The Tacoma Rainiers’ season is winding down, with no drama remaining except for the anticipated Monday afternoon announcement of which players will follow Carlos Peguero and Erasmo Ramirez to the parent-club Seattle Mariners.
However, the Pacific Coast League playoffs should be interesting to follow this year.
Defending champion Omaha was the first team to lock up a playoff spot, clinching the American-North two weeks ago. With the parent Kansas City Royals not in contention, look for Omaha to keep its roster mostly intact for the postseason.
Omaha will play either Albuquerque or Oklahoma City, which are battling for the American-South division title.
Albuquerque is in an odd spot: its offensive star (and PCL runs-batted-in leader), Jerry Sands, knows that he is in his final days in the Dodgers organization, because he is expected to go to the Red Sox as the “player to be named” in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
Oklahoma City has surged into contention under interim manager Tom Lawless, who took over when Tony DeFrancesco was promoted to the Houston Astros. The RedHawks completed a four-game sweep of Albuquerque on Thursday to close to 11/2 games of first place.
In the Pacific Conference, Sacramento won its PCL-record sixth consecutive division title.
The question is, how will the roster look in the playoffs? Normally, Oakland is out of the race and loads up the River Cats for the PCL playoffs, but things are different this year with the A’s contending for the wild card.
Oakland already called up Sacramento’s Collin Cowgill and Brandon Hicks on Saturday.
Reno will play Sacramento, and the Aces will be underdogs after limping to the finish line. Reno had lost 14 of 21 games going into Saturday, with call-ups of infielders Ryan Wheeler and Jake Elmore and an injury to PCL Most Valuable Player Adam Eaton the big factors.
Eaton leads the league in batting average (.379), hits (181), runs (117), doubles (44), stolen bases (37), and on-base percentage (.452). He has been out of the lineup for over a week because of a concussion, but he is expected to return for the playoffs – if the Arizona Diamondbacks don’t call him up, instead.
Tacoma is the only full-season Mariners affiliate to miss out on the playoffs this year. Double-A Jackson, Class-A Advanced High Desert, Low-A Clinton and short-season Everett have all clinched playoff spots and will play into September.Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.