The Tacoma Rainiers have one more week of play, but every other affiliate is done for the regular season. The Modesto Nuts and Everett AquaSox have played some exciting playoff ball already, while the Arkansas Travelers begin their playoffs this next week.
38-31, 3rd in PCL West
The Rainiers finished up the penultimate week of their regular season by splitting a series in Oklahoma City, having a much better time with these Dodgers than the big-league club. After narrowly losing the series opener, the Rainiers stormed back to win the next game on the strength of a Ryan Bliss grand slam. They dropped the next two games but came back to finish strong, winning Saturday’s game thanks to a four-RBI day from Taylor Trammell, and cruising to an 11-6 win on Sunday thanks to a five-hit day from Cade Marlowe, with three doubles.
It’s a 5-hit game for Cade Marlowe! pic.twitter.com/uUuHP02dl5— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) September 17, 2023
Cade Marlowe scuffled initially on being optioned back to Tacoma, with nine strikeouts over the series, before busting out a huge five-hit day in the series finale. Ryan Bliss also scuffled some outside of his huge grand slam, but also came up with a big four-hit day in the series finale, with his ninth home run of the year. Taylor Trammell had a nice week, with two homers and two doubles while collecting eight RBI out of the three-hole/cleanup spot. Zach DeLoach didn’t have one of his better weeks, striking out seven times, but also homered twice to get to 30 on the season.
Next up: The Rainiers are three games back of the division-leading Round Rock Express, who are coming into town to play the final series of the season. Get out to Cheney if you can and send the Rainiers some support!
28-41, fourth in the Texas League North
After scuffling over the second half, the Travs go into their playoff series on a good note (for them), having split a series against the NW Arkansas Naturals. They opened the series by splitting a double header, then lost the next two games but came back strong in the final two games of the regular season, scoring a combined 17 runs. The Travs went 6-6-6 on Saturday, collecting 10 runs on just six hits, thanks to smacking four doubles, with six walks and six strikeouts. They won big on Sunday, 7-3: Jonatan Clase hit his 19th double as a Traveler and stole three bases to give him a whopping 79 on the season; Tyler Locklear tripled; and Josh Morgan homered.
Jonatan Clase struck out seven times this series, which is less than ideal, but also continued to get his power stroke back, hitting a double, triple, and home run all in this series, as well as stealing six bases. Tyler Locklear continues to look comfortable at the Double-A level after missing significant time with an injury this year; over the series he struck out as many times as he walked (four), and showed some power as well, hitting a double and a triple.
Up next: The Travs will head to Springfield on Tuesday to play the Cardinals in the Texas League playoffs.
In a heartbreaking end to a fantastic season, the Frogs fell in the championship series against the Vancouver Canadians 3-1. While they were able to hang ten runs on the board in the second game of the series, the team had a tough go of it offensively and were only able to muster two more runs combined in the remaining three matchups. It may not have been the storybook ending to the season we all envisioned, but the future remains incredibly bright for these players and I have no doubt they will have a shot to play in many more big games in the near future. With the loaded Nuts roster set to graduate several key players to Everett next season, look for the Frogs to keep things rolling come next spring.
What a play by Cole Young to save 2 runs. pic.twitter.com/QHzkgZszBy— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) September 13, 2023
While both Gabriel Gonzalez and Harry Ford had a tough go of it in the series, Cole Young had little trouble torching Vancouver pitching. Ending the four game stretch with a .632 OBP and a .400 batting average, Young was really the only Frogs hitter who wasn’t stymied by Vancouver pitching. Young had a fabulous year across both Modesto and Everett, finishing off with a cumulative .849 OPS across the two levels. He makes a ton of contact, plays a good shortstop, and can even steal you a bag if you need it. Don’t be shocked if he starts next season in Arkansas. Not saying it’s a formality, but a definite possibility.
The Nuts came into the postseason hotter than the sun and haven’t slowed down one bit. Starting off the week by sweeping San Jose in a three game set that included both an exciting comeback and 19 runs scored from Modesto’s lineup, the Nuts continued on to the championship series and currently have a 1-0 lead in the three game set. Just one game away from winning it all, the Nuts have a chance to close off a historic run of winning baseball with a title, something that feels like destiny for the team of young sluggers.
Modesto Nuts 37-9 since July 23rd.— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) September 18, 2023
WE ARE TIED!! Lazaro Montes solo HR in the 9th!! pic.twitter.com/UAp78QPmWQ— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) September 13, 2023
There’s a whole lot of hitting going on in Modesto right now. Michael Arroyo, who hasn’t got as much fanfare since the promotion en masse of the draftees occurred, has been raking in the three playoff games thus far. Currently batting .600 with a homer and a double, the young infielder has four walks compared to just one strikeout. Fellow 18 year old Colt Emerson has followed Arroyo’s lead and is hitting a cool .500 with a pair of doubles and just two K’s. Producing the walk off knock to clinch the comeback in extra innings, Emerson has been a revelation for the Nuts and remains one of the top prospects in the entire system. Brock Rodden has been a pest at the top of the lineup and is truly an OBP machine and Jonny Farmelo secured both his first professional homer and triple in his few games so far. It is perhaps the most complete lineup I’ve seen in the minor leagues and they are truly a delight to watch. The season may be ending soon, but regardless of how things break in the end, this team is special. Might as well win the whole thing while you’re at it.