Upgrade?

The Seattle Mariners are still floating despite the fact the pitching has had its ups and downs because of injuries.

On Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox in the first game of four in Safeco Field the Mariners beat them with a 5-4 win on a walk-off single by pinch hitter Guillermo Heredia. Jarrod Dyson was on second base after running on a pitch that should have been on a double play but his speed allowed him to reach the base. It could easily been an extra inning game.

Sam Gaviglio who made his first major league start for the Mariners pitched five innings giving up only three hits and walking one batter had an outstanding game shutting out the White Sox. The Mariners took a four to zero lead with a home run by Dyson in the third inning and then Jean Segura who continues to hit a hot bat had a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Gaviglio hadn’t started a game in ten days so the five innings seem to be his limit this time out.

Casey Lawrence who the Mariners picked up several days earlier from the Toronto Blue Jays on waivers made his Mariner debut. The Mariners actually got him when they were in Toronto and sent him originally to Tacoma. He started off pitching well however gave up a two run homer in the seventh inning. Dan Altavilla who has been struggling spotting his pitches gave up another two-run homer in the eighth inning for the White Sox to tie the score at 4-4 before Heredia walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Nick Vincent pitched the ninth inning for the Mariners to get the win.

Though the Mariners have had their ups and downs far as the starting rotation because of injuries the biggest obstacle has been their bullpen. Outside of right hander Nick Vincent and lefties James Pazos and Marc Rzepczynski the bullpen has been terrible. Closer Edwin Diaz has been removed from the spot as he is working on his mechanics. The Mariners need him to be back in order. Steve Cishek who blew the save on Sunday has just gotten back into action for the Mariners. He should make the bullpen better in a few weeks; also Tony Zych who came back shortly before Cishek should help as well. The bullpen has been the sore spot for the Mariners so far this season however we hope things will get better.

When it comes to the position players the real position that needs upgrading and we all know the answer is catcher. Currently Mike Zunino who started the season as the regular catcher was sent down to Tacoma because he was striking out way too often. He was named recently as PCL player of the week however I don’t think he is ready to resume his place as the everyday catcher. The problem is the two catchers who are platooning Chico Ruiz and Tuffy Gosewisch are doing fine defensively but the offense is not any better under them than Zunino. I am sure that Zunino will be back up in a few weeks or sooner however it would be nice if the Mariners could go out and upgrade at the catcher’s position. Of course with the injuries to the starting rotation the Mariners have had other priorities. I am sure though if there was someone out there to improve the catching they would so. A major problem is that there are not many catchers that would upgrade the Mariners however if Zunino isn’t able to improve when he is called up once again the Mariners will have to look at finding someone. The thing is the solution probably won’t happen until after the season.

It will be nice to see Robinson Cano and Mitch Haniger come off the disabled list when the Mariners go on their next road trip next week. Also James Paxton should be ready to go soon as well however they expect him to make at least one rehab assignment.

In the meantime if the Mariners can stay around the five hundred mark than they will be in good shape. On the positive side they are exciting to watch though the pitching can be aggravating. Go M’s.

 

Changes Keep On For Mariners

The Seattle Mariners on Wednesday took two out of three against the Oakland A’s in Seattle the last three days and now look forward to taking on the Chicago White Sox in a four-game series before going back on the road.

On Tuesday the Mariners had a rough outing with the bullpen going into the ninth inning with a one run lead however they ended up losing. Edwin Diaz who was the closer is now being used more likely in the middle innings while he gets his mechanics fixed. In the meantime the Mariners are using a bullpen by committee to close out games.

On Wednesday Christian Bergman had a wonderful game pitching a shutout over seven and one-thirds innings giving up only two hits. At this point it looks like he is one guy who will stay in the rotation until some of the original guys return. Of course this will be determined on how he continues to pitch. The only sure starters are Ariel Maranda and Yovani Gallardo is the only original starter going into the season.

On Wednesday the Mariners sent Chase De Jong down to Tacoma. He isn’t needed to be used for a little while since the Mariners do have an off-day on Monday before going to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals. Also James Paxton did some throwing on the sidelines and may be sent on a rehab assignment shortly. Other good news Drew Smyly started throwing a little as well however he won’t be back until sometime in June. Likely he will go on a rehab assignment too.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger may be back with the team on the next road trip himself. The Mariners likely will go with the hottest hitters with Haniger, Ben Gamel, Jarrod Dyson and Guillermo Heredia. Both Gamel and Heredia will continue getting good playing time since they both have been play well during the time Haniger has been out. Dyson who has struggled some at the plate likely will be the one who won’t play as much especially against lefties. All four are good defensive players so the defense will not suffer whoever is playing.

