The Tacoma Rainiers are back in action with a morning game today (Tuesday) at 10:05 Pacific, opening up a six-game series at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas.
Tacoma hasn’t played since Saturday night. The team got rained out on Sunday at home, and Monday was a travel day. Sunday’s postponed game against Reno will be made up with a doubleheader when the Aces next visit Tacoma in May, with the exact date to be announced soon.
It was a good opening homestand for Tacoma, with the team going 4-1 against Reno. The offense was terrific, and the Rainiers still lead all 30 Triple-A teams in runs scored (68) despite having a game postponed, and also playing two seven-inning games in a doubleheader.
The offense is going to need to keep it going, because suddenly the pitching staff is ravaged.
The Mariners have already been hit hard in the big leagues by injuries, losing a starter (Robbie Ray) and a top reliever (Andres Munoz). Throw in a couple of extra-inning games, and the M’s are struggling to find the right mix in the bullpen. They have made a bunch of roster moves in the last three days, calling up three Tacoma pitchers and putting another one “on hold” in case he’s needed.
Justin Topa, JB Bukauskas, and Jose Rodriguez have all been called up. Bukauskas pitched in extra innings on Sunday and then was optioned back to Tacoma, and Matt Festa was optioned over the weekend as well – but each has three days to report and may not be here in time for today’s early game.
Tommy Milone was scheduled to start Sunday’s game that got rained out, so his start was pushed back to today, but now he’s not going for Tacoma in case Seattle decides they need him immediately. The organization has sent starter Riley Davis from Class-A Modesto to make an emergency fill-in start for the Rainiers today, and they also summoned pitcher Matt Willrodt from extended spring training in case another arm is required.
We can be certain that Jerry Dipoto and his staff are looking for more Triple-A/MLB caliber pitching on the open market, but for now we’re leaning on young kids.
It’s kind of crazy that the pitching has gotten short so soon. Just ten days ago we were celebrating the fact that the Rainiers started the season with a complete starting rotation for the first time since before the pandemic, and now we’re in full-on survival mode. And that’s after back-to-back off days!
YESTERDAY: After getting rained out on Sunday, the Rainiers spent Monday flying to Round Rock, Texas for today’s opener of a six-game series.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (5-3) at Round Rock Express (5-3), 10:05 AM (Pacific).
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Doug Davis.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0.
PITCHERS: RHP Riley Davis (0-0, 0.00) at RHP Robert Dugger (0-1, 67.50)
Davis went four innings in his first start for Modesto, allowing one earned run. We should note that he pitched in relief one time for Tacoma last year and allowed five runs without recording an out, so things can only improve from there! Dugger, a former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher, did not get out of the first inning and allowed seven runs in his first start of the year. Expect the unexpected – we’re probably in line for a 1-0 game.
ROSTER MOVES: On Monday the Mariners called up Tacoma starter Jose Rodriguez and optioned reliever JB Bukauskas to the Rainiers. They needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Rodriguez, so Tacoma infielder/outfielder Nick Solak was designated for assignment. The Rainiers have added pitcher Riley Davis from Class-A Modesto, and pitcher Matt Willrodt from extended spring training.
HOT HITTERS: Mike Ford has hit safely in all seven games he has played in, has driven in at least one run in all seven, and has three homers…. Brian O’Keefe has a seven-game hitting streak, with four homers and 11 RBI during the streak… Jose Caballero has reached base in 16 of his 24 plate appearances, for a .667 OBP… Mason McCoy has reached base safely in all eight games… Delino DeShields has reached base safely in all six games he has played in… as a team, Tacoma leads Triple-A Baseball with 68 runs scored, and a .448 on-base percentage.
OPPONENT NEWS: The Express just won four-of-five in a rain-impacted series at Sugar Land, and they bring a three-game winning streak into today’s game… Sam Huff has a four-game hitting streak… Elier Hernandez homered in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday… infielder Justin Foscue is a Triple-A rookie who is widely considered a good prospect… probably shouldn’t type this, but Davis Wendzel has started his season 0-for-21. Ouch… Round Rock has two former Rainiers on its roster, pitchers Robert Dugger and Dominic Leone.
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.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to broadcasts and Gameday screens right here.
- Seattle had a dramatic game-tying home run from Jarred Kelenic before falling in extra innings to the Cubs last night, 3-2.
- The Mariners had to place top reliever Andres Munoz on the injured list.
- Here’s a little more on the latest roster moves involving the pitchers.
- Salt Lake’s Jo Adell has now homered in six straight games, after hitting two on Sunday at Albuquerque. However, Albuquerque won Sunday’s game and split the six-game series.