The Farm Report: Mariners AAA Affiliate Tacoma Rainiers
One month in and already the look of the Mariners Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers has changed. Time to take a look at the roster as it stands today compared to what it looked like on Opening Night.
Opening Day: Tuffy Gosewisch, Garrett Kennedy
May 7: Mike Marjama, Chris Herrmann
Once Mike Zunino came off the DL, Mike Marjama was sent down to Tacoma to make room in Seattle. Along with that move, since Opening Night the ball club released Tuffy Gosewisch, sent Garrett Kennedy down to Long–A Modesto, and brought in veteran minor leaguer, Chris Herrmann. Marjama has started slowly since being sent down slashing .200/.265/.267/.531 in 8 games, 30 at-bats. Conversely, Herrmann has started off hot. In 18 games he’s slashing .271/.463/.390/.852 with 1 HR, 2 2B, 1 3B, 11 RBI, 11 R, 21 BB, and 18 SO.
Opening Day: Matt Hague
May 7: Daniel Vogelbach
After a break out spring, the anticipation of Vogelbach carrying it into the regular season was at a stratospheric high. Unfortunately, outside of a moonshot sent over the Hit it Here Café, we were left disappointed as Vogey struggled to keep it over the Mendoza line. Ryon Healy’s return from the DL brought about the inevitable move and Daniel was sent back to Tacoma to get things back on track at the plate. As the Vogelbach domino fell, so did Matt Hague’s. He was released from his minor league deal and is no longer a member of the Mariners organization.
Opening Day: Gordon Beckham
May 7: Taylor Motter, Gordon Beckham
With the Mariners getting healthy (Mike Zunino, Ryon Healy, Erasmo Ramirez, and Nelson Cruz all off of the DL) and with Beckham just off of the 7-Day DL, Motter has been sent to Tacoma and moved into the 2B position for the Rainiers. Historically he has been your quintessential utility man. So, the fact he was originally with Seattle as a platooning first baseman and is now listed as an SS, but playing 2B shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. What is a bit shocking though is across both AAA and MLB this last month, Taylor managed to log innings at 1B, 2B, SS, LF, DH, and… pitcher. In 12 games with the Rainiers, Motter is slashing .212/.281/.288/.569 with 0 HR, 4 2B, 1 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB, and 11 SO.
Opening Day: Zach Vincej
May 7: Zach Vincej, Taylor Motter
Vincej was brought into spring training, but didn’t earn his way onto the roster and therefore is playing under his minor league deal as the everyday SS in Tacoma. The key to Zach’s status is the fact he’s not on the 40-man roster. This would make a call-up a bit more complicated, so the expectation is he’ll remain with the Rainiers into the foreseeable future. With that said, there is potential to see some action at some point this year. A .271/.323/.388/.711 slash line in 85 AB with 1 2B, a team-leading 3 HR, and 13 RBI have him off to a great start.
Obviously, Jean Segura is firmly planted as the everyday SS in Seattle. And yes, Andrew Romine and Motter are ahead of him on the organizational utility depth chart. But the emergence of Vincej could create a stir if an injury were to occur or a trade was to be made.
Opening Day: Danny Muno
May 7: Danny Muno
No change at the hot corner since Opening Night… and no real production either. After a solid 2017 season, Muno is off to a slow start in 2018. Slashing .200/.398/.262/.659, when he isn’t walking (21 BB) Danny is struggling to get on base. The 29-year-old has 17 strikeouts and just 13 hits in 65 at-bats heading into this weekend’s four-game series in Reno. And if the offensive struggles weren’t enough, Muno is leading the team with three defensive errors. Time to flush the month of April and head into May with a fresh start.
Opening Day: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Cameron Perkins, Ian Miller, John Andreoli
May 7: Jayson Werth, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Cameron Perkins, Ian Miller, John Andreoli
As it stands, MLB veteran Jayson Werth is the only new face in the Rainiers outfield since the season began. There was, of course, the unpopular Guillermo Heredia episode, but that only lasted a couple short weeks. Heredia is back where he belongs, with the Mariners. The move that made that reunion possible was more of a realization really. Ichiro and the Mariners finally came to terms with the fact Ichiro roaming the field during BP sessions only would benefit the team more than Ichiro stepping into the box at any point between the first and ninth innings. So, welcome back Heredia.
Back to Tacoma… Ian Miller is leading the Rainiers with a .342 AVG, has an OBP of .402, and leads the team in stolen bases with six. Andreoli is hitting .333 and leads the team in OPS (.994) and home runs (3), and is second only to Cameron Perkins in both extra-base hits with nine and RBI with 15. Andreoli has nine extra-base hits and 15 RBI while Perkins has 10 and 17 respectively. The outfield is a definite strength for the Triple-A ball club.
Opening Day: Ariel Miranda, Rob Whalen, Max Povse, Christian Bergman
May 7: Ariel Miranda, Rob Whalen, Max Povse, Christian Bergman
No change to the starting rotation. Some things to note so far. Rob Whalen’s command has been great with an almost 4/1 K/BB ratio (26 K, 7 BB). Max Povse’s command has been very good with a K/BB ratio just over 3/1 (27 K, 11 BB). Ariel Miranda has yet to lose (2-0) despite a 5.03 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and a team-leading 12 BB. And finally, Christian Bergman has the lowest ERA (3.18) and WHIP (1.44) of all four starters and also leads the team in strikeouts (32).
Opening Day: Mike Morin, Dario Alvarez, Shawn Armstrong, Chasen Bradford, Ryan Cook, Erik Goeddel, Ashton Goudeau, Pat Light, and Josh Smith
May 7: Roenis Elias, Lindsey Caughel, Darin Gillies, Mike Morin, Dario Alvarez, Shawn Armstrong, Ryan Cook, Ashton Goudeau.
Just four days after the Rainiers started their season, Chasen Bradford was called up to the Mariners. Pat Light was released by the club on April 17 and a week later Josh Smith was released as well. The removal of Light and Smith opened roster spots for Ryan Cook and Ashton Goudeau who made their way off of the 7-Day DL and into the bullpen. Goeddel recently became a Mariner while Caughel and Gillies are recent additions brought in on April 29 and May 1 respectively.
The rest of the ‘pen looks about the same, but with one new yet familiar face. In a somewhat surprising move, the Mariners made a trade with the Boston Red Sox on April 23 that brought LHP Roenis Elias back to the organization in exchange for a player to be named later. Elias was a part of the 2015 trade that brought Wade Miley to Seattle from Boston. Back then Elias was a starting pitcher for the Mariners, but he now joins Tacoma as a reliever.
Hisashi Iwakuma (P), Nick Rumbelow(P), Ryan Garton(P), Alexander Capriata(C), Zach Shank (OF)
And there we have it. As the Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers head into May, staring down a 12-day road trip, these are the boys they’ll be running with. As is often the case – especially in Seattle – injuries have created the need for quite a few transactions. Already eight new faces on the roster since Opening Day and more to come with the improving health of those on the DL.
Next: Where Does Ichiro Rank in Mariners History?
Future injuries are on the horizon. Veterans like Werth and Iwakuma are looking to earn their way back into an MLB uniform. Youngsters like Miller and Andreoli are applying pressure through their play on the field. Yes, it has been a crazy month with lots of turnover. But you can bet on one thing… this is just the beginning. Buckle up Rainiers fans. Prepare to get to meet many more new faces as the season pushes forward down on the farm.