At this point Robinson Cano who has been on the disabled list should return on the road trip if not sometime in the series against the White Sox.

What we hope for over this series against the White Sox that not only that the Mariners can at least split the series everyone will stay healthy as well. The Mariners don’t need anyone else to go down that is for sure. Go M’s.

Mariners Swept By Blue Jays

The Seattle Mariners after having a great time winning the first two games on the road beating the Philadelphia Phillies by scoring 21 runs went to Toronto where they barely scored any runs in four games.

I believe a lot of the problem with the Mariners not able to score runs because they didn’t have Robinson Cano play over the weekend. Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager were not able to make up for the loss of Cano. Also most of the other players didn’t do their job either. It is obvious that the Blue Jays though they have been struggling so far in the season that their pitching is better than the Phillies as well; at least in this series any way.

It amazes me over the years whenever the Mariners are able to go on a nice little run where they win several games they turn around and lose about the same amount. This especially happens when they make ground up and land at five hundred like they did this time. We just hope that they can turn things around this week in Seattle. So far they have a good record playing at Safeco Field this season.

There is a possibility that Mitch Haniger will be back playing right field sometime this week and that James Paxton will be back in the rotation. Actually the starting pitching was good on this road trip especially in Toronto going with starters that would not be in the rotation except Ariel Miranda and Yovani Gallardo. In fact they would be pitching for Tacoma.

Another injury happen to a starter over the weekend where Ryan Weber who had been sent up to start up against the Blue Jays was pitching pretty well when he grabbed his arm in the fourth inning. He had to leave the game and he was put on the disabled list. Not sure how long he will be out. On the positive side the Mariners are showing guys like Chase De Jong who may be in their starting rotation in the future.

The Mariners lost Iwakuma last week as well. He looks like he will be out for four to six weeks. Now that he is in his mid-30s we must wonder how much longer he will be able to pitch for the Mariners. Also Felix could be out for a bit longer to. He threw on the side lines but the Mariners had to put him on hold. At this point Paxton is the only one looking to come back soon. Of course he has been the most productive starter so far this season.

The Mariners bullpen has been suspect so far this season. Sunday when the Mariners could have used a win very badly closer Edwin Diaz gave up a walk-off home run that gave the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead. The Mariners could have won at least two of those games if not more in the four game series. I am sure that manager Scott Servais will be glad that Steve Cishek should be back to help out Diaz in the late innings. Injuries along with poor performances haven’t helped the Mariners. The lefties in the bullpen have done a fine job but not the righties. Nick Vincent had been pitching pretty well for a month until he gave up a home run to key the win on Saturday for the Blue Jays. We hope that he will be able to get back to where he was pitching. Dan Altavilla who was brought back once again because of the injury to Weber we can hope that he can bounce back and is able to put his fast ball and splitter in the right spots. We can say the same for Diaz. The problem with Diaz is that he hasn’t been able to pitch on a regular basis. The return of Cishek it may be a good idea that he and Diaz split up the closer role. We have to remember that Diaz is only in his second season closing and hasn’t done a full season since he was a starter in the minor leagues before becoming one last May. It will be nice if the Mariners can get the pitching and hitting together at the same time. I hope that they can go 5-2 on this seven game home stand against the Oakland A’s and the Chicago White Sox. Go M’s.

 

Mariners Score 21 Runs in Philly

It is hard to know whether it is the Mariners hitting or the Phillies pitching however the Mariners did score 21 runs in two games in Philadelphia.

Tuesday night game in Philadelphia the Mariners won only by one run 10-9. Twice they had to come from behind to win the game. Robinson Cano started the game by hitting a home run however he had to leave the game early and was replaced by Taylor Motter who later on helped the Mariners win. In fact he hit in the winning run in the top of the ninth inning.

It was announced after the game that Cano was day to day however he did play in Wednesday day game. Again he played a part in the Mariners win 11-6. He had four hits and got on base five times.

How the players are falling for the Mariners it would not be a surprised if Cano had been put on the disabled list however he was able to play though he does run carefully. Nelson Cruz had one at bat in each game because the Mariners decided to keep him out of the game because of his hamstring since there was no designated hitter. He will be back in the lineup Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Mariners are now back to even with a record of 17-17 and is in second place behind the red hot Houston Astros. The Blue Jays have been struggling and the Mariners hope that they continue that way as long as the Mariners are in Toronto.

