Game 124, Mariners at Rays
King Felix vs. Wade Davis, 4:10pm
Happy Felix Day! Let’s focus there and not on the fact that Ackley’s sitting this one out.
The M’s travel across the country to St. Pete to take on the Rays, who, despite being talented and relatively successful this year, are playing out their season the same as the M’s. At this point, BP’s playoff odds gives them a 0.7% chance of grabbing the wild card. Rays fans can dream about top prospect Matt Moore getting a cup of coffee this September, as the consensus top pitching prospect is now 3-0 with 57 Ks in his first 34 2/3 IP for AAA Durham.
Once he’s up for good, today’s starter might find himself the odd man out. Wade Davis had a deceptively good start, with an ERA near 2.8 through May 3rd, but then his HR/FB luck ran out and he’s been hit pretty hard since. Now, the guy who was once a top 20 prospect in all of baseball needs to reinvent himself as he’s got a K rate is nearing Beavan territory, and Davis doesn’t have Beavan’s good control. On paper, this is a good match-up for the M’s.
That said, Wedge has chosen to rest the “struggling” Dustin Ackley, who’s 8 for his last 42 with only one extra-base hit in that stretch. Still, during this slump, he’s got an OBP of .346. During his worst stretch since his call-up, Ackley’s line looks a lot like that put up by Jack Cust, who was, depressingly, one of the M’s best hitters through mid-July. Kyle Seager gets the start in Ackley’s place; this should allow Seager to show off his versatility to the M’s while hitting against a righty who doesn’t miss bats.
3: Kennedy (3B)
5: Wells (DH)
8: Seager (2B)
In the minors, the AA Jackson Generals have shuffled things around after James Paxton was shut down. IF prospect Nick Franklin returns today from the DL/AZL rehab, and seeing how he closes out his season will be one of the big things to watch down the stretch. He’s been out since late June with a concussion and mononucleosis. Rich Poythress is also on the DL with a back injury, which is too bad considering the progress he made since his horrible start to 2011. Yoervis Medina (1-13 with an RA of 8.00) replaces Paxton in the Generals rotation.
Tacoma’s trying to stay in the PCL playoff hunt, but they’re slumping at the wrong time. Jarrett Grube starts tonight against Omaha at Cheney.
Jose Campos, one of the top prospects in the NWL, gets the ball in today’s matinee in Vancouver. Campos has 63 Ks to 9 BBs in 62 innings, to go with a good GB rate and very good raw stuff.