When it rains, it pours . . .

First, the M’s not only lose their first road series (vs. Tiger) and lose Robbie due to a broken hand (hit by a pitch on the 13th)

but then, on the 15th comes the extremely disappointing news that Robbie has been suspended . . .

It was going to be bad enough to do without Robbie for 4-6 weeks because of injury.

Now, not only does the team have to do without him for much longer but, the reason could have a larger, different impact on the team. Truly one of the biggest challenges the organization has had in many years. It will be interesting to see if the team is able to pull together and if Scott and Jerry can pull the right strings in order to get the right pieces, shuffle the field, respectively to ensure all bases are covered for the rest of the season.

hs1 | short but sweet homestand = series win!

Yes, we will take TWO out of THREE every time! (and all ONE-RUN games, at that!)

2 out of 3

 

Mariners 2 | Indians 1

Mariners 5 | Indians 6

Mariners 5 | Indians 4

 

 

 

(covered Opening Day in  previous post )

Each of the second and third game saw the M’s earn FIVE runs (one short of a win in one game and just enough to win the other). So, in the two games combined, they had EIGHTEEN hits, FIVE doubles, THREE homers and FIVE walks . . . very decent production.

Mitch is on F I R E !!!

I know, it’s only three games but, still . . . fun to see him leading the majors in BA/OBP/OPS/SLG  🙂 especially since I picked him to be the best “new-comer” last season and he was off to a great start but, then got hurt (a couple times 😦 )

Speaking of injuries . . .

oh, Nellie! a homer in each of the first TWO games and then some freak accident, turning his ankle stepping into the dugout 😦

I-chi-ro!

spectacular wall-climbing catch on Saturday: Ichiro’s robbery

On the MOUND

  • James had a bit of a blip on Saturday (OK – giving up a grand slam in the first inning is not how anyone draws it out) but, he’s allowed a mulligan or two if he can just stay HEALTHY this season (please! please! please!).
  • Mike Leake had a nice > quality start in Sunday’s game: SEVEN innings – FIVE hits – TWO earned runs – THREE walks – FOUR strikeouts
  • Overall, the BULLY was pretty great. As mentioned, Eddie’s save on Thursday was a bit of an adventure but, Sunday’s was a gem: 1-2-3 SIT!!! The pen followed up James’ short and not so sweet outing with FOUR.ONE innings of HITLESS, SCORELESS ball!

So, really seems that it all comes down to health . . .

  • Seems like the new guys (Gordon, Healy, Marjama) really have a chance to contribute.
  • Kyle off to a slow start (but, then, you can pretty much draw up his season in PEN – slow start but great defense and in the end .260 w/25 homers.
  • As mention, Mitch is hot and Robbie’s not far behind, Segura should be steady.
  • Get well soon, Nellie and Zu!
  • And, of course the arms . . . please protect the arms!

Next up – short 2-game series w/the Giants in SanFran and then the Twins home-opener (another Thursday/Saturday/Sunday series) then off to Kansas City for three).

Go M’s!

 

News, Notes and Quotes on an off-day . . .

the best Mariners news . . .
Eric will return to the dugout tomorrow night!

podcast: Skip talks about his experience and recoop with Brock and Danny

the most surprising Mariners news . . .
and I say that just because it was unexpected, not because I don’t think it should have happened
Jack Z through 2014 | Shannon Drayer

the scariest Mariners news . . .
D.J. Peterson hit in the face by a pitch | Ryan Divish

Minor League news . . . 
* Jesus Scure was optioned to AAA after completing his regab assignment with AZL
* Ji-Man Choi (who began the year in Class A High Desert, was promoted from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma on Saturday

MLB News . . .
Instant replay expansion | Greg Johns

Local News . . . 

Skip not ready, Stephen DL’d again, Jesus serving 50 . . .

ERIC WEDGE UPDATE
According to Jack, via Greg Johns, who speaks with him everyday, he’s progressing well but, won’t join the team just yet when the team returns home . . .

“I don’t think Eric will be with us this week,” Zduriencik said prior to Sunday’s series finale with the Orioles. “I know he has a couple appointments ongoing. He’s got something midweek where he’s going to sit down with doctors.