It was announced on Wednesday that Iwakuma was placed on the ten day disabled list so he now makes the fourth starter in the original rotation in spring training to go on the list. Only Yovani Gallardo is the soul survivor. In fact Gallardo pitched Wednesday game for the Mariners in Philly. He had a descent game once again. He went five innings giving up four hits however one was a home run with two runs on base in the 3rd inning. It seems like most of his starts he has one bad inning and this time it was the third inning. At that point it tied the game 3-3. The Mariners then scored eight runs five coming in the seventh and three more in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

The Phillies hit two home runs off of Dillon Overton in the ninth inning after getting a single run off of Dan Altavilla in the eighth inning. Tony Zych got the victory after pitching the sixth inning giving up one hit and a walk. No Philly player scored a run that inning.

The big blow in the seventh inning was when former Philly and current Mariner catcher Carlos Ruiz hit a double with the bases loaded to bring all three runners. Ruiz is a hero in Philly so the fans had a hard time deciding whether to clap for him or not. Some of them did along with the Mariner fans that were at the game.

Ben Gamel played a big part in the series getting on base nine times including a home run and a double in Tuesday night’s game. He has been hitting .373 since coming up in replacement of Mitch Haniger when he went on the disabled list. Haniger is expected to return next week along with Felix. I am sure the Mariners will have a four player rotation in the outfield when Haniger returns. Depending on who is hot and whether they are facing a righty or a lefty. Haniger and Heredia will both are in the lineup against lefties while Gamel and Dyson against righties. Deciding who plays the most is a good dilemma. I am sure that Haniger will play a lot in right field when he returns since he was playing so well before going on disabled list. Heredia will play center against most lefties while Gamel be in left field. Whoever isn’t starting will likely pinch hit for the catcher who is starting in the game.

Chase De Jong is expected to pitch Thursday’s game for the Mariners. After that the Mariners brass will have to decide who goes until Ariel Miranda and Yovani Gallardo have their next starts. The Mariners brought up Sam Gaviglio to take Iwakuma spot on the roster however he is expected to pitch long relief however he could get into the starting rotation mix with Christian Bergman and Dillon Overton for two of the starting spots. Right now De Jong, Miranda and Gallardo are three of the starters. Felix is expected to return next week and James Paxton could about the same time. Felix has already started throwing and Paxton today or tomorrow. Look forward to a healthy club coming up in the meantime everything looks on the upside. Go M’s.

Mariners Win Two Series At Home

The Seattle Mariners won two out of three games over the last week at home against both the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers. Both being key series since they are in the same division of the Mariners; also the fact that the Mariners continued having injuries happening in the pitching especially in the bullpen.

The Mariners ended up having two pitchers get hurt in the 11th inning of the loss against the Rangers on Friday. Jean Machi who came up earlier in the week left the game after complaining about his thumb. He is considered day to day and he was replaced by Evan Marshall who only threw two pitches and then was carried off the field with a hamstring. Not sure how long he will be out however he was added to disabled list.

The starting rotation the Mariners had to add James Paxton to the disabled list with Felix Hernandez already there along with Drew Smyly. Iwakuma had to leave his last outing with an injury however will make a start though he was pushed back a couple days. Yovani Gallardo is the only healthy pitcher the Mariners have left in the five-man rotation during spring training. Gallardo like most fifth starters has been inconsistent in his starts though he pitched well in his last start.

During the off-season general manager Jerry Dipoto made trades to add depth to the pitching which is a good thing that is for sure. During spring training the Mariners traded for Chase De Jong who they picked up from the Los Angeles Dodgers. A good thing since he pitched in place of Felix Hernandez in his last two outings. He started the season at Tacoma however came up and made a good outing in relief his first time going four innings and giving up only one hit. The Mariners brass felt he deserved to pitch in place of Felix however he had a bad outing in his first start but rebounded on Saturday to help the Mariners win the game.

Ariel Miranda who took the spot of Drew Smyly out of spring training has done a good job so far. The Mariners had sent him down to Tacoma to start the season however the injury to Smyly he was promoted right away. It was a good thing because he had pitched enough innings in spring training to be able to start games instead of going into the bullpen. He will be making his seventh start for the Mariners on Tuesday against the Phillies in Philadelphia and Yovani Gallardo should go on Wednesday before the Mariners go to play the Blue Jays in a four game series.

On Sunday the Mariners started Dillon Overton in place of James Paxton. He went three and a third innings giving up four hits and two runs with one being earned. He was replaced by Christian Bergman who they brought up that morning from Tacoma. Bergman had been a starter in Tacoma and having one of the best records in the Pacific Coast League. He went three and two thirds of an inning giving up one run on one hit and one walk along with striking out two. Overton and Bergman went seven innings before the Mariners went to main place in the bullpen. Nick Vincent came in the eighth inning getting two outs and giving up a hit along with striking out two. He was replaced by left handed specialist Marc Rzepczynski who got the final out striking out the one batter he faced. Closer Edwin Diaz finished off the game getting all three batters he faced including striking out two. With having Monday off the bullpen should have all the guys ready to pitch.

The Mariners are hoping that King Felix will be able to pitch next week when they return to Seattle. Also they hope that James Paxton will be able to pitch as well. They may have outfielder Mitch Haniger back next week as well.

If the Mariners can get healthy going into June and have their record stay around .500 they will be in good shape. You see in June the Mariners have a favorable schedule playing nineteen games at home while only seven on the road.

The first two games on the road are in Philadelphia being an inner-league games the Mariners will likely have Nelson Cruz playing in right field since there will be no designated hitter. We hope he takes it easy and doesn’t get hurt at all. Both series in Philadelphia and Toronto could go well for the Mariners since both teams are struggling. It would be nice if the Mariners could have a .500 record when they return to Safeco Field. Go M’s.

 

Zunino Sent Down and More

On Friday May 5 the Seattle Mariners decided to send down catcher Mike Zunino to triple A Tacoma and brought up catcher Tuffy Gosewisch from Tacoma to take his place. He and backup catcher Carlos Ruiz will share the catching. In fact Gosewisch got in four innings of action in the extra innings of the Mariners loss to the Texas Rangers in thirteen innings.

The Mariners are hoping that Zunino stay will be short however it will depend on how he can get things corrected in his swing. Zunino I find to be a very nice guy and a good defensive catcher however he hasn’t been hitting very well for the Mariners. His best hitting happened when he was called from Tacoma in the second half of last season. He hit with power and a decent average until he went back into old habits. Currently he doesn’t look like he knows at all what he is doing at the plate. Most of the time he is striking out and occasionally walking; he has been pitched hit late in almost every game he has played recently.

Ruiz and Tuffy Gosewisch are not known for their hitting either. Both are known for their defense as well however the Mariners just want them to get their bats on the ball and see where things go. Like Friday night whoever is starting will be pitched hit for late in the game unless one of them is hitting well. I am sure whoever is hitting the best of the two will get the majority of playing time.

When Zunino returns to the Mariners I am sure this will be his last chance to show what he has. Even if he is able to hit in triple A doesn’t guarantee that it come over to major league baseball though his experience last year should mean something. With his defense he could be the backup catcher long term if the Mariners go out and trade for a sure hitting catcher although they may decide to trade him to see if he can get his career back on track in a manner like when the Mariners traded Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley.

In other news the Mariners had two relief pitchers get hurt in the eleventh inning of Friday night’s game. Jean Machi who made his third appearance this week after being called up had a nerve issue in his right thumb. According to Servais he is day to day while Evan Marshall who came in for Machi was hurt on his second pitch. He started scream and falling to the ground because of his right hamstring. Servais said that Marshall could be out for a long time so he will be going on the disabled list for sure.

The Mariners are expected to have right hander Christian Bergman brought up from Tacoma to pitch in James Paxton spot as he went on the disabled list. Paxton may miss two or three turns in the rotation before returning to the rotation. Paxton has a history of getting hurt and not able to pitch a full season. The Mariners were hoping this year would be different. We hope that this is a temporary thing since Paxton right now is the ace of the Mariners.

It is tough for the Mariner’s bullpen to start having injuries like the starters. The bullpen has been one of the major reasons the Mariners have a record of 13-17. We hope the Mariners can win the two remaining games against the Rangers. Currently both teams are tied for third place in the American League West Division while the Oakland A’s are in last place a half game behind those two teams. The Angels are a game and half ahead of both the Mariners and Rangers while the Houston Astros are dominating the division with a record of 20-10. The main reason for the Astros record is that they have been beating up on all the teams in the division.

Utility player Mike Freeman was brought back to the Mariners on Thursday while outfielder Boog Powell was returned to Tacoma. Freeman who is a left handed hitter could see some time at first base while Taylor Motter more than likely in the outfield since the Mariners don’t have a regular fourth outfielder unless you count Nelson Cruz. Actually Cruz may see some action in right field next week when the Mariners go to Philadelphia to play the Phillies in inner league play where the designated hitter won’t be used.

All we hope for is that no more pitchers will get hurt over the next few weeks. The Mariners are hoping that reliever Steve Cishek will return shortly. He is currently working on his mechanics and likely goes out for one or two more rehab assignments. Anyway we hope for better health and wins for the Mariners. Update now the Mariners have recalled reliever Dan Altavilla from Tacoma.  Go M’s.

Mariners Take Two From Angels

The Seattle Mariners won two out of three in their series against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. The first two games were tight where the Mariners could have lost both games or may have swept the series.

On Tuesday the Mariners had a good chance to win the game with James Paxton starting however he lasted only five and one third innings. The final score was 6-4 in eleven innings. Edwin Diaz tried to save the game however gave a home run to Calhoun in the ninth inning. He gave up another home run to Calhoun on Wednesday night as well. Diaz now working on spotting the ball; obviously the hitters can find a way to hit a ball at 99 miles per hour.

On Wednesday night the Mariners had a good outing by Iwakuma who ended up having to leave after five innings the Mariners were leading 4-0 at the time including a home run by shortstop Jean Segura.

After Iwakuma departed the game he was replaced by rookie right handed pitcher Emilio Pagan who was making his major league debut. It probably wasn’t the best place to pitch Pagan in his debut but the Mariners had used several pitchers the night before in the eleven inning game. Pagan went only one-third of an inning giving up three hits and three runs. All total in the sixth inning the Angels scored six runs taking the lead 6-4.

Things didn’t look good for the Mariners however in the eighth inning they scored four runs to take a 8-6 lead including a hit by Segura that brought in two of the runs. Angels scored a single run in the ninth inning but the Mariners prevailed anyway.

On Thursday after the Mariners scored one run in the first inning the Angels came back to score two runs in the second inning. The only two runs they got in the game. Danny Valencia was the big hitter in the game hitting a home run in the seventh inning however he was not the lone hitter in the game though he had a total of four hits in the game. Also leadoff hitter Jean Segura had another good game getting two hits along with a walk and scoring three times. Ben Gamel who batted behind Segura had another good game replacing Haniger in right field had three hits and scoring three times as well.

Though Ariel Miranda gave up his two runs in the second inning he was able to settle down and went seven innings before being replaced by Tony Zych in the eighth. He gave up a run to the Angels however the Mariners had a big lead already however the Mariners did score three more runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win. Diller Overton who recently was brought up again from Tacoma for the Mariners pitched the ninth inning giving up no runs or hits.

Now the Mariners will take on the Texas Rangers at home before going to Philadelphia for two games and Toronto for four. The Mariners will be starting Yovani Gallardo on Friday followed by Case De Jong who will pitch again in place of Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are hoping that De Jong will pitch better this time than in his last outing. The series will end with James Paxton going to the mound once again.

The Rangers have been struggling so far this season like the Mariners. The Mariners will not have to face Cole Hamels in the series since he was put on the disabled list and is expected to miss eight weeks. Friday night Darvish will pitch for the Rangers. He currently has a 3-2 record and an era of 3.03 however he has an era over five at Safeco Field so the Mariners do have a chance to get after him. The hope is that Gallardo will pitch well for the Mariners. He has done a good job other than having a bad inning in most of the games. We hope that doesn’t happen this time. The Mariners now have a record of 13-16 so if the can win two of three against the Rangers that will leave them at 15-17.

The Mariners have been winning pretty well at home though not so good on the road. We hope that will change next week in Philadelphia and Toronto. With no dh in Philadelphia it will be interesting to see if the Mariners plan to play Nelson Cruz in right field in that series. He has been hitting very well as of late so it would be nice to have his bat in the lineup.

Mike Zunino continues to struggle at the plate so it will be interesting to see how much he will continue to play compared to his backup Ruiz. Neither one is hitting well at this time. Zunino doesn’t look good at the plate and continues to strike out at a pretty good pace. It will be interesting to see whether the Mariners will go out and get another catcher. It is not a priority as much as pitching though. Both Zunino and Ruiz will be pitched hit for later in the games depending who is starting. At least Valencia is starting to hit so only one hole in the lineup for now. The Mariners don’t have much hitting in the minor leagues either for catchers. Go M’s.