The Seattle Mariners made what had to be a difficult decision on Saturday night, electing to call-up Tacoma’s Cal Raleigh and hand him the reigns as the starting catcher in the major leagues.
There is no reason to believe that Raleigh isn’t ready for the challenge. He’s performed at a high level for the Rainiers over the course of nearly a half-season, and he’s handled most of the Mariners pitchers either here in Tacoma, in spring training, or at the Alternate Training Sites last year and this April.
Ultimately, the biggest question facing the Mariners was this: we’re winning right now, are we really going to change our starting catcher?
Raleigh will likely be eased into the starting role. He was catching five times a week here in Tacoma, but he probably won’t start that frequently for Seattle. I expect Raleigh’s playing time behind the plate to decrease, with Tom Murphy still getting a decent number of starts, as Cal learns the job at the MLB level. Luis Torrens – another Mariners catcher who has been swinging a hot bat – will likely start seeing time for Seattle at first base where he played earlier this season for Tacoma.
Meanwhile, the Rainiers catching situation should continue to be a strength. Jose Godoy has been playing well, and Brian O’Keefe was promoted from Double-A Arkansas where he was batting .286 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 49 games.
Congratulations to Tacoma pitcher Darren McCaughan, who was named the Pitcher of the Week for the Triple-A West. McCaughan pitched seven shutout innings against Sugar Land on Friday night in the Rainiers first shutout of the season to earn the award.
McCaughan is the second Tacoma pitcher to win the award this season. Hector Santiago took the award during the season’s opening week.
YESTERDAY: Tacoma and Sugar Land split a doubleheader on Sunday. Tacoma won the first game, 10-2, breaking open a close game with seven runs in the top of the seventh inning. Jose Marmolejos had two hits including a three-run homer, and both Jake Hager and Jantzen Witte had two hits as well. The second game was won by the Skeeters, 3-0, as Tacoma was shut out for the first time this season (in game No. 56). The Rainiers had only two hits – both singles by Alen Hanson.
TODAY: Tacoma (30-26) at Sugar Land (33-24), 5:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Mickey Storey.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
PITCHERS: RHP Logan Verrett (3-2, 5.95) at LHP Ryan Hartman (2-2, 3.74)
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners announced the call-ups of Donovan Walton and Cal Raleigh, and they optioned outfielder Taylor Trammell to Tacoma. Trammell probably will not report until Thursday when the Rainiers return home. Tacoma has added catcher Brian O’Keefe from Double-A Arkansas, and catcher David Sheaffer was transferred to Advanced-A Everett. Jarred Kelenic left the Rainiers to participate in yesterday’s MLB All-Star Futures Game, which was held at Coors Field. He’s not expected to rejoin the Rainiers until Thursday.
HOT HITTERS: Jantzen Witte had his seven-game hitting streak end in the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader. He has gone 16-for-42 over his last 12 games… Jarred Kelenic has hit safely in three straight, and eight of his last nine games… Jose Marmolejos is 10-for-17 during a five-game hitting streak… Alen Hanson has a five-game hitting streak.
OPPONENT NEWS: Bryan De La Cruz is 3-for-14 in this series, right after a torrid five-game hitting streak in which he was 13-for-21 with four homers and 11 RBI… Jake Meyers has a seven-game hitting streak, and he has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- The Mariners lost their final game before the all-star break, 7-1 to the Angels. They are 48-43 on the year.
- Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone was at the MLB All-Star Futures Game yesterday, where he saw Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez play in the outfield together. Good story, this one.
- Here’s the Times story on the call-up of Cal Raleigh.
- The Mariners went against their recent history and drafted a high school player with their first round pick yesterday: Harry Ford, a catcher from the Atlanta area who has the ability to play other positions.
- The News Tribune has its weekly Mariners Takeaways.
- Interesting, opinionated story on the Oakland A’s potentially moving to Las Vegas.
- Here’s a new one in the broadcast business: the Angels dropped their TV announcer mid-season. Weird.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.