Central Links: Cubs, Twins, Prospects, Sox

While the Cubs are among the most clear-cut sellers at this year’s deadline, the team may hang onto Justin Ruggiano and Luis Valbuena, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Both are enjoying solid seasons and both are controlled through 2016. While the team wants to get as much young talent in the door as possible, each provides a veteran presence to help with the club’s impending influx of young talent.

Here’s more from baseball’s Central divisions…

  • Twins GM Terry Ryan tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that it was difficult to designate Matt Guerrier for assignment, given the right-hander’s history with the club. “That’s not the way you like to see things go,” said Ryan. “He’s a class guy. He’s been a great member of this organization for about a decade.” The GM added that it’s too soon to tell if Guerrier will accept an outright assignment, but Berardino gets the impression that Guerrier’s time with the Twins organization is done.
  • Berardino also asked Ryan if he expected more moves for the Twins in the coming week after trading Kendrys Morales to Seattle for righty Stephen Pryor yesterday (Tout link). Ryan replied: “It’s always active, Mike, at this time of year. You’re going to have activity, especially if you’re in a situation that the Twins are in right now. We’re going to have active calls, whether you place them or field them, it’s going to be a little busy. … We’ve got some people here that there will be interest in.”
  • One more from Berardino, who spoke with Twins backstop Kurt Suzuki about the possibility of being traded. Suzuki says he’s not focusing on rumors circulating his name because it’s out of his control but admitted that it’s not always easy to do and can be tough for families. Berardino wonders if the Minnesota would reignite its interest in former Twin A.J. Pierzynski, should Suzuki be dealt. Minnesota made a two-year offer to Pierzynski in the offseason.
  • The Pirates sit atop Jim Callis of MLB.com’s list of five contenders that are best-positioned to make trades due to young talent. He lists Josh Bell, Austin Meadows, Harold Ramirez, Tyler Glasnow, Nick Kingham, Alen Hanson and Reese McGuire as appealing chips, noting that, “No contender can match the Bucs’ combination of prospect quality and quantity.” The Dodgers, Cardinals, Mariners and Royals round out Callis’ list.
  • Jim Margalus of SB Nation’s South Side Sox wonders why the White Sox (and teams around the league in general) have been so hesitant to trade within their own division and opines that this stigma shouldn’t prevent a deal sending Dayan Viciedo to the Royals, who reportedly have interest. Margalus runs down the list of previous intra-division trades and sees no catastrophes to speak of.

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Mariners minor league report, July 25 — Ty Kelly’s three-run homer propels Rainiers to a win

Class AAA Tacoma

Ty Kelly had a big homer to lead the Rainiers to a win. Here’s the video of it.

  • From the report: RH Forrest Snow has allowed only 3 earned runs over 25.1 innings with Tacoma this season. Overall he is 1-1 with a 1.07 ERA (3 ER, 25.1 IP) in 9 games/3 starts. Snow has limited opponents to a .204 (19×93) average, while walking 7 and striking out 27. RH Todd Coffey is 3-1 with 5 saves and a 1.21 ERA (3 ER, 22.1 IP) over 22 relief appearances with Tacoma. He has limited opponents to a .190 (15×79) average, while walking 11 and striking out 23. 
  •  From Mike Curto’s daily blog … the Rainiers open a five-game series with Sacramento. 
  • Rainiers game notes: RAINIERS GAME INFORMATION_07.25.2014


Class AA Jackson

Trevor Miller is making the most of his switch to reliever. He pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief and got the win Jackson’s 3-2 win.

  • Here’s video of Brock Hebert’s RBI single
  • From the report:  OF Leon Landry currently has a 15-game hit streak, batting .294 (20×68) with 13 runs scored, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 4 RBI 1 walk and 7 stolen bases. SS Ketel Marte has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 game with 6 multi-hit efforts, batting .322 (19×59) with 10 runs scored, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 2 walks and 5 stolen bases
  • Jackson game notes: 7.25.14 Game Notes vs HVL


Class A High Desert

The Mavs snapped a five-game losing streak with a 10-8 win. Tyler Marlette, RF Gabby Guerrero (x2), 1B Jordy Lara, and LF Jabari Henry each homered as High Desert defeated Rancho Cucamonga 10-8 on Thursday night. Lara (4×5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI) led the team with 4 hits, while also driving in a team-high 4 runs, while Guerrero (3×4, 4 R, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI), Marlette (3×5, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) and 2B Tim Lopes (3×5) each recorded 3 of the

Mavericks 14 hits.

  • From the report:  Jordy Lara currently has a 15-game hit streak, batting .492 (31×63) with 19 runs scored, 7 doubles, 7 home runs, 21 RBI and 4 walks. Lara has also hit safely in 22 of his last 24 games, batting .449 (44×98) with 25 runs scored, 10 doubles, 9 home runs, 26RBI, 8 walks and 1 stolen base. OF Jabari Henry has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games, batting .358 (24×67) with 14 runs scored, 6 doubles, 7 home runs, 21 RBI and 8 walks. He has also hit safely 17 of his last 22 games with 10 multi-hit efforts, batting .367 (33×90) with 18 runs scored, 9 doubles, 8 home runs, 26 RBI and 11 walks. OF Gabby Guerrero has hit safely in each of his last 13 games, batting .373 (22×59) with 13 runs scored, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, 9 RBI and 3 walks.

Class A Clinton

Hard-throwing prospect Edwin Diaz had his shortest outing of the season, going 1 2/3 of innings and giving up four runs on four hits  in a 5-1 loss.

