The plan for the Triple-A playoffs was announced today, and I think it’s going to be a neat little tournament.
With the Triple-A regular season expanded out through the end of September, it didn’t really make sense to play five- or seven-game playoff series well into October. Instead, MLB came up with a four-team weekend tournament to be held at Las Vegas Ballpark.
On Friday, September 30th the two Pacific Coast League division winners will play a single game at Las Vegas to determine the league champion.
The next day the two International League division winners will play for their league championship, also at Las Vegas.
Then on Sunday, October 2nd the two league champions will play a single game for the title of Triple-A National Champion.
Playing the mini-tournament in Las Vegas gives it a destination appeal, which in particular should be attractive to the International League teams that don’t travel there during the regular season.
I’m all for an added trip to Vegas, so let’s get these Rainiers on track and start winning some games. It’s a long season, and April wasn’t kind to Tacoma, but we’ve got five months left.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis starts a injury rehabilitation assignment for Tacoma tonight. Lewis is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. This will be his first real game since May 31, 2021.
Tonight will also mark Lewis’s Triple-A debut. He jumped directly from Double-A to the majors in September of 2019, and he has never been optioned to Tacoma.
YESTERDAY: Monday was a league-wide off day. On Sunday the Rainiers dropped the final game of the Las Vegas series, 6-5, when the Aviators rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Cal Raleigh, Ben Ramirez, and Michael Wilson each had two hits with Wilson chipping in a homer. Daniel Ponce de Leon had another solid start, lasting 5.2 innings and allowing three runs.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (7-17) at Salt Lake Bees (12-12), 5:35 (Pacific).
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 4-2.
PITCHERS: LHP Ian McKinney (0-2, 13.86) at LHP Ryan Smith (0-1, 4.42)
ROSTER MOVES: OK, take a deep breath, here we go… infielder Donovan Walton and pitcher Justus Sheffield were optioned to Tacoma and will join the team today – look for Sheffield to join the starting rotation. Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis begins an injury rehabilitation assignment with Tacoma tonight. Catcher David Shaeffer and pitcher Juan Mercedes were sent to Advanced-A Everett. Infielder Ben Ramirez and pitcher Riley Davis were sent back to Low-A Modesto, and pitcher Blake Townsend was transferred to extended spring training.
HOT HITTERS: Sam Haggerty has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games, totaling 18 hits including four homers, and he went 9-for-20 in the Las Vegas series… Mason McCoy has reached base in ten straight games, hitting safely in nine of them… Zach Green has a seven-game hitting streak… young Ben Ramirez has a five-game hitting streak which will carry over to the next time he joins the team, even if it’s three years from now. He did a nice job filling in!
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake just split an unusual home/road series against Round Rock, in which the Bees went 1-2 at Round Rock and then both teams flew to Salt Lake City where the Bees won two of three… the Bees roster is humorous: they have five active catchers for some reason… the Angels have been carrying a major league taxi squad made up of a couple of Bees players, so sometimes players appear on the Salt Lake roster but aren’t actually with the team… former Rainiers outfielder Dillon Thomas has reached base safely in ten straight games… three former Rainiers are in the Salt Lake bullpen: Brian Moran, Jonathan Aro, and Zack Weiss.
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.
- The News Tribune has its weekly Rainiers Report, and the main feature is on Sam Haggerty.
- Here’s the official press release on the Triple-A Playoffs.
- The Mariners got shut out in Houston last night, although Marco Gonzales did pitch well.
- Logan Gilbert won the AL Pitcher of the Month award.
- Two Mariners prospects appear on this week’s edition of the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
- In the PCL, former Rainiers infielder Ty Kelly is now with Oklahoma City, and the paper has a feature on him.
- Now with Sacramento, Kevin Padlo belted three home runs in a 16-8 loss at Albuquerque on Sunday. Padlo has hit six homers this season and all of them have come at Albuquerque: two when he was with the Rainiers a couple weeks ago, and four for Sacramento in the series they just concluded.