Cactus League Game 27, Mariners at Padres

marc w · March 29, 2015 at 12:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

JA Happ vs. Andrew Cashner again, 1:05pm, Root TV

These two faced off five days ago, and while neither was sharp, Happ was concerningly bad. Earlier this spring, I said he needed to focus much more on his four-seamer and throw a lot fewer of the sinkers that righties have enjoyed since Happ learned the pitch in 2010. Well, he tried that last game and it didn’t go terribly well. It’s a truism that the same approach in Arizona may not produce the same results as it would in Seattle, but I’m sure it’d help Happ’s confidence to have a solid game today. Seth Smith was a late scratch today, and that’ll afford us the chance to get a look at Alex Jackson, the M’s #1 or #2 prospect, who gets the start in Smith’s place. Jackson even gets Smith’s line-up slot.

1: Ruggiano, CF
2: Jackson, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Seager, 3B
5: Weeks, DH
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Ascanio, SS
SP: Happ

The M’s optioned lefty Roenis Elias to Tacoma today, formally ending the battle for the 5th spot in the rotation (a battle that seemed all but over a few weeks ago). By sending him to AAA, they can keep Elias stretched out; keeping him around as another situational lefty or swingman always seemed like a waste, and I’m glad the M’s agreed. Bob Dutton speculates that they could use Elias as a kind of sixth starter to manage innings for Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, both of whom had injury issues in 2014.

As many of you know, M’s pitching prospect Victor Sanchez died last night in Venezuela, roughly a month after he suffered a head injury while swimming in Carupano. The 20-year old suffered skull fractures and brain injuries, but early reports were – given the context here – somewhat positive. Perhaps it was his age, perhaps it was just optimism, but I somehow thought he’d survive this. My thoughts are with his family, including his new wife. The M’s statement mentioned that he was quiet, but popular amongst his teammates. It’s been amazing to see all of the comments from those teammates on Twitter. Sanchez famously threw a no-hitter for Clinton the day his mother arrived from Venezuela to see him pitch professionally for the first time. His size (6′ or a bit less, 260-280 lbs.) made him something of an anomaly, and many ranked hurlers with “projectable” frames above Sanchez, but he’d fought AA to a draw last year at the age of 19. But beyond the stats or age-relative-to-league, Sanchez seemed to make the organization a bit better simply by being a part of it. RIP.


4 Responses to “Cactus League Game 27, Mariners at Padres”

  1. wabbles on March 29th, 2015 3:42 pm

    Yeah, I was wondering about the latest on that then forget to check on it. Then the next morning I saw the news on LL. It’s sad. Teammates seemed genuinely to like him, they weren’t just giving quotes. And a new wife, too. What a thing to happen. Geez. RIP

  2. Notfromboise on March 29th, 2015 10:23 pm

    RIP, indeed. Very sad news.

    In other mariner news, Elias just got optioned to AAA, which means we’re down to two options for starter slot #5.. Walker and Erasmo…

    For the life of me I can’t fathom how Walker isn’t the 4th starter and Happ + E-Ram shouldn’t be the ones flipping a coin between Slot 5 and long relief.

  3. MrZDevotee on March 30th, 2015 11:08 am

    I don’t know if it will continue, but I know the M’s had Sanchez’s uniform hanging in the dugout for yesterday’s game. That was a nice gesture, and shows he was definitely well liked even by the guys above him in the program.

    Sad situation, all the way around. The boater must feel awful too.

  4. Breadbaker on March 31st, 2015 3:31 am

    That is such sad news. Reminds us life is random. And sometimes sucks.

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