Game 148, Rangers at Mariners: Dan Cortes and Justin Smoak Forced to Join Big Club
Vargas vs. Cliff Lee, 6:10pm
Your line-up, courtesy of Shannon Drayer
3: Lopez (DH)
5: Justin Smoak (1b)
7: Tuiasosopo (3B)
With their teammates on an exciting 8 hour bus ride from Memphis to Oklahoma City for the AAA Championship, Dan Cortes and Justin Smoak got the call they’d probably been dreading since mid-August. Instead of playing a largely-irrelevant one-off game for the AAA championship, they’re going to head to Seattle to join the Mariners as they slog through the remaining 15 games on the schedule. In exchange for an upgrade to their mode of travel, they’ll spell the likes of Casey Kotchman and Jamey Wright. As Cortes hasn’t played in the majors yet, he’ll likely be the target of pranks played by Brian Sweeney and Sean White. When people talk about what an amazing job pro athletes have, take a moment to consider Dan Cortes.
Cortes has the velocity and big breaking pitch of Brandon League; and like League, he occasionally suffers from bouts of wildness. But his FB may actually be better than League’s (though his breaking ball isn’t as good, Cortes may actually throw his, so it might even out). After converting to the bullpen a few months ago, Cortes has only had a few truly terrible outings (including last Saturday’s PCL Playoff meltdown in Seattle), but he’s got the most pure stuff of any reliever on the M’s 40 man.
This was first reported by Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald, who didn’t mention if Cortes was crying when he saw him at Safeco. Photo of his delivery here.