Down on the Farm: Mariners Minor League Check-in
By Trevor Pedro
The sample sizes are rising, so we are starting to get a clearer picture of the Mariners' farm system. The resounding descriptive word that comes to mind is depth. There is plenty of depth up and down the ladder. Well, start at Cheney Stadium, where the Tacoma offense has cooled, but the pitching is trending upward.
18-21 (4th in PCL West)
The offense carried the Rainiers over the first few weeks of the season, and now the bats have gone cold. Once considered a possible mid-season callup, Cade Marlowe is mired in a slump that saw him strike out 12 times in the last series. The strikeouts were always a concern, but early season numbers pointed to an adjusted approach. Maybe he is pressing, or the league is catching up; time will tell. For the Mariners' sake, the team could use a skillset.
If the team is going to pull out of this funk, they'll have to get Mike Ford, Bryan O'Keefe, and to a less extent, Mason McCoy going because the pitching can't sustain their current performance. Positive contributors included Zach Deloach (.267/.388/.785), who continues to showcase the ability to get on base, and Jake Scheiner (team-leading 12 homers).
Veteran southpaw Tommy Milone continues to live up to the 'crafty lefty' moniker. His latest start was the only bright spot from the rotation. Milone spun five innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts. Relievers Matt Festa and Riley O'Brien continue to lock down the late innings with their deceptive fastballs and devasting sliders. This could be a massive development as the Mariners look to answer the high-leverage equation due to Andres Munoz extended injured list stint.