Tacoma Rainiers (25-26, 2nd in PCL-West)
The fans have clamored for Mike Ford all season, especially when the Mariners' designated hitters struggled. Now that Teoscar Hernandez is picking up steam (.305 in the last 17 games), Ford in Seattle is less of a necessity. There was a thought that corner infielder and PCL power threat (15 HR) Jake Scheiner would get the call when Oakland A's reliever Trevor May plunked Ty France last week. Well, the beanball didn't injure the Mariners' All-Star first baseman after all. Scheiner can handle both infield corners and provide serious power from the DH spot, but for now, he'll continue to build upon a breakout season in the PCL (.290/.400/1.001).
There is a severe roster crunch at the big-league level, where the team will have some maneuvering to do. Andres Munoz and Penn Murfee started rehab assignments this week and should be ready to join the 26-man roster by the end of the week. Additionally, veteran utilityman Dylan Moore is prepared to start his 2023 campaign after a long recovery from core surgery. So what does this all mean? The team decided to call on Matt Festa today, sending starter Darren McCaughen back down. Festa had a strong run as the Rainiers' closer locking down the late innings (10/10 in SV chances, leads PCL).
However, look for some combination of Taylor Trammell or Sam Haggerty and two relievers to end up at Cheney Stadium shortly.