The Rainiers begin a stretch of night games at Round Rock this evening, and hope that settling into a daily routine will help stabilize the team.
Baseball players are creatures of habit, and the team has had nothing but interruptions of the regularly scheduled routine in recent days: a rainout, a day spent flying to Texas, an early game… now, it’s nothing but 7:05 (local time) starts until Sunday. That plus a clear weather forecast means a regular routine can unfold, with on-field batting practice, infield drills, scheduled batting cage times, and game prep before first pitch each day.
This will be the first stretch of games of the season like this, and I think that after two straight blowout losses the team will now start to get things squared away.
However, the pitching staff has not yet stabilized. The Mariners continue to lean heavily on the Tacoma pitching staff as they try to survive a rocky stretch of extra-inning and high-scoring major league games.
Today the Mariners called up Darren McCaughan from Tacoma, and optioned Jose Rodriguez to the Rainiers. They had to make room on the 40-man roster for McCaughan, so Brennan Bernardino was designated for assignment.
It’s great to see McCaughan get another chance in the big leagues. He hasn’t been up since two appearances during the 2021 season, in which he had a great outing against the Rockies and a rough one against a loaded Astros lineup.
Rodriguez pitched three innings against the Cubs last night and will probably slot back into the Rainiers rotation on Sunday.
Bernardino has been used in three- and four-inning stints from the bullpen for Tacoma this season, with mixed results. It will be interesting to see if he gets claimed by another team. Both he and Nick Solak are currently in roster limbo.
YESTERDAY: The big inning continued to haunt the Rainiers, as Round Rock scored five runs in both the fourth and sixth frames to beat Tacoma on Tuesday afternoon, 10-2. Tacoma had just three hits in the game. Called up from Class-A Modesto to make an emergency spot start, Riley Davis kept Round Rock off the scoreboard for the first three innings before running out of steam in the fourth. Rehabilitating Texas Rangers outfielder Leody Taveras had a grand slam and five RBI.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (5-4) at Round Rock Express (6-3), 5:05 (Pacific).
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Texas Rangers.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Doug Davis.
SEASON SERIES: Round Rock leads, 1-0.
PITCHERS: TBA at RHP Cole Winn (0-1, 7.71)
McCaughan was supposed to pitch today, but instead he got called up. Looks like it’s going to be a bullpen game for the Rainiers.
ROSTER MOVES: Today the Mariners called up Darren McCaughan, optioned Jose Rodriguez to Tacoma, and designated Brennan Bernardino for assignment. The Rainiers have also added reliever A.J. Puckett from Double-A Arkansas.
HOT HITTERS: Mike Ford had his seven-game hitting streak end yesterday, but he extended his streak of games with an RBI to eight with a first inning sacrifice fly…. Brian O’Keefe has a seven-game hitting streak, with four homers and 11 RBI during the streak… Mason McCoy has reached base safely in all eight games… Delino DeShields has reached base safely in all seven games he has played in… Tacoma no longer leads Triple-A Baseball in runs scored. In fact, we got passed by four teams yesterday!
OPPONENT NEWS: The Express just won four-of-five in a rain-impacted series at Sugar Land, and they have a four-game winning streak… Justin Foscue and Rafael Ortega have four-game hitting streaks… Elier Hernandez homered in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday… Round Rock has three former Rainiers on its roster, pitchers Jacob Barnes, Robert Dugger and Dominic Leone.
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 blew a massive lead at Wrigley Field last night, and hope to avoid being swept today.
- Ryan Divish’s Mariners Notebook has injury updates on numerous players, timelines for potential rehabilitation assignments, and beer news.
- In the PCL, El Paso played its first home game with rehabilitating superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. on the roster. There is a photo gallery.