It’s been sitting there on the schedule all season long, daring us to wonder if it is a challenge, a test, a vacation, or a thrill, and now it is here. The two week Las Vegas to Reno road trip has begun.
Ultimately, it’s a business trip, and the players definitely treat it as one. But everyone needs to have some fun sometimes, and opportunities abound during this journey.
The Rainiers arrived in Las Vegas very late on Wednesday night – we booked the last flight out of SeaTac – and the team got off to a calm start. It seemed like over half the team was in the only restaurant still open in our resort/hotel/casino for some midnight dinner before heading to bed.
The team has some changes, due to the approaching MLB trade deadline (which is tomorrow) and moves being made by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. No actual Tacoma Rainiers have been traded, but additions by the Mariners caused two Tacoma players to lose their spots on the 40-man roster.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, scheduled starting pitcher Vinny Nittoli was designated for assignment. A couple hours later, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Rainiers second baseman Jake Hager was removed from the game because he was also designated for assignment.
Both players are currently in baseball limbo, waiting to see if they get claimed by another team or not. Any team can claim them as long as they keep the player on its 40-man roster. This probably won’t get resolved until after the trade deadline tomorrow.
In the meantime, the Rainiers starting rotation has been filled up.
Darren McCaughan was optioned to Tacoma after making his major league debut, and he will become the Tuesday starter.
For tomorrow’s start, the Mariners have signed veteran right-hander Asher Wojciechowski and assigned him to Tacoma. Wojciechowski was recently designated for assignment by the New York Yankees, for whom he made a fill-in start on July 21. Wojciechowski made 23 major league starts for Baltimore in 2019-2020. He also has lots of experience in the PCL, having pitched for Oklahoma City, Fresno, and New Orleans from 2013 to 2016.
Longtime blog readers may recall that I gave up on his name, and simply called him “Asher W.” whenever he faced the Rainiers. I guess those days are over. Now that he’s with us, we’ve got to treat him with more respect. He’s Asher Wojciechowski now.
YESTERDAY: The whole league was off yesterday. On Tuesday the Rainiers had an exciting comeback win, beating Sacramento 6-4 to win the seven-game series, 4-3. Trailing 4-1 going to the bottom of the eighth inning, Wyatt Mathisen led off with a solo homer. Two walks put the tying runners on base, but there were two outs when Taylor Trammell stepped up to the plate. Facing left-hander Caleb Baragar, Trammell ripped an opposite-field three-run homer to give Tacoma a 5-4 lead. Brian O’Keefe made it back-to-back jacks with a solo shot of his own, and the Rainiers hung on for the win.
TODAY: Tacoma (39-33) at Las Vegas (37-35), 7:05.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Oakland A’s.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Fran Riordan.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 3-3.
PITCHERS: RHP Penn Murfee (0-1, 10.13) at RHP Miguel Romero (2-3, 5.93)
ROSTER MOVES: Reliever Vinny Nittoli and infielder Jake Hager were designated for assignment. Pitchers Darren McCaughan and Ryan Weber have been optioned to Tacoma, and pitcher Asher Wojciechowski was signed. Outfielder Jake Fraley started a rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday.
HOT HITTERS: Jantzen Witte has gone 31-for-86 (.360) over his last 25 games… Alen Hansen has a five-game hitting streak… Dillon Thomas has gone 11-for-25 over his last seven games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Las Vegas won on Tuesday to earn a 3-3 split of a six game road series at Salt Lake… Carlos Perez has homered in four of his last six games… Pete Kozma has a 10-game hitting streak… Austin Allen has a six-game hitting streak… Lake Tapps native Nate Mondou has reached base safely in 24 straight games… Skye Bolt has ten hits during a five-game hitting streak.
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.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- The Mariners made an unpopular trade, sending closer Kendall Graveman and recently DFA’d Rafael Montero to the division rival Houston Astros for infielder Abraham Toro and veteran reliever Joe Smith. Mariners players were not happy.
- The team lost its last two games to Houston after the deal.
- Larry Stone wonders if Jerry Dipoto “lost control” of the Mariners with the trade.
- The team traded two lower-level minor leaguers to Pittsburgh for starter Tyler Anderson, and remains active in trade conversations.
- Baseball America subscribers can check out an updated list of the Mariners top 30 prospects, including some kind words on Rainiers outfielder Luis Liberato.
- The Mariners introduced their new President of Business Operations, Catie Griggs.
- In our league, Reno has not yet lost a Triple-A West series. That’s gotta end eventually. Right?
- Here’s a whole mess of stats and info about the Rainiers current opponent, Las Vegas.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.