Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mariners Minor League recap for 4/9/09

A: Clinton 6, Burlington 3
CLI: 1-0... BUR: 0-1
Opening Day starting lineup listed in full (with 2008 final line and key playing level):

Steven Hensley: 5 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 0 ER, 1 K (6 GS, 29.1 IP, 3 HR, 9 BB, 32 K, 5.22 ERA in Everett)
Keith Meyer: 1 IP, 2 K (72.1 IP, 7 HR, 29 BB, 69 K, 4.35 ERA in Wisconsin)
Adam Harben: 2 IP, 3 K (58.2 IP, 3 HR, 56 BB, 53 K, 5.37 ERA with A+ Daytona (CHC))
Ryan Moorer: 1 IP, 1 H (64.2 IP, 3 HR, 23 BB, 47 K, 4.18 ERA in Wisconsin)

Daniel Carroll (CF): 1-3, R, K (248/325/324 and 31 SB in Wisconsin)
Maximo Mendez (LF): 2-5, triple, R, 2 RBI, K (237/316/336 and 25 SB in Wisconsin)
Denny Almonte (RF): 1-3, 2 walks (249/303/420 and 14 SB in Wisconsin)
Nate Tenbrink (1B): 0-4, K (198/339/317 in Everett)
Mario Martinez (3B): 1-4, R, K (319/344/462 in Pulaski)
Travis Howell (C): 1-4, solo HR, K (288/395/411 in Everett)
Kalian Sams (DH): 0-4, K (204/295/528 in Pulaski)
Ben Billingsley (SS): 0-3, R, walk, K (227/308/381 in Everett)
Luis Nuñez (2B): 2 run double (279/303/362 in Everett)

Also appearing: Scott Savastano and Terry Serrano

- Key: Clinton took control of this game early and often, building a 5-1 lead on Bryan Casey and two relievers by the middle 5th, which proved more than enough. Casey, a 22 year old product of Arizona Western Community College, made 16 starts in the Rookie level Pioneer League last season with Idaho Falls (Royals) and looked solid (16 GS, 72.1 IP, 6 HR, 26 BB, 66 K, 3.36 ERA).

- Who is Adam Harben? He's veteran minor league bullpen help, and he helped today with a scoreless 7th and 8th. He was last seen walking the world in the Florida State League as a member of the Daytona Cubs. It is assumed he can throw strikes at the Class A level.

- Things you're wondering about that I don't know the answers to either: 2B Luis Nuñez left the game before the bottom 3rd, replaced by Terry Serrano (who spent most of last season in Peoria). It's a shame too, as his 2 run double keyed the first Lumberkings rally in the 2nd. I'll follow up as I get more information: Hopefully Nuñez isn't hurt badly.

A+: High Desert 9, Lancaster 2
Mavs: 1-0... Jethawks: 0-1

Michael Pineda: 5 IP, 2 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 2 walks, 7 K, 3 hit batters (21 GS, 138.1 IP, 7 HR, 35 BB, 128 K, 1.95 ERA in Wisconsin)
Natividad Dilone: 1 IP, 1 H, walk, K, hit batter (37.1 IP, 2 HR, 16 BB, 40 K, 3.38 ERA in Wisconsin)
Travis Mortimore: 1 IP, 2 H, K (12 GS, 58.1 IP, 14 HR, 34 BB, 38 K, 7.87 ERA in High Desert)
Phillipe Aumont: 1 IP, 1 H, K (55.2 IP, 4 HR, 19 BB, 50 K, 2.75 ERA in Wisconsin)
Juan Zapata: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, wild pitch (missed most of 2008)

Tyson Gillies (CF): 2-3, R, 2 walks, SB (313/439/427 in Everett)
Edilio Colina (SS): 2-5, 2 run HR, 2 R (291/348/381 in Wisconsin)
Kuo Hui Lo (LF): 2-5, triple, R, 3 K (252/309/404 in High Desert)
Ian Bladergroen (1B): 2-5, double, R, RBI, K (260/342/464 in indy ball)
Jamie McOwen (RF): 2-4, double, triple, 3 R, walk (263/324/392 in High Desert)
Alex Liddi (3B): 2-3, double, 3 RBI (244/313/360 in Wisconsin)
Travis Scott (C): 1-3, solo HR, walk, K (270/341/451 in High Desert)
Joe Dunigan (DH): 2-4, double, 2 RBI (240/299/421 in Wisconsin)
Ronald Garth (2B): 0-4, K (267/319/403 in Wisconsin)

- Key: Michael Pineda shook off a shaky 2nd inning to give High Desert five strong frames, and the Mavs blew it open with a 4 run 5th to make it 8-2. Though no lead is safe in the Cal League, the bullpen sure kept it safe with four scoreless frames, though Natvidad Dilone (6th) and Travis Mortimore (7th) both loaded the bases during their respective outings before escaping.
- Michael Pineda's shaky 2nd inning featured him plunking back to back batters. He ultimately plunked three batters in all while striking out seven. Aggression!

Groundballs: 5
Flyballs: 3
Line Drives: 1
Walks: 2 (plus 3 hit batters)
Strikeouts: 7

- As if the game didn't have enough pitching excitement, the Mavs reliever that started the 8th inning was none other than Phillipe Aumont. Aumont quietly rang up two groundouts, shook off a line drive single and struck out Nick Moresi (217/293/335 career) to end the frame.

- Fun fact: Lancaster's starting SS? None other than Chris Minaker, who the team finally cut loose after four seasons. He went 1 for 4 with 2 K's.

