This year’s bench: McLemore, Bloomquist, Ugueto, absent Colbrunn
Last year’s bench: McLemore, Gipson, Ugueto, Relaford
I gotta go with last year’s bench for worst bench ever, when it was Relaford, McLemore and then his less-capable clones. Bloomquist v Gipson’s an ugly fight, and actually Relaford plays third better than McLemore… this is a tough choice, now that I think about it.
Borders goes back to Tacoma and the M’s bring up Rafael Soriano. He’s better than Carrara, White, and Mateo, but if he’s not going to pitch regularly, I’d rather see him in Tacoma. With the way our starters have been going (okay, Joel, stop making me look stupid), we really don’t need to carry seven relievers.
Also, I hereby nominate Bloomquist, McLemore, and Ugueto as the worst bench in the history of baseball.
Also, if anyone out there is keeping track of such things, that’s now 10 runs in the past six games. Miraculously, they’re 3-3 in those six games.
Hey everybody. I updated the Big Board for this week, including placing Greg Colbrunn on the DL and moving Luis Ugueto from San Antonio to Seattle. You’ll notice the Missions are pretty thin right now — they were already down an outfielder when Chris Snelling went on the DL, and with Ugueto now in Seattle their only bench player is that game’s non-starting catcher (either Scott Maynard or Jim Horner). It’s their All-Star break right now, so they’ve got a couple of days to get that worked out if they so choose.
Also, Everett starts up play this week in the Northwest League. Once we have an Opening Day roster and some idea who the starters are going to be, I’ll add the Aqua Sox to the Big Board (as well as the Peoria Mariners, though in rookie ball it’s pretty tough to tell who the regulars are as lineups change pretty much daily).
Minor League Highlights for Sunday, June 15
Las Vegas 10, Tacoma 5. Las Vegas ran Tacoma pitching ragged Sunday, scoring in six of their eight innings including a five-run bottom of the 8th. RHP J.J. Putz was hit hard (4 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and took the loss in relief of RHP Scott Atchison (4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR). CF Chad Meyers was Tacoma’s top offensive performer, with a double and a homer in five at-bats. C Julio Mosquera added a pair of singles and LF Jalal Leach also homered.
San Antonio had the day off, as the Texas League will play their All-Star Game today at Wichita’s Lawrense Dumont Stadium. The Missions, who had nine players named to the All-Star team, will resume their season on Wednesday.
Inland Empire 7, High Desert 3. 1B Jason Van Meetren had a monster game at the plate, going 4-4 with two singles, a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. He also stole his 7th base of the season. RF Shin-soo Choo, DH John Castellano and 2B Evel Bastida-Martinez each had a pair of hits, contributing to a 13-hit attack. RHP Brian Strelitz (2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) picked up the win in relief of LHP Ryan Ketchner (4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K), and LHP Justin Blood (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) earned his 2nd save.
Kane County 7, Wisconsin 3. RHP Juan Sandoval was roughed up (5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HB), ending his run of good starts and dropping his record to 4-5 on the year. Offensively the Timber Rattlers got two hits and a walk from 1B Jon Nelson and a two-run homer from 3B Matt Hagen, but that was about all as they managed just five hits in the game.
A few minor league notes to stave off the inevitable emails:
1. Matt Thornton is making a spot-start for Tacoma tonight in place of Rafael Soriano, whose start has been moved to Wednesday. Thornton was chosen because he’s one of the few Missions not playing in the Texas League All-Star game today. There’s a very good chance that Rett Johnson’s appearance today will be his last in the league, as he’s almost guaranteed a promotion to Tacoma this week. Justin Leone could very well get the call as well, as the Rainiers need some life infused into their team, and he’s pretty much destroyed AA pitching the first half.
2. Jamal Strong’s rehab is going very well, and he may actually be ready to play in games by mid-July. Whether he’d be assigned to San Antonio or Tacoma hasn’t been decided, but a hot finish to the year could put him in the mix for a September callup.
3. The M’s signed Tom Oldham, their 8th round pick out of Creighton, and assigned him to Everett. He’ll likely join the rotation before too long.
4. A friendly reminder that I’ll be joining Pat Dillon on the Everett Aquasox pregame show this Friday at 6:30 pm pacific time. The game will be broadcast on 90.7 FM KSER, and a streaming audio link will be added to their website