Mariners Minor League Game Action Recap for June 10
Vazquez conquers tumor, returns to mound ... more Choi Joy! ... is Ruffin ready? ... etc.


Low-A -- Wisconsin 8, Clinton 2 -- Box

It's true that I've already designated Nick Hill  as "The Best Story of the Year So Far," but I did use the "so far" modifier.  So now we have the "Even Better Story of the Year So Far."

The pitching line was not important, just the fact that there was a pitching line:

Anthony Vasquez: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

If you don't know the story, Vazquez had brain surgery last fall to remove a tumor and address other life-threatening problems.  If it had not been caught when it was, there was a good chance he would not have made it.  Shannon Drayer had the whole story at the time.

Vazquez apparently has made a full recovery, and, obviously, is back on the mound.

He was something of a punching bag when he made seven not-so-miraculous starts for the Mariners in 2011, but he seems to have handled that pretty gracefully as well.

Welcome back, Anthony!

Unfortunately, the rest of the game wasn't very newsworthy for the LumberKings.


AAA -- Tacoma 10, Las Vegas 7  -- Box

The Rainiers are in the midst of an eight-game series with the 51's.  The first four were in Tacoma and split 2-2, and now the set has moved to Vegas.

Tacoma pulled out in front and stayed there, getting its biggest offensive boost from Carlos Peguero (Watch List) (HR, double, single).  Dustin Ackley stayed hot with a double, a single and two walks. The "mental reset" is working (.423/.521/.615), but would it carry over if he gets called back up?

Stefen Romero (Talk40 #11) also had a double and a single.

Hector Noesi: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (gave up 3 HR)


AA -- Jackson 5, Chattanooga 4 [completion of suspended game]  -- Box

AA -- Jackson 5, Chattanooga 4 [7 innings]  -- Box

The Generals were down 3-0 when the Sunday game was suspended, but they battled back to get the win.

And the key blow was Choi Joy!  Our man Ji-Man Choi (Talk40 #19) got his second AA blast in the 7th inning, a two-run shot that gave Jackson a 5-3 lead.

But the Generals also got strong offensive help from the long-missing-in-action Leon Landry (Talk40 #18) (double, two singles) and from James Jones (Watch List) (three singles).  Both of whom also stole bases.

The bullpen also got a workout, with starter James Gilheeney obviously not able to continue after the rain, but it contributed mightily, with the aforementioned Nick Hill getting the win and dropping his ERA to 1.98 with 1.2 IP of scoreless work.

In the "full" [seven innings] game, starter Chance Ruffin (Watch List) clearly needed to give the pen a rest, and he sure did, with a "complete" game: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.

Suddenly, we've got a bunch of guys lining up to try to knock off the retreads at the back of the MLB rotation (rehabbing Erasmo, reviving Maurer, dominating AA Walker and ex-reliever Ruffin).

And there was Jones again on offense, with a triple and a single.  He's making a real effort to get himelf back "in the mix."


High-A -- High Desert 8, Lancaster 3 -- Box

Strong outings for a couple of guys that nobody really noticed in the 2010 and 2012 drafts:

On offense, it was Pow! Pow! Paolini! (eighth home run for Daniel Paolini (Talk40 #26)).  Also going deep: Ramon Morla and Nathan Melendres (Watch List).


Looking Ahead

Tyler Pike (Talk40 #14) goes for Clinton, while ultimate journeyman Brian Sweeney will get a spot start for Tacoma.

Meanwhile, Kyle Seager's Tar Heels face Justin Smoak's Gamecocks in a winner-take-all battle of the Carolinas for the final spot in the College World Series.

Two years in row, we saw the Ms No. 1 in the CWS (Mike Zunino (Talk40 #1) of Florida last year and Danny Hultzen (Talk40 #4) of Virginia the year before).

This year, the only draftee who will be there is Oregon State shortstop Tyler Smith, whose Beavers got the seventh bid Monday night by edging Kansas State.   As at least one of our commenters can tell you, it is their first trip since winning unlikely back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.



blissedj's picture

Nice to see that while Choi has struggled at 2 for his first 15 in AA he is still productive! 2 HR, 5BB, 5K. Batting .133 but OPS .867. M's could use a few like that in the lineup. Let's get Ji Man a seat on the Seager Express!

blissedj's picture

Anybody else have a hunch James Jones will be around here forever like Mike Wilson? I have a good feeling he's going to make it someday in at least a Charles Gipson role or maybe turn into a nice 4th OF like Stan Javier. Keep plugging away JJ! BB/K rate is looking real good so far in AA. Forget in the mix, he's got to be reclaiming a spot in the Talk 40 next year!

OBF's picture

as the big Beaver fan :) Yes Siree! Go beavs and Go Tyler Smith! I have to admit I was a little torn about the O'Niell Signing as he was a Beaver commit, but it sounds like he was never seriously thinking about coming to school so I am glad i at least get to root for him as an M.

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