AA: West Tenn 7, Montgomery 6
WTN: 1-0... MTG: 0-1

Robert Rohrbaugh: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 walks, 6 K, hit batter (18 GS, 96 IP, 8 HR, 28 BB, 76 K, 5.25 ERA in Tacoma)
Patrick Ryan: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), 2 K (64.1 IP, 3 HR, 29 BB, 38 K, 2.52 ERA in AA Huntsville (MIL))
Nick Hill: 1 IP, walk, K (94.1 IP, 10 HR, 32 BB, 69 K, 4.48 ERA in High Desert)
Josh Fields: two outs, 3 ER, 4 walks, 2 K (37.1 IP, 3 HR, 22 BB, 63 K, 3.38 ERA at University of Georgia)
Mumba Rivera: one out, walk, K, hit batter (32.1 IP, 1 HR, 11 BB, 35 K, 2.51 ERA in West Tenn)
Aaron Cotter: 1 IP, walk (62.1 IP, 6 HR, 15 BB, 59 K, 3.47 ERA in High Desert)

Ezequiel Carrera (CF): 1-4, 2 R, RBI, walk, K (263/344/393, 28 SB with A+ St Lucie (NYM))
Carlos Triunfel (SS): 0-3, RBI, walk (287/336/406, 30 SB in High Desert)
Johan Limonta (LF): 1-5, 3 RBI, K (296/366/501 in West Tenn)
Adam Moore (C): 2-4, solo HR, walk, 2 K (319/396/506 in West Tenn)
Marshall Hubbard (1B): 0-3, 2 walks, K (291/407/505 in West Tenn)
Greg Halman (RF): 0-4, 2 K (277/332/481 in West Tenn)
Matt Mangini (3B): 1-4, 2 K (202/247/248 in West Tenn)
Javier Brito (DH): 1-3 (269/385/513 in AA Mobile (ARI))
Jeff Dominguez (2B): 0-2, 2 R, 2 walks (205/269/265 in West Tenn)

- Key(s): Silent all night and trailing 3-0 after 6, the DIAMOND JAXX bats erupted on the Biscuits bullpen, pounding in all seven runs in the final three frames. Adam Moore went yard solo in the 7th, West Tenn took advantage of four free passes from Neal Frontz to score three in the 8th, and singles from Ezequiel Carrera and Johan Limonta in the top 9th pushed West Tenn ahead for good. New DIAMOND JAXX closer Aaron Cotter walked the leadoff man but got a double play groundout and induced a pop up to seal the deal.

- Who is Patrick Ryan? The Brewers gave up on this productive but unspectacular 25 year old reliever after four meandering pro seasons. Ryan put up solid ERAs, but his walk rate skyrocketed in 2008 while his K rate plummeted. Also note that last year was Ryan's first above A ball. Injury risk? Low talent ceiling? Who knows, but he's Seattle's reliever now, and there's little risk to bringing him in to help out.

- Reliever Josh Fields, the top pick from 2008, has some serious rust to work off.

AAA: Tacoma 9, Sacramento 4, 8 innings (rain shortened)
TAC: 1-0... SAC: 0-1

Jason Vargas: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 walks, 7 K (24 GS, 125 IP, 14 HR, 44 BB, 108 K, 4.97 ERA with AAA New Orleans (NYM))
Eric Hull: 3 IP, 1 H, (2 R) 0 ER, 2 walks, 2 K (54.1 IP, 2 HR, 21 BB, 63 K, 3.64 ERA with AAA Pawtucket (BOS))
Justin Thomas: 1 IP, K (118.2IP, 11 HR, 56 BB, 106 K, 4.32 ERA in West Tenn)

Prentice Redman (RF): 2-5, double, RBI, K (310/388/571 in Tacoma)
Chris Burke (CF): 0-4, R, walk, 2 K (194/310/273 with the Diamondbacks)
Jeff Clement (C): 0-5, R, K (335/455/676 in Tacoma)
Chris Shelton (DH): 1-3, R, 2 walks, K (340/409/570 in AAA Oklahoma (TEX))
Mike Carp (1B): 3-5, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, K (299/403/471 in AA Binghamton (NYM))
Mike Morse (3B): 1-4, R (missed most of 2008)
Bryan LaHair (LF): 1-2, R, RBI, 2 walks (263/356/465 in Tacoma)
Chris Woodward (SS): 2-3, double, R, 2 RBI, walk (291/341/410 in AAA Nashville (MIL))
Callix Crabbe (2B): 2-3, double, triple, R, 3 RBI, K (270/386/358 in AAA Nashville (MIL))

- Key: Mike Carp and Calix Crabbe keyed a five run 7th with 2 run doubles apiece to not only break a 4-4 tie, but put this game out of reach.

- You'd swear Jack Zduriencik was trying to win the PCL championship with the amount of talent he brought into Tacoma. Woodward and Crabbe were discards from his former employer (Brewers) that both offer something at the plate, while Burke is still a fine AAA player at his worst. Shelton and Carp give him a very strong rotation at 1B/DH, Mike Morse may be MLB scrap but he's still a reasonably productive AAA bat and we know the score with Redman, Clement and LaHair. And Mike Wilson, the big bat that finally broke through AA, spent this game on the bench and rehabbing on the sidelines is Michael Saunders, one of the org's top prospects. This lineup top to bottom is built to destroy in any league, let alone the power friendly PCL. Expect fireworks in Cheney this season.

- And that's all for day one. For better detail on our squads, I'll direct you to Jay Yencich at Mariners Minors, one of the most thoroughly knowledgeable sources of knowledge on the Seattle Mariners minor league system.

Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)
West Tennessee DIAMOND JAXX (AA)
High Desert Mavericks (A+)
Clinton Lumberkings (A)


  1. Curto said that Mike Wilson tweaked his ankle on the last intrasquad game in Peoria, and will be out 3-4 games or so.

  2. Thanks, Paul. I wondered why he rode the pine to start the season. Once he returns, this will be a formidable lineup.