Curto, Tacoma Rainiers

Rainiers Face Former Two-Time All-Star Tonight

We had a wet one last night, as the Rainiers and El Paso Chihuahuas played in a steady rain at Cheney Stadium. The little wet, muddy doggies got the win, 7-5, ending any Tacoma sweep hopes after the Rainiers won the first two games of the series.

The Rainiers will try to rebound tonight with Jose Rodriguez on the mound. He’s back in the Tacoma starting rotation after a brief call-up to Seattle that saw him pitch in one major league game from the bullpen.

Opposing the Rainiers will be El Paso’s Julio Teheran. Once one of the top young starting pitchers in the game, the Columbia native is now 32-years-old and trying to get back to the big leagues. A two-time all-star by age 25, Teheran last pitched in the majors for Detroit in 2021 when a shoulder injury ended his season in April. Last year he came back with a handful of starts the Mexican League and the Padres inked him to a minor league deal in November.

Teheran is representative of a respect-worthy group of players we sometimes see in Triple-A: the player who has already made his mark in the big leagues, has cashed some massive paychecks and should be financially set for life, and won’t quit because he enjoys playing the sport even if it means going to the minors.

Catcher Pat Borders (Rainiers 2001-2004) was the first player I ever really talked a lot to who fell in this category, and he kept circling back to the thrill of competition: that’s what kept him playing in Triple-A, he just loved the daily battle and couldn’t get it out of his system. If I had to guess why Teheran is still playing, it would be this.


YESTERDAY: A pair of former Rainiers homered for El Paso in a 7-5 Chihuahuas win over Tacoma on Thursday night. Jantzen Witte snapped a 3-3 tie with a two-run shot in the sixth inning, and Tim Lopes added a solo job for El Paso. Tacoma had just six hits but drew 11 walks, and has now walked 32 times in the first three games of the series. Fred Villarreal did a nice job in long relief for Tacoma, going 3.2 innings and allowing one run.

TODAY: El Paso Chihuahuas (7-11) at Tacoma Rainiers (9-8), 7:05.


OPPOSING MANAGER: Phillip Wellman.

SEASON SERIES: Tacoma leads, 2-1.

PITCHERS: RHP Julio Teheran (2-1, 4.70) at RHP Jose Rodriguez (0-0, 4.00)

Teheran is the former Atlanta Braves workhorse, a two-time all-star who has amassed 20.1 WAR over 11 years in the big leagues.

ROSTER MOVES: Pitcher Tommy Milone has cleared waivers and will be re-joining the Rainiers, slotting back in to the starting rotation next week.

HOT HITTERSZach DeLoach had his six-game hitting streak end last night. He’s reached base safely in 14 of his 15 games played… Mason McCoy reached base safely in 16 of the 17 games he has played in… Cesar Hernandez has reached base safely in 13 of his 14 games… Brian O’Keefe is sitting on 99 career minor league home runs.

OPPONENT NEWS: Despite having Fernando Tatis Jr. in the lineup, the Chihuahuas just lost four of six home games to Albuquerque… Pedro Severino has a five-game hitting streak… Tim Lopes has homered in back-to-back games and is 6-for-13 in this series… the Chee-Wahs are loaded with ex-Rainiers. Domingo Tapia, Tim Lopes, Jantzen Witte, and Luis Liberato have all played for Tacoma, and their trainer Josh Diloreto was also once with Tacoma.

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.


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