Veteran left-hander Roenis Elias continued his encouraging return from elbow surgery on Thursday night in Tacoma, needing just 11 pitches to deliver a 1-2-3 scoreless inning of relief. Elias recorded one strikeout and induced two infield grounders.
Coming into this season, Elias had not pitched in a game since September of 2019, with the Washington Nationals. A series of injuries and ultimately Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in his left elbow resulted in the long hiatus.
Healthy once again, Elias has returned to form and looks like a pitcher who is going to be able to help Seattle in the majors leagues – as he has on numerous occasions in the past. Elias is in his third tour of duty with the Mariners organization. Seattle originally signed him after he left Cuba in 2010, embarking in the dead of night on a stealthy 30-hour boat ride to Mexico so he could pursue his major league dream.
Unheralded as a prospect, Elias worked his way up the Mariners minor league ladder and made the big league team in 2014 (interestingly, every minor league stop Elias made before reaching Triple-A was in a city that was eliminated from affiliated baseball during MLB’s takeover of the minors, due to a substandard facility or poor fan support: Clinton, Pulaski, High Desert, Jackson).
Elias has always pitched well for the Mariners, posting a career 3.75 ERA in 118 games (53 starts). Twice the Mariners have traded Elias away, only to re-acquire him later.
His latest return appears to be going well. Elias has appeared in four games for the Rainiers, pitching a total of five innings. He has allowed just two hits and no runs, he has struck out three, and he has not walked anyone. He’s been working at a good pace, getting ahead of hitters, avoiding hard contact, and staying out of trouble.
Elias remains on a schedule as he returns from surgery. When he pitches back-to-back games, or if the Mariners start stretching him out into longer outings, we’ll know that he is about ready for Seattle.
YESTERDAY: Sugar Land took advantage of three straight walks to open the fourth inning, scoring three runs to build an early lead and cost to a 6-3 win over Tacoma on Thursday night. The Rainiers did not score until the eighth inning when Steven Souza Jr. launched his first home run of the season. Mason McCoy added a homer in the ninth for his first of the year. Marysville’s Trent Tingelstad hit a triple for his first Triple-A hit, and he also drew two walks.
TODAY: Sugar Land Space Cowboys (5-10) at Tacoma Rainiers (5-10), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Houston Astros.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Mickey Storey.
SEASON SERIES: Sugar Land leads, 2-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Tyler Ivey (0-0, 10.80) at RHP Darren McCaughan(0-2, 10.20)
ROSTER MOVES: None yet today, but stay tuned.
HOT HITTERS: Joe Odom had his four-game hitting streak end Wednesday night… Sam Haggerty is 8-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak… Marcus Wilson is 4-for-12 with two homers and five walks over his last four games… Erick Mejia has reached base in five straight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Sugar Land opened the season at Sacramento and went 2-4, then they lost five-of-six at home to Round Rock… catcher Korey Lee is considered one of the Houston Astros top prospects… infielder Pedro Leon received a big signing bonus coming out of Cuba and is considered a solid prospect… David Hensley has a five-game hitting streak… Sugar Land has no former Rainiers on its roster or coaching staff, and no Washington natives.
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 a photo gallery from last night’s game.
- The Mariners played a rare sloppy game and lost to the Rangers on Thursday, 8-6.
- Sounds like former Rainiers skipper Kristopher Negron got a beer-and-condiments shower after his first major league managerial win on Wednesday.
- For Baseball America subscribers, here’s their review of Seattle’s 2021 international signings.
- Fangraphs took a deep dive into the called strikes against Julio Rodriguez.
- The Oakland A’s tanking strategy and fan boycott as ownership considers a move to Las Vegas has the PCL’s Aviators in a “sensitive spot,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- As Klay Thompson and the Warriors cruise through the NBA playoffs, Klay’s brother Trayce Thompson launched his sixth homer for El Paso.