“He’s doing well. I talk to him every day and he sounds normal and he’s excited to get back here. He wants to get back. But when Eric gets back, you want him to be back. His anxiousness to get back here in the dugout is one thing, but this is a life-long health issue for him. When he gets back managing this club, we want him to be here. You don’t want him to come in here and be here for two or three days.

“The stress of a ballgame, the length of time a manager has to put in and the way he is — he comes early and leaves late — from our standpoint, they just need to sign off and say you’re 100 percent ready to go so we don’t have a bump in the road where he’s out here 3-4 days and then has to take a step back. That’s not fair to Eric or fair to the ballclub. I think we’ll just wait and give it a little more time.”

M*A*S*H
Really disappointing news on Stephen Pryor – here’s Shannon’s report

Reliever Stephen Pryor has suffered a significant setback in attempt to return to the Mariners this year from a lat injury. As I reported yesterday, Pryor was to get checked out further by team doctors to see what was causing a “bruising sensation” in the area of his triceps. General manager Jack Zduriencik told us this morning in Baltimore what was found on his MRI was concerning enough to shut him down for the remainder of the year.

“They really didn’t like what they saw,” Zduriencik said. “He is going to get re-evaluated and we are going to look through this thing further as it is very unusual.”

Zduriencik was not sure how or specifically when the injury occurred. He said it is not related to the previous lat injury, however.

This is tough news for the team that could use a healthy Pryor in the bullpen but even a bigger blow for Pryor, who has been working hard to come back from the original injury.

Disappointing on another level (though we’ve been hearing it would happen for months now) – Jesus’s suspension . . .
Larry’s story

“The Seattle Mariners are disappointed that Jesus Montero has violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  Our organization fully supports the Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game.”

The Mariners said that will be their only comment on the matter. Commissioner Bud Selig  and union chief Michael Weiner also had lengthy statements which can be found at the end of this post. Weiner said of the 12 players who didn’t appeal (excluding A-Rod): “The accepted suspensions announced today are consistent with the punishments set forth in the Joint Drug Agreement, and were arrived at only after hours of intense negotiations between the bargaining parties, the players and their representatives.

The Mariners haven’t had a player on their 40-man roster suspended for PEDs since Ryan Franklin, Jamal Strong and current Mariner Mike Morse in 2005. One of the unique things about this case is that none of the players failed a drug test. However, baseball still has the power to suspend players based on a “non-analytical positive” — evidence other than a drug test. The 23-year-old Montero is currently playing in Tacoma. It is believed Montero will be able to serve his entire suspension this season even though Tacoma has just 28 games remaining this season.

Montero has been linked to the Biogenesis Anti-Aging clinic since Februry – an association he strongly and repeatedly denied when the story first broke in the New York Daily News on Feb. 6. The Daily News reported that Montero had been named in the records of Biogenesis, the clinic which is at the heart of MLB’s latest PED scandal.

Congrats to Kuma and The King ~ 2013 All-Stars

CONGRATULATIONS to the M’s collective 1-2 punch!!!

Felix named to his 4th ASG | Marinerds, etc. blog

Felix named to his 4th ASG | Marinerds, etc. blog

Kuma gets first ASG selection | NewsTribune

Kuma gets first ASG selection | NewsTribune

Felix earned his fourth All Star selection and Hisashi his first. If the rotation stays as is – Kuma would be scheduled to pitch the Sunday before the ASG which, in recent years, would deem him ineligible to actually pitch in the game. But, some changes in the CBA have changed that . . . Larry’s run down of the new rules

Iwakuma, however, is scheduled to start for the Mariners next Sunday, the last day before the All-Star break. If that happens, MLB rules dictate he may opt to be replaced on the American League roster, or be limited to one inning.  Iwakuma would still attend the game at New York’s Citi Field and go through all the festivities and be introduced with the team.

Iwakuma has the lowest ERA in the American League (2.60), followed by Hernandez at No. 2 (2.69). Iwakuma also has the lowest WHIP in the AL (0.88) to go with a 7-4 record. Hernandez is 8-4 and ranks fourth in the AL with 130 strikeouts. Iwakuma’s chances seemed to have dimmed with a stretch of four starts in which he went 0-3 with a 5.54 ERA to raise his ERA from 1.79, but his body of work over 18 starts prevailed.