  • From the report: OF Aaron Barbosa has hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games, batting .395 (15×38) with 10 runs scored, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBI, 6 walks and 9 stolen bases. Since June 26, RH Rafael Pineda is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA (3 ER, 15.0 IP) in 9 relief appearances with Clinton. During this stretch he has walked only 2 batters, while striking out 11. 

Short A Everett

The Aqua Sox lost 7-3 as Lukas Schiralid gave up five runs on four hits and lasted just 1 1/3 innings. Corey Simpson had two hits, including a homer in the loss.

  • From the report: OF Austin Cousino has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games, batting .297 (19×64) with 11 runs scored, 3 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 RBI, 6 walks and 8 stolen bases. 

Rookie League Pulaski

The Mariners were shutout 5-0 to Bristol.

  • From the report:  Carlton Tanabe has hit safely in 15 of 18 games he has appeared in July, batting .382 (26×68) with 11 runs scored, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 14 RBI, 7 walks and 1 stole base. OF Estarlyn Morales has hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games, batting .421 (16×38) with 7 runs scored, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 9 RBI, 6 walks and 3 stolen bases. 

Rookie League Arizona

The Mariners  defeated the Reds 10-9

  • From the report: LH Spencer Hermann has not allowed an earned run in his first 10.2 innings in relief to begin his professional career. He has recorded a win in 3 of 4 relief appearances, while walking 2 and striking out 11. OF Luis Liberato is batting .375 (6×16) with 6 runs scored, 1 double, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 1 walk and 1 stolen base in his last 4 games 


View full post on The Seattle Times: Mariners Blog

Orioles 2, Mariner 1 — another Felix Hernandez start is wasted


  • Box score ... 07.25.14 Box Score
  • Video highlights 

Felix Hernandez made a little history for the Mariners on Friday night, delivering another brilliant performance, which has become the norm this season.

Hernandez pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts.

The outing was the 13th consecutive start in which Hernandez pitched at least seven innings and allowed two runs or less. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s an American League record and it ties the major league record held by Tom Seaver, who did it in 1971.

Yet, it wasn’t good enough for him or his team to get a victory. Chris Davis belted a solo homer to right field off Charlie Furbush in the top of the 10th inning and the Mariners couldn’t answer in the bottom of the inning, falling 2-1 at Safeco Field.

“It was up in the zone and he it out of the park,” Furbush said. “It was the pitch I wanted to throw and I left it up.”

Seattle (53-50) has dropped four consecutive games and is 2-6 since the All-Star break. Their 2½-game lead in the race for the second wild card has evaporated into a 1½-game deficit.

And there’s only one reason for it.

Right now, Seattle’s apathetic offense can waste the best pitching performance. On this run of Hernandez starts, the Mariners actually lost three of those games and he’s taken a no-decision five times because he wasn’t provided with a lead.

But this is nothing new. It was the 29th time in his career he took a no-decision when pitching seven innings or more and allowing one run or fewer. That’s the most in the majors since he made his debut almost 10 seasons ago — a dubious honor he’d prefer not to have.

So about that record run of great starts?

“It doesn’t matter because we lost,” Hernandez said. “It’s all about the team. It’s all about winning.”

And the streak?

“I don’t pay attention to that,” he said. “I just have to do my job.”

But the offense hasn’t done the same in the last month. The Mariners scored all of one run in this game, but at least that was an improvement from Thursday.

“We have to keep grinding,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We’ll come out tomorrow and go at it again. It’s a tough stretch. It will pass. Right now, it’s just not working.”

Seattle has scored just three runs in its last 37 innings of baseball.

“It’s a tough go of things offensively,” said Kyle Seager, who had two doubles on the night. “We’ll keep battling. We’ve done this before. We know what we have. It’s just one of those things where we are on a bad stretch. But we’ll go on a run and this will be forgotten.

In the fifth inning, the Mariners watched their best chance to score disappear with their best hitter waiting to bat. With Endy Chavez on second base, James Jones lined a shallow line drive into left field off Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. Third-base coach Rich Donnelly gambled and sent Chavez despite left fielder Steve Pearce playing shallow. Pearce’s throw home beat Chavez by about 25 steps. Chavez was out by so much he didn’t even attempt to slide and gave himself up for the final out of the inning.

“We haven’t had a two-out RBI in a while, it was the right thing to do,” McClendon said. “The guy made a good throw.”

Robinson Cano didn’t look happy standing in the on-deck circle after the play. His chance to bat with a runner on third was negated.

So he did something about it an inning later. Cano led off the sixth inning with a triple to right field off Gausman. Recently acquired designated hitter Kendrys Morales delivered in his new role hitting behind Cano, lining a ball to right field, which was caught by Nick Markakis.

Cano tagged up and sprinted home. Markakis, who has one of the best outfield arms in baseball, fired a laser all the way home to catcher Caleb Joseph. But Cano made a brilliant slide to the backside of home plate to avoid the possible tag, while sneaking his hand onto the plate to score the Mariners’ first run in 15 innings.

Hernandez’s only real mistake came in the second inning when he left a first-pitch fastball over the middle of the plate to nemesis Nelson Cruz. The big right-hander hammered a line-drive homer into Edgar’s Cantina in left field. The ball was hit so hard and so low it barely cleared the 15-foot wall.

“That was a rocket,” Hernandez said. “It was unbelievable. It was a mistake. It was fastball away that ran into his bat. That was a rocket, but I didn’t think it was going to be a homer.”

That was the only run Hernandez would allow the rest of the night. He worked five innings following that, allowing just three hits the rest of the way. He was done after striking out his 10th batter to end the seventh. It was fifth start of 10 or more strikeouts this season and 31st of his career.

View full post on The Seattle Times: Mariners Blog