My fine Mariners' fans and readers, I offer up some form of apologies for the lack of posting on the blog here, particularly in my part. With the season winding down, and my transition to my offseason work, I got a little sidetracked. But I also need to be a little more vigilant about at least getting some links to you and offering some analysis or just posting anything.
Anyway, after finishing up some WSU stuff, I snuck over the Rainiers game last night and watched the last seven innings. It was a mildly entertaining game. Matt Tuiasosopo had a big game, hitting a three-run homer and also a monster double off the centerfield wall at Cheney. Here' s Grant Clark's game story from today's paper. GM Lee Pelekoudas along with Minor league director Greg Hunter and Mariners Assistant Director of International Operations Hide Sueyoshi were there watching.
I made a quick stop in the clubhouse after the game. Had to check in with my fellow Montana native Rob Johnson, who also had a big two-run single, last night. I asked him if he thought he would get called up in September. He admitted to not being certain.
That got me thinking, who are the Mariners going to call up? Obviously, Brandon Morrow and Mark Lowe will get call ups. That's a given. But who else? Any player on the 40-man roster is eligible. Perhaps reliever Jared Wells, who was already up this season. Johnson? He got a call-up last season.
"Lee [Pelekoudas] and I have talked about it, and we have a pretty good idea. We're not ready to talk about who they are yet, because we want to let the players know before that," manager Jim Riggleman said the other day.
"But it's safe to say, as all clubs do, we'll add a couple arms just to make sure that that throughout September, guys like Green and Corcoran aren't getting overused."
I'm still waiting for an updated 40-man roster from the Ms to make any more guesses. But the last roster I looked at, players like Michael Saunders, Victor Diaz or Greg Halman.
One of the reasons there isn't too much speculation is that most of the players that would have been September call-ups have already been called up.
Anyway, let's get to some more links ...
Here's Larry's off-day story on Jose Castro and his path to his current job as Ms hitting coach.
Our intern Stephen Chen left us, but not empty handed with this feature on infielder Luis Valbuena.
Here's something to make you nauseous. ESPN's Keith Law sent and scouted a Chris Tillman game and offered this report.
I found this part interesting...
Orioles pitching prospect Chris Tillman started last night for AA Bowie at Reading and easily outpitched his somewhat more highly-paid opponent, Adam Eaton. (Carl Pavano made a rehab start at Reading earlier in the week, which made me wonder, if Pavano faced Eaton would it be the most expensive Eastern League game ever player?).
Tillman started out throwing 87-88 mph, but then gradually increased his velo to the low 90s, topping out at 93. The right-hander has good life with tailing action on his fastball, and sinks it at 87-88. At 92-93, it flattens out but still has the same tailing action. His best pitch is his curveball, a very sharp breaking ball with some two-plane break and great depth. It moves quickly with tight rotation and looks a lot harder than its 74-77 mph velocity. He throws a changeup with good tumbling action, but he doesn't use it often or show much feel for it yet.
Aside from a hook at the start of his delivery, he's pretty clean overall, staying over the rubber well and then driving forward with a long stride, taking advantage of his long legs. He gets good downhill plane on almost everything he throws and keeps his head steady through the delivery.
Where Tillman fell short of absolute top-prospect status was in his command. He looks the part, with his clean delivery, but he doesn't locate his fastball welll, not even to a general part of the zone. He misses bats because his curveball is just toxic and because his fastball gets in on hitters quickly, but he needs to be more precise with the latter pitch to succeed in the big leagues.
MARINERS51 mentioned it for DAVE8557, but here it is the two part series from the SF Chronicle on the lost art of the complete game. Enjoy.
SI's Jon Heyman writes "Why the Yankees are done"
Really, I love it that they are done. And yes, if you know me a little, I was enjoying the fact that A-Rod was getting booed mercilessly at Yankee Stadium.
Also Mill Creek's Travis Snider has been called up by the Blue Jays.
That was because Matt Stairs was traded to the Phillies.
FOXsports Ken Rosenthal writes about the massive general manager turnover this offseason.
Some of you might not be following the drama with Pirates first-round draft pick Pedro Alvarez. But it's just another example of Scott Boras being the harbinger of evil and the man who will single-handedly destroy baseball some day.
Finally a moment of silence, or is it a moment of celebration for .... JAY MARIOTTI.
He resigned as a columnist from the Chicago Sun Times saying that the Internet is the wave of the future. If we can only get him to retire from Around the Horn, or life in the media in general. The world would be a better place.
Mariotti, who was known never to venture into a clubhouse, had a particularly interesting feud with the White Sox. The players were ecstatic to hear of his resignation. Besides having a long standing feud with Ozzie Guillen, Mariotti also had some interesting and revolving opinions on the White Sox, check out this guy, who kept track.
His own editor wasn't exactly sad to see him go. Former co-workers didn't have much good to say. Roger Ebert offered this. Definitely a thumbs down for Jay. And longtime rival, but coworker, Rick Telander also didn't have much good to say.