Unfortunately, no Rauuuuuuul . . .

 

Alex Liddi traded to the O’s and International Draft picks swapped . . .

The Mariners have traded third baseman/first baseman Alex Liddi and their international signing slot No. 3 for the Orioles’ international signing slot No. 2.

Liddi is reportedly headed for the Orioles’ Triple A affiliate in Norfolk.

Liddi, 24, has appeared in 8 games with the Mariners this season (.059/1×17), spending most of the season with AAA Tacoma. With the Rainiers he is batting .263 (63×240) with 11 home runs and 43 RBI. Liddi was originally signed by the Mariners as an international free agent on Sept. 9, 2005. The native of Sanremo, Italy is the first Italian-born and developed player to appear in a Major League game.

This basically gives the Mariners more money to spend on the international free agent market.

Liddi was designated for assignment when the Mariners called up Brad Miller. The team had 10 days to either release, trade or outright Liddi. With the Orioles likely to claim him off of waivers, the Mariners picked up some more money on the international market instead.

 

Good news on the bullpen front . . .

Ups, Downs, all-arounds . . .

Just catching up on some of the movement of late.

Brad Miller’s call up set off some dominoes . . .
Reporting to AAA Tacoma were IF Carlos Triufel (optioned to make room on the 25-man roster) and RP Josh Kinney (out-righted, to make room on the 40-man roster) and 3B Ty Kelly (received in a trade from Baltimore for OF Eric Thames) and 1B Alex Liddi was designated for assignment.

Minor League Recognition . . .

M*A*S*H
* Guti back to the 15-day DL (hamstring) after only playing 1.5 games back from his last stint
* Michael M (strained quad) is getting close to being sent to Tacoma for a rehab assignment
* Jesus Montero scheduled to DH tomorrow in AZ (will be limited to DH/1B for the remainder of the year)
* Danny Hultzen was scratched a couple of nights ago from only his second start in Tacoma since coming off the DL – tests revealed no structural damage but, he’ll have 10-14 days before throwing again.

International Free Agents . . .
M’s sign 16-yr old Venezuelan OF, Greifer Andrade
Top-30 and where they’ve signed

 

 

Taijuan’s Tacoma debut and other news and notes

Taijuan Walker made his AAA debut for the Rainiers last night in Tacoma ~ the youngest Rainier (20) since Felix (19) in 2005. By all accounts, things went well . . .

SIX innings ~ THREE hits ~ ZERO runs ~ TWO walks ~ FOUR strikeouts

  • totals: 87 pitches / 57 strikes
  • by inning: 18, 11, 14, 13, 14, 17
  • speeds: fastball 92-97, cutter 89-92, curve 69-72 mph, change-up: 85-85

 

 

 

oh yeah ~ and the Rainiers won the game! 1-0 (on a home run by Abraham Almonte)

 

 

 

 

 

Now, the bad news . . .

Franklin Gutierrez is back on the DL after coming up w/ a hamstring strain in his second game back from the DL

 

But, Dustin Ackley is back and, presumably, ready to play the outfield

 

he’s baaaack . . . .

The Mariners have activated Franklin Gutierrez from 60-day DL, placed Michael Morse on 15-day DL (strained right quad – retro to June 21) and DFA AAA Eric Thames.

Various twitter posts mention that Guti has been dealing with some sort of genetic condition that was causing arthritis-like symptoms and recently (in the past month) found medication that gives him relief. Wedge has said that CF is his, as long as he’s healthy.

Here’s to your health, Guti!

 

UPDATE: Here’s Greg John’s report on the specifics of Guti’s DL stint, diagnosis and rehab . . .

“I was playing every day in Triple-A, feeling good, getting my legs back again,” said the 2010 Gold Glove outfielder. “It wasn’t easy because I was having some inflammation with my joints and that was the cause of all this. I wasn’t moving the way I’m supposed to move. But now I’m getting to the point where I feel normal.”

“It’s been a little frustrating because nobody wants to be on the DL, nobody wants to have an injury,” he said. “I just want to help my team. I just want to be here. It’s been a tough road for me, but I’m just trying to stay positive and do whatever I can the rest of the season.

