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Category Archives: Seattle Mariners

Rosenthal: Phillies Intensify Pursuit of OF Cody Ross

The Phillies are still in need of a corner outfielder, and they are targeting Cody Ross the most to fill that spot.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Phillies are “intensifying pursuit of Cody Ross. Other teams also being more aggressive. Mariners among those that have shown interest.”

Ross is seeking a three-year deal.

Rosenthal: Phillies Reportedly Interested In Ibanez

Free agent OF Raul Ibanez (Tyson Trish/NorthJersey.com)

Free agent OF Raul Ibanez (Tyson Trish/NorthJersey.com)

The New York Yankees could possibly lose designated hitter/outfielder Raul Ibanez in free agency.

The Phillies are apparently one of the few teams interested in picking up Ibanez, according to Ken Rosenthal. Along with the Phillies, the Mariners and Rangers are interested in Ibanez.

The Phillies are the only National League club on that list, which is a bit of a surprise. A reunion with Ibanez would receive a mixed response from the fans, seeing as they don’t need another aging left-handed hitting corner position bat.

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Season Preview: AL West

Expectations: The Rangers ditch all of their Braves’ World Series tapes that they’ve studied from the past two years.
Key Addition: SP Yu Darvish (signed from Nippon of the Japanese League)
Key Loss: SP C.J. Wilson (signed with LA Angels)
Projected Record: 93-69
Summary: The Rangers, coming off of their second straight World Series appearance, have one of the best lineups in baseball.

They had four players with 25+ HRs (Adrien Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton). Beltre, Hamilton and Michael Young all hit over .295 while Kinsler and Elvis Andrus added the speed (30 or more steals each).

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Phils sign Cust to minor league deal

OF Jack Cust (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Phillies have signed outfielder Jack Cust to a minor league contract today, pending a physical.

It was a move to add depth if the Phils need a late-season call up and power bat off the bench. Cust, a left-handed bat, has struggled all season. In 67 games with the Seattle Mariners, the 32-year-old is batting .213 with 23 RBI and three home runs.

Will Cust see the big league roster? I’m sure he will in September. But as for the post season, who knows. It all depends on if Cust can revert back his previous four seasons in Oakland when he hit a combined 97 homers.

Cust is a strikeout machine though, striking out 87 times in his 270 plate appearances this season. He also led the league in whiffs in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Ladies and gentelmen, I give you Matt Stairs, 2.0!

Victorino nearly cycles in Phils win

Shane Victorino hits a two-run homer in the top of the 9th to cap off his three-hit, four-RBI night.

Of all the hits to fall short of the cycle with, Shane Victorino chose the easiest.

The center fielder doubled, tripled and homered while driving in four runs as the Phils beat Seattle, 5-1, and expanded their lead in the NL East to a season high six games.

Victorino hit a two-run double in the 7th inning to snap a 1-1 tie created by Seattle in the 2nd and then capped off his three-hit night with a two-run home run in the top of the 9th.

Jimmy Rollins also had three hits for the Phils. Ryan Howard drove in the Phils other a run, a sacrifice fly in the 1st inning.

Vance Worley made the start for the Phils, lasting five innings and tossing 96 pitches. He allowed a run on five hits and two walks while striking out three.

On the day he joined Twitter, Michael Stutes got his first win of his Major League career as he was on the hill when the Phils took the lead off Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. King Felix allowed three runs in seven innings of work while striking out five.

2B: Howard (17), Brown (6), Victorino (10). 3B: Victorino (7). HR: Victorino (8).

WP: Stutes (1-0). LP: F. Hernandez (7-6).

Boxscore.

Phils streak snapped

Michael Pineda carried a no-no late into the 6th. He allowed a run on two hits in six innings of work for his seventh win of the season. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The offense, after scoring 43 runs in the last seven-game winning streak, went almost silent in Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Mariners.

Getting their first hits and run in the 6th inning, the bats were silenced by Mariners rookie Michael Pineda in the loss.

Pineda lasted only six innings, 5 2/3 of which were no-hit ball. He allowed a run on two hits and three hits while striking out five. He was grooving until his two walks and two hits in the 6th ended his night.

Shane Victorino, who had two of the Phillies’ six hits, seemed to be the only Phillie figuring something out tonight. He singled to break up the no-no in the 6th and hit a solo home run in the 8th to cut the M’s lead in half.

After his home run, Victorino had scored a run in 12 of his last 15 games, something every team wants from a top of the line up hitter.

