Mariners Insider Blog

LINKAGE: Morrow's second start, Rowland-Smith's transition, The Rays way, White Sox not interested in Washburn

Greetings from muggy Minnesota! I know what you're thinking: "Aren't the Mariners in LA?" Yes, I just never had much of a sense of direction. And also I'm out here to play some fastpitch softball at the national tourney (something I cleared with the bosses before I switched over to the Mariners).

Larry was supposed to travel to LA yesterday, but he got hit by a case of the flu. There's nothing worse than the flu in the summer. He's not going to cover the games against the Angels – we've got a stringer lined up for that – so the blog won't have the usual game updates. Hopefully, that should return with Larry in Minnesota.

Even though I'm on vacation, I'll still try and post some stuff on here. I might even try and take in a few games on the weekend when the Twins are out here (if my team isn't playing).

Anyway, there's been a lot of debate in the Mariners' blogosphere lately surrounding Carlos Silva's comments, Jim Riggleman's comments and the perceived efforts of some of the players. It's something I contemplated a lot on the flight out here. And I have a few thoughts on it, that I'll post later.

If you're in the Minneapolis area, I highly recommend you check out one of the Joe Senser's sports bars. Good food, plenty of TVs and good atmosphere.

Anyway let's get to some links ...

I wanted to post this yesterday, but didn't get a chance to. Anyway, we had our second installment in our series on team blueprints the Mariners can follow. It was on the Tampa Bay Rays. Here's what the cover looked like.

Here's my story that ran with it. At the bottom is a chart of how each player on their 25-man roster was acquired along with the keys to their success.

The Rays clubhouse was a pretty enthusiastic place, but that happens when you're in first place. But we're going to find out a lot about the makeup of that clubhouse with the injuries to Carl Crawford and most recently Evan Longoria, who went on the DL yesterday.

Columnist John Romano believes that Longoria is impossible to replace.

Because of the injuries, Buster Olney thinks that the Rays will try and put a waivers claim on Raul Ibanez, but that the Red Sox will block that move by making a claim of their own.

Boston is in position to place waiver claims and block players from the Rays, as they did with Brian Giles. As colleague Peter Gammons reports, Raul Ibanez was placed on waivers over the weekend, and presumably, the Red Sox will place a claim on the Mariners' outfielder, rather than let him slide to the Rays.

From today's paper ...

Here's my story on Ryan Rowland-Smith, who's transition to a starter is an in-season audition for next season.

The voice of the Rainiers, Mike Curto, covered Brandon Morrow's second start with the Rainiers. The surface numbers weren't fantastic - Morrow (0-1) threw 51 pitches, but he lasted just 22/3 innings. He gave up five hits and three runs while walking two - but as this post from the Lookout Landing points out, those numbers aren't that important.

* There was some talk about the White Sox potentially picking up Jarrod Washburn with the recent injury to Jose Contreras. However, GM Ken Williams had so such ideas.

Elsewhere ....

* Adam Dunn was traded to the D-backs in some older news.

* Lou Piniella isn't happy with Kosuke Fukudome's recent performances. You know what that means, produce or else.

* Former Mariner Greg Dobbs set a pinch hitting record with the Phillies.

* Jamie Moyer plowed over an umpire running the bases. I'm not sure how that's possible since Moyer weighs about a buck-fifty.

* A knuckleballer replaces a knuckleballer in Boston.