“I’m feeling much better because it was affecting my joints, my eye was getting inflammation. So many people didn’t know about this and we didn’t talk about it until now. I don’t want to make a big deal of it, but this is what has been happening, and I’m feeling much better. I’m taking my medication and it’s working.”

Taijuan moving on up . . . and other news and notes

Yesterday, the Mariners announced that top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker (drafted 1st round -43rd overall- in 2010) was promoted to AAA Tacoma after a stellar start in AA Jackson . . .

I’ll say! 84 innings ~ 2.46 ERA ~ 1.04 WHIP ~ 96 strikeouts

 

M’s have been busy signing their selections from the June Amateur Draft (have now signed 30 of 40, including 19 from the first 20 rounds). The latest to sign and take batting practice at The Safe, Austin Wilson . . .

 

Meanwhile, up in Everett, a couple new prospects get started on their professional baseball careers . . .

 

Rehabbing and Retooling . . .
* Danny Hultzen was scheduled to throw FIVE innings today in AZ rookie league
* Guti’s starting to hit down in Tacoma (last 10 games: .333 w/2 HR, 2 2B, 11 R, 8 RBI)
* Dustin continues to tear the cover off AAA ball (.372) and is taking reps in the outfield

g72 | a WIN? in Anaheim? in extras?

Mariners 3 | Angels 2

Earlier today, it was announced that Alex Liddi was optioned to AAA Tacoma and Justin Smoak was activated from the DL (after a rehab stint with the Rainiers). ‘t was a short trip for Justin to Oakland, as the Rainiers had been in Sacramento.

ON THE MOUND
Really a shame that Jeremy didn’t get the win tonight, after putting up his THIRD straight quality start (allowed just ONE run in his TWO previous starts: a win vs. the Yanks in SIX innings, a ND vs. the ‘stros in EIGHT innings). His final line . . .
SIX innings ~ SIX hits ~ ONE earned run ~ THREE walks ~ ZERO strikeouts

} Ollie in for the 7th . . .
walked the lead batter (Ianetta), got Bourjos to fly out, then a WP advanced the runner to 2B, he then got Trout looking and Hamilton swinging.

} Tom in for the 8th . . .
boom. lead-off homer by Pujols ties the ball game (believe it or not, it was the first homer Tom gave up this season). The good news is he was able to retire the rest in order AND then come back out for the 9th where he gave up a lead-off base hit, a wild pitch and a walk BUT, got Bourjos to strikeout and Trout to fly out. There’s nothing wrong with Tom’s velocity (touched 97-98 a couple times) it’s just a matter of location and confidence and, despite the homer, the fact that he hung in and got some outs after that, is a means toward that end.

} Charlie took over in the 9th with TWO on / TWO out ~ and strikes out Hamilton

} Yoervis in for the 10th . . .
gets Pujols to pop-up behind the plate, Trumbo to strike out and Kendrick to ground out to earn his FIRST career SAVE . . .

He said, “For an inning, I felt like Mariano Rivera.”

AT THE PLATE
~ back-to-back jacks from Rauuuuuuul and Justin on back-to-back pitches in the 2nd gave the M’s a 2-0 lead . . . 

Welcome back, Justin! | Stephen Dunn, Getty Images

Welcome back, Justin! | Stephen Dunn, Getty Images

~ Mike with his FIRST big league double with TWO outs in the 4th (but he was left stranded)
~ Brendan fails to get a bunt down (pop-up) TWICE
~ Kyle hits a TWO-out double in the 10th and scores the go-ahead run via Kendrys FIRST hit of the night (what would end up being his NINTH game-winning hit of the season)!

IN THE FIELD
* THREE double plays turned (4-6-3, 6-4-3, 3-6-1) all off Hamilton’s bat
* Nick with his third stolen base of the season
* beautiful straight at ‘im catch by Endy to end the threat in the 6th with runners at the corners
* Michael S with a nice running catch for the first out in the 8th with a runner on (kept ‘im at 1B)

(on the other side, Bourjos robbed Justin of a sure double and Michael S of a possible homer)

tweets of the game . . . 

interesting note of the game . . .

ELEVEN players on the current 25-man roster were NOT on the opening day roster ~ NINE players on the current roster started the season in AAA