It wasn’t the best night for Roy Oswalt, who was pulled with one out in the 7th. He allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three. He was hit hard all game, including the RBI triple by Brendan Ryan in the 3rd and solo homer by Miguel Olivo in the 4th.

The Phillies made it interesting in the bottom of the 9th. Raul Ibanez and Ben Francisco rattled off back-to-back singles with two outs in the 9th off  Mariners closer Brandon League. But Domonic Brown grounded out to end the game and earn League his 20th save of the season.

The Mariners will throw their ace, Felix Hernandez, out on the hill tomorrow. He will face Phils rookie Vance Worley.

HR: Victorino (7).

WP: Pineda (7-4). LP: Oswalt (4-5). S: League (20).

Boxscore.

Series Preview: at Seattle Mariners

PHI: 44-26, 1st in NL East; SEA: 35-34, 2nd in AL West

When: June 17-19
Where: Safeco Field (Seattle, WA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Roy Oswalt (4-4, 3.14) vs Michael Pineda (6-4, 2.72)
Saturday: Vance Worley (2-1, 3.75) vs Felix Hernandez (7-5, 3.30)
Sunday: Cole Hamels (9-2, 2.49) vs. Jason Vargas (4-4, 4.13)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 10:10, CSN
Saturday, 10:10, CSN
Sunday, 4:1o, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

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Season Preview: AL West

Well, where do I begin? The AL West is considered to be the weakest division in baseball among many baseball experts and fans alike. This division is the smallest in baseball, having only four teams (which is probably four to many), and only one team finished above .500 last year.

However, that team was the Texas Rangers, who represented the American League in the World Series last year. If that make you think this division is relevant, you’re wrong. This division still sucks and is probably worse than the NFC West.

Unfortunately the teams in this division actually have to play games, so here is what I think the standings will look like in October.

Texas Rangers

Expectations: Team will continue to say Michael Young trade rumors aren’t a distraction, even though they are.
Key addition: 3B Adrian Beltre
Key loss: SP Cliff Lee (HAHA)
Projected record: 92-70

The Texas Rangers were the only team in the AL West to finish above .500 last season and rode AL MVP Josh Hamilton and then starting pitcher Cliff Lee all the way to the World Series. The Rangers were dismantled by the San Francisco Giants in five games in the World Series, and lost their ace Cliff Lee to our Philadelphia Phillies. The Rangers offseason has also been filled with distractions because of trade rumors about an unhappy Michael Young who gets moved to a different position every day

However, the Rangers still have key pieces Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young (for now) and Nelson Cruz on their team. They also added third basemen Adrian Beltre this offseason who batted .321 last season and knocked in 102 RBI’s, so the offense should still be great. Despite losing Cliff Lee, starting pitcher C.J. Wilson and the rest of their staff should still be good enough to help this team survive in this feeble division. I expect these guys to take this division fairly easily, but not go very far in the postseason.

Oakland Athletics

Expectations: Will have an average attendance of 849 per game.
Key Addition: RF David DeJesus
Key loss: CF Rajai Davis
Projected record: 85-77

The Oakland Athletics ended last season with a record not below .500 for the first time in four years, finishing 81-81. Their pitching staff was the best last year, posting a league leading 3.47 ERA. Unfortunately for the A’s, you need to score runs to win baseball games. The A’s failed to do that, and that prevented them from having a serious shot at the playoffs.

This offseason the A’s addressed their weakness and got some bats to hopefully help out their stellar pitching staff. The A’s added Designated Hitter Hideki Matsui to the lineup to help give them some much needed RBI’s. Last year he batted .274 with 21 home runs and batted in 84 runs. Right Fielder David DeJesus also signed with the team over the winter. Last year he batted .318, but his season was cut short because of a thumb injury. With these offense additions, I will go out on a limb and say they will be over .500 this year. They are my “sleeper” team, if you will. With that said, I don’t think they will reach the wild card because I expect the AL East to send two teams to the playoffs.

Anaheim Angels (they play in Anaheim, screw that LA crap)

Expectations: Will be on National TV a lot despite sucking a lot.
Key addition: LF Vernon Wells
Key loss: DH Hideki Matsui
Projected record: 80-82

The Angels last year failed to win the AL West for the first time since 2006, finishing 80-82. After such a disappointing season, the Angels failed to get any big free agents, most notably losing out on the bidding war for Carl Crawford. In fact, the biggest move for these guys was trading for Vernon Wells, which if you consider the fact he STILL has $86 million on his contract, the move isn’t that great. Yes, he hit 31 homeruns last year, but frankly the Angels just settled on this guy because they failed to get Crawford.

