Mariners Minor League Game Action Recap for June 21
Go! Go! Gohara! ... Pow! Pow! Paolini! ... Tai and Hultz on the move at last ... etc.


Finally!  Finally Luiz Gohara (Talk40 #21) on a competitive mound.  Finally Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) to AAA.  Finally Danny Hultzen (Talk40 #4) on the verge of returning.  Finally Austin Wilson ("Megatron at the Bat") signs a contract.


Rookie -- Burlington 4, Pulaski 0 -- Box

For some small subset of fandom, the center of the baseball world was a small park in Burlington, NC, where the fascinating Gohara made his first official trip to the mound.  Those of us within the subset have been buzzing for some time about the 16-year-old Brazilian's massive size and easy velocity, plus his interesting Latin-Japanese fusion background, but Friday was his first chance to actually register stats.  It turned out just fine:

4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.

All six hits were singles, and no walks -- so he wasn't really dinged at all.  Complete control.  So far, so good.

Needless to say, he didn't get much help on offense, though Isaiah Yates (Talk40 #39) had a pair of hits.


AAA -- Colorado Springs 8, Tacoma 3  -- Box

For a change in Colorado Springs, the Rainers got to watch the other team score.

MLB vets Brian Sweeney and Josh Kinney gave up the eight runs on their own.

Brad Miller (Talk40 #6), who had sat out a few games with a finger injury, returned, and extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a double.  Dustin Ackley was back in center field, but hitless.


AA -- Mobile 5, Jackson 1  -- Box

One day after bulldozing the BayBears behind Walker's Cy-in-the-making, farewell-to-AA, 0 BB/12 K performance, the Generals couldn't get anything going.

Julio Morban (Talk40 #15) had a pair of hits, as did John Hicks (Talk40 #27), but nothing that overshadowed Walker's promotion.


High-A -- High Desert 6, Bakersfield 3 -- Box

I guess I have a choice here.  Let's go with ...


Sure, there was Blash Splash 15!  As in, home run No. 15 for Jabari Blash (Watch List), but we haven't done Pow! Pow! Paolini! for awhile.  It was No. 10 for Daniel Paolini (Talk40 #26).

Dominic Leone (Talk40 #25) got his seventh save with two strikeouts in a scoreless 9th.  Leone for Bullpen!


Low-A -- Burlington 7, Clinton 3 -- Box

Matt Anderson delivered a good start, but his bullpen couldn't bring it home: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K.

Jabari Henry (26intheMix) stayed hot with two more hits, and Marcus Littlewood (Talk40 #37) had a double, a single and a walk.


Short Season-A -- Everett 6, Hillsboro 5 -- Box

The Aqua Sox went to 6-1 with the help of "Next Edgar" D.J. Peterson.  The Deej delivered a key double in the bottom of the 11th after the Hops [yes, the Hops] had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the inning.  Peterson's knock brought home the tying run and set up the walk-off error that plated Jack Reinheimer, who had walked.

It was also the season debut for "bigger little bro'" Justin Seager at first base.  He got a pair of singles in four trips.

Jose Valdivia (Watch List) got the win in relief despite giving up the unearned run in the 11th.


AZL Rookie -- Mariners 8, Padres 7 -- Box

The Ms took the upper hand in the "complex rivalry" for the second day in a row, despite giving up two hits to D.J.'s younger brother Dustin Peterson.

They mostly did it by capitalizing on four Padre errors to grab five unearned runs.

Chantz Mack had another good offensive day with a double and a walk.


Looking Ahead

If all goes to plan, Walker will start for Tacoma next Tuesday and Hultzen will get the nod the following Thursday.  In the meantime, Tacoma's Saturday starter in Fresno hasn't been named.  Chance Ruffin (Watch List) is slated for Jackson.




I don't disagree, but there's already a lot of talented guys fighting for time at Jackson.
The one thing the probably makes sense is cutting the cord with Denny Almonte, moving up Paolini or Blash and then Jabari Henry to HD.
But even then you've still got Morban, Landry, Jones and whomever you move up sharing OF time, and Choi, Taylor and Morla crowding out Proscia and Marder in the infield.
And it's not like there's a lot of space at Tacoma either, unless you want to start dumping useful spare parts like Thames or Tenbrink.
It's a good problem to have, but that doesn't really make it easy.
If these guys are going to play every day, some of them are going to be a level below proficiency.


Spec: It appears that Blash's homer totals are inflated a bit, but not overwhelmingly by the High Desert launching pad. He's hit his 15 homers in 1/2 the AB's it took him last year to hit 15. But I like his eye. Sure, he K's, but he walks, too. It's time to open up a Jackson spot for him and move him up. He will be 24 in less than two weeks. Age Arc-wise, let's see him in a tougher environment at that age. If he keeps homering and walking there, then I think we have something interesting in him. A Mark Reynolds type, perhaps. Reynolds hit 23 A+ homers in 334 PA's with 41 BB's and 76 K's. It was his best MiLB level. Blash's numbers are not out of that ballpark. Reynolds was .286-.371-.529 at AA. That's what we need to see in Blash. Move him up this year. More bashing in the Desert might just do him more harm than good.
I must admit that Pow! Pow! Paolini is moving right up near the top of my guys to follow. More so than Blash right now. He's been a consisent hitter at three levels, walks but doesn't K (38 BB's/35 K's this year) rattles doubles and has secondary homer power. He's Pizzano with a bit less average but more power. And you know I like Pizzano. Paolini brings more versatility, too. He's played 80 pretty decent 2B games, as well as 1B and the OF. I like him! Lots.
What is it about guys who have last names that begin with P and are Italiano types? I'm stuck on 'em.
Anyway, move both of them up to Jackson. Clear the space and find the way. They're (nearly) 24 and 23 and have both figured out A+. Time for a promotion.

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