rodriguez makes his return to the lineup, which he might. Logan Gilbert gets another start for Modesto, which is great, but dimmed slightly by the potential lack of Jarred Kelenic in the lineup and the fact that Visalia doesn’t have a TV feed.
Nashville at Tacoma, 11:35 PT (LHP Jonathon Niese)
Delmarva at West Virginia, 4:05 PT (RHP Ryne Inman)
Modesto at Visalia, 6:00 PT (RHP Logan Gilbert)