With very little improvement, and the fact that the other teams in their division are getting better, (besides the Mariners, of course) I don’t expect this season to be any different for the Angels. This team has a lot of notable names, (Kazmir, Abreu, Haren, etc.) but just as the Mets know, names don’t win baseball games. They didn’t get substantially worse this offseason, but didn’t get better either, so I’ll call it a push and give them the same record as last year.

Seattle Mariners

Expectations: LMAO
Key addition: DH Jack Crust
Key loss: 1B Russell Branyan
Projected record: 63-99 (yay not 100 losses)

The Mariners had high hopes before last year. The team acquired ace Cliff Lee, and had future CY Young winner Felix Hernandez. They were going to win because of good pitching and good defense said a few “experts.”

But then the worst possible thing happened.

The season started.

The Mariners went on to reach 101 losses and make a little history. That’s right, the Mariners became the first team with a payroll over $100 million to reach 100 losses. Congrats guys. Luckily for us, these guys are only on national tv once every 165 years when the planets and moons line up, so most of us did not have to witness this train wreck they call a baseball team.  This offense scored the fewest runs by any team since 1972, so GM Jack Zduriencik went out and made a big splash this off season and acquired DH Jack Crust. The “big splash” part was sarcasm.

Not much else to say here. My brain is telling me this team should lose every game this season, but I’m a generous guy, so I’ll go on record and say this team will defy all odds, and lose LESS than 100 games. Way to go boys.

Gillick to Coopestown

Former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the Expansion Era ballot, which includes executives from 1973 to present and players from 1973-1989.

Gillick, who was the GM for the Phillies 2008 World Series team along with the Toronto Blue Jays who won back-to-back championships from 1992-3, received 13 out of 16 votes. Like the regular Hall of Fame, nominees needed 75%, or 12 out of 16 votes, to be elected.

“It’s an honor; it’s over the hill,” Gillick said after the announcement.

Along with the three rings, Gillick turned the Mariners organization around from 2000-2003 when Seattle won at least 90 games in each season including a American League record 116 in 2001.

12 members were up for nomination, including the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Only Gilllick was elected.

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

So the fun begins. With a handful of big-name free agents set to test the waters after the season concludes, I couldn’t help but wonder: Where will they land next year? Or will they stay put in their home town?

It’s already been said that Tampa Bay doubts they could hold onto Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, or Rafael Soriano. And at the same time, The Rangers and Phillies have a goal to hold onto Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth respectively.

So I’m going to evaluate a couple free agents and give you my guess on where they’ll land:

Jayson Werth – Boston Red Sox: Let’s face it, Werth will want a change of scenery. In his presser on Monday, he basically said he enjoyed his time in Philly and said he will never see a group of fans like ours again. So who would want Werth? Basically in the race between the Yankees and Red Sox each off season, they acquire big-name guys. So if the Yankees go after Crawford, that means the Sox will get their hands on Werth, where he will instantly make them a serious contender in the toughest division in baseball.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Cliff Lee – Texas Rangers: I think he stays in Texas. If he does, it will be the biggest splash in free agency as Lee is the league’s most prized possession this off season. Yankee fans didn’t help their cause in landing Lee after their harassment of his wife and he said he enjoyed watching the Phillies lose to the Giants. And with the team they have in Texas, he would be absolutely stupid to walk away from a young, talented team in which he would become the face of. As a pitcher, the Rangers haven’t had that since a certain Nolan Ryan. I’m sure Ryan will use all of his persuasive powers to keep Lee in the Lone Star State.

Derek Jeter – New York Yankees: As the captain of the Yankees, I don’t see him going anywhere else but staying in New York. He will demand a lot of money probably and put the Yankees in a tough spot: drop the cash on an aging short stop with decreased range and pop in his bat or cut ties with one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes. They can’t piss-off the masses. Jeter stays as a Yankee for life and wraps up his Hall of Fame career in the Bronx.

(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Carl Crawford – New York Yankees: So the Yankees don’t get Werth. They will have to “settle” with Crawford, arguably the most enticing position player in the free agent market. He’s fast, can play a mean center field, and is a lifetime .300 hitter that can give you 15 homers and drive in about 70 runs. He hit career highs last season with 19 homers, 90 RBIs, and a .307 average along with a high in OPS (.851). Crawford will make the Yankees very happy next season and should allow them to stay ahead of the Red Sox and knