Tacoma outfielder Forrest Wall is sitting on 29 stolen bases entering tonight’s game, and he has a chance to move onto the Tacoma franchise’s all-time single-season stolen base leaderboard.
First up is the 30 steals mark, which Wall should reach any day now. The last Tacoma player to reach 30 stolen bases in a season is Ian Miller, who had 33 in 2018. Ian, by the way, played for the Iowa Cubs in 2021 and then he played winter ball in Mexico but is not playing this season.
The franchise stolen base record belongs to Jimmy Sexton, who swiped 56 bags for the 1981 Tacoma Tigers. That’s probably out of reach for Wall, but he should land on the all-time Top Ten.
Wall will place on the single-season leaderboard if he can reach 37 steals. A better goal that is in reach is 40: only seven players in Tacoma’s history dating back to the team’s inception in 1960 have stolen 40 bases in a season, and none since 1988.
Second place is in reach for Wall if he keeps stealing at his current pace – I hope Rusty McNealy (that’s an all-time name right there) and Del Alston are sleeping well.
Wall ranks third in the league in stolen bases. Bubba Thompson of Round Rock has 48 steals, and he’s all but certain to become the first PCL player to steal 50 bases in a season since 2011 when Fresno’s Tyler Graham reached 60 steals.
MLB changed rules in the minor leagues this year to try to encourage base stealing, and it’s certainly working. The key rule is that the pitcher is only allowed to disengage from the rubber to make a pickoff throw twice during an at-bat. Once one pickoff throw is made, the pitcher has to choose his moment carefully if he’s going to make another, giving the base stealer an advantage.
YESTERDAY: The Rainiers had just three hits – all singles – and lost to Ryan Weathers and the El Paso Chihuahuas on Friday night, 4-1. Chris Mazza turned in a quality start for the Rainiers, lasting a season-high six innings and permitting three runs, but the Rainiers offense was silenced – pother than Alex Blandino, who hit two singes and drew two walks.
TODAY: El Paso Chihuahuas (54-43) at Tacoma Rainiers (41-55), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: San Diego Padres.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Jared Sandberg.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
PITCHERS: RHP Thomas Eshelman (0-1, 7.56) at RHP Darren McCaughan (6-5, 4.77)
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Mariners claimed right-handed reliever Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Boston Red Sox, and optioned him to Tacoma. Valdez has a 4.46 ERA in 13 games for the Red Sox, and a 3.06 ERA in 14 games for Triple-A Worcester. Today the Mariners called up LHP Brennan Bernardino, and outfielder Marcus Wilson was designated for assignment.
HOT HITTERS: Mason McCoy had his nine-game hitting streak come to an end Thursday night… Drew Ellis has reached base safely in eight straight games… Jarred Kelenic has reached base in seven straight games.
OPPONENT NEWS: El Paso is four games out of first place in the East… Luis Liberato is on a tear just in time to face his former team, hitting six homers in 17 games this month… he’s in concussion protocol after being hit by a pitch on Wednesday night, but reportedly is feeling fine… C.J. Hinojosa saw his 12-game hitting streak end last night… Taylor Kohlwey ranks third in the PCL with a .325 batting average… El Paso has former Rainiers Ray Kerr, Tayler Scott, and Aaron Northcraft in its bullpen… manager Jared Sandberg is a former Seattle Mariners coach and is from Olympia.
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 Mariners made a huge trade yesterday, acquiring the top starting pitcher on the market. Luis Castillo comes to Seattle from the Cincinnati Reds, in exchange for Double-A pitcher Levi Stoudt, Class-A infielders Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, and Class-A reliever Andrew Moore. The Seattle Times has a story on the trade. Larry Stone has a column on the situation. ESPN.com graded the trade. Jim Moore is just glad that the Mariners are trying. Baseball America breaks down the trade. Fangraphs weighs in on the deal.
- The team, however, got wiped out in Houston, 11-1.