The popular opinion right now is to jump on the Gil Meche bandwagon, proclaim him to be “back”, and get really excited about his future. His strikeout rate is awesome, he’s improving his command, and there’s simply no arguing with his last two performances.
I’ll simply caution everyone before they get too excited. The Indians are the second worst offensive club in the American League so far this year. This was not great competition. 3 of his 4 starts have been at Safeco, and in the only one that wasn’t, he got pounded by the Rangers. I’m pleasantly surprised with his success so far. I’m not ready to rely on him for the rest of the season just yet.
As far as Mateo’s usage, I’d simply point to the number of close games the Mariners have been involved in lately. Mateo’s the mop-up guy, and I doubt Melvin trusts him in close situations just yet. In the last 9 games since Mateo appeared, the run differentials have been 1, 2, 3, 1, 6, 1, 1, 3, and 4. The April 18th game against Anaheim (an 8-2 win) is really the only one where you assume he would have pitched.
So Sasaki’s on the 15-day disabled list, and the M’s say they won’t make a move until Thursday. The safe bet is that they’ll call up a pitcher from Tacoma, and as Dave mentioned earlier, Aaron Taylor has to be the favorite at this point both because he’s already on the 40-man roster and because he’s pitching the best of any of Tacoma’s relievers: 8 G, 10 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 14 K and a 1.80 ERA. His command can be an issue, but his fastball and splitter certainly comprise major league stuff.
On a marginally related note, can anybody tell me what’s up with Julio Mateo? He worked two scoreless innings against the A’s way back on April 13th, and for some reason hasn’t pitched since. I realize he’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it seems odd that they haven’t been able to find him any work in ten days. Did he do something to get in Melvin’s doghouse?
Just so nobody complains about semantics, I do realize that the Big Board doesn’t currently list all the minor league teams. But when Everett and Peoria get started — that’s some time in June, I believe — we’ll get those rosters up there too.
Hi all, Derek here. Jason’s Big Board is up, a full depth chart for the entire Mariners organization, including all the minor league teams. I hope everyone finds it as useful and interesting. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep it updated reasonably often, too. Comments are welcome, as always.
Minor League Highlights for Super Tuesday, April 22
Las Vegas 1, Tacoma 0. When you don’t score any runs, allowing the other team even a lone tally is enough to lose a ballgame, and that’s just what happed in Las Vegas for the Rainiers. RHP Scott Atchison pitched well (5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K), but didn’t get any support from his offense, who managed just six hits in the game against a trio of pitchers. Bright spots for Tacoma included two hits each from CF Adrian Myers and 1B Andy Barkett, as well as a scoreless inning from RHP Aaron Taylor (1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K), lowering his ERA on the season to 1.80. The winning run came on a solo homer in the sixth off RHP Aaron Looper (2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K).
San Antonio 4, Wichita 3. The big story here is LHP Bobby Madritsch, who turned in his best performance as part of the Seattle organization (5 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) since signing out of the Northern League last winter. Madritsch had been struggling with a sore pitching hand which affected his command, but he appears to have had things working yesterday. He has now struck out 16 hitters in 12 2/3 innings on the season. The Missions were led on offense by DH John Lindsey, who was 3-for-4 with three doubles and drove in three of the team’s four runs. CF Michael Curry added two hits in four at-bats. RHP Jared Hoerman worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his third save (0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K).
High Desert 17, Inland Empire 6. There was no furious comeback attempt for the 66ers yesterday, as they fell behind 7-0 after three innings and 16-5 after seven, their pitching staff getting knocked around for the second consecutive game. Starter RHP Juan Done (3 1/3 IP, 9 H, 10 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K) was the worst of the lot, though his defense let him down and each of his three relievers allowed at least one run as well. Four Inland Empire players had two hits each: DH Richard Pohle, C Carlos Pagan, LF Shin-soo Choo and SS Eriberto Menchaca. Choo has been hitting better in the past week or so and appears to have broken out of his early-season slump.
Wisconsin 1, Cedar Rapids 0 (13 innings). The Timber Rattlers won despite having just five hits in the game thanks to brilliant pitching performances from RHP Tanner Watson (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) and three relievers. In the bottom of the 13th, Wisconsin loaded the bases with a single, a walk and a fielder’s choice. Cedar Rapids employed a five-infielder defensive alignment and did manage to get CF Gary Harris to hit a grounder to shortstop, but the throw home was wild and 3B Corey Harrington, who had led off the inning with a single, scored the winning run from third. Venezuelan LHP Cesar Jimenez, he of the killer changeup, picked up the win by pitching the final two innings (0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K).