The Rainiers hit the road for the first time in 2022, opening a six-game series at Albuquerque tonight at 5:35 (Pacific time).
The series will be something of a homecoming for two Tacoma Rainiers. Manager Tim Federowicz spent more time with Albuquerque than any other team during his playing career, hitting .320 with 39 home runs and 75 doubles over part of four years. Infielder Sam Haggerty played college baseball for the University of New Mexico, which plays some of its home games at Isotopes Park.
Albuquerque’s ballpark is one of the best hitter’s parks in minor league baseball. The city has an elevation of 5,312 feet above sea level, making it a perfect Triple-A match for the major league Colorado Rockies. Fly balls carry a long way, and the outfield at Isotopes Park is expansive due to the deeper dimensions. Hopefully these hitting conditions will help awaken the Rainiers offense, which has struggled to accrue hits and runs over the past four games.
The Rainiers roster gets a boost today with the arrival of speedster Billy Hamilton. Hamilton battled for the Mariners final outfield roster spot that went to Julio Rodriguez. The Mariners gave him a few days off before reporting to Tacoma. Hamilton has over eight years of MLB experience, and other than six games with Charlotte in 2021 he hasn’t played in the minors since 2013. He’s been an elite base stealer and reports from spring training indicate that at age 31 he can still really run.
Pitcher Roenis Elias was activated from the Injured List today, and he’s ready to get back into action. He’s probably really looking forward to it: the Cuban lefty has not pitched since 2019, having undergone Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. I’m sure he’ll be an a predetermined schedule of dates and innings that he pitches as he eases back into it. Elias pitched for Tacoma during parts of the 2014, 2015, and 2018 seasons, and he has been a solid contributor for the Mariners as well.
We’ll have the live audio broadcast available for free at www.wertacoma.com/broadcast, as always. Additionally, if you are a MiLB.TV subscriber the video feed will be available for all away games. Reminder, the MiLB.TV feed features the home team’s production and audio, so you will get the Albuquerque announcers.
YESTERDAY: As will almost always be the case this season, the Rainiers were off on Monday. On Sunday Tacoma lost to Salt Lake, 7-1, and ended up going 2-4 in the season-opening six-game series against the Bees. The Rainiers bullpen combined to pitch 4.2 shutout innings on Sunday.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (2-4) at Albuquerque Isotopes (1-5), 5:35 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Warren Schaeffer.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0.
PITCHERS: LHP Ian McKinney (0-1, 9.00) at RHP Frank Duncan (0-0, 12.00)
ROSTER MOVES: Tacoma adds outfielder Billy Hamilton to the active roster today, and pitcher Roenis Elias has been activated from the Injured List. Cesar Izturis Jr, Miguel Perez, and Chris Jefferson were all sent back to extended spring training.
HOT HITTERS: Marcus Wilson has reached base in four straight games… Zach Green has hit safely in four of his five games played.
OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque had a rough opening series, dropping five of six games at Oklahoma City… third baseman Elehuris Montero is considered the top prospect on the ‘Topes roster… former Rainiers infielder and Mariners 2013 first round draft pick D.J. Peterson is on the Albuquerque roster, but he has not appeared in a game… former Rainiers now with the ‘Topes include Tim Lopes, Zach Lee, Dillon Overton, and their hitting coach Jordan Pacheco.
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.
- Lauren Smith of The News Tribune has a rundown of the Rainiers opening homestand, with reaction from players. It opens with Matt Koch’s immaculate inning.
- Here’s a story previewing the Isotopes home opener tonight from the Albuquerque Journal. Not much baseball content in this one, it’s more about what fans can look for.
- The Mariners offense was a n0-show in a 4-0 loss at Minnesota yesterday, and the team split the four-game series.
- Collisions in the outfield are to be avoided, we learn in this Mariners notebook.
- Good feature on former Rainiers reliever Matt Festa, who made the M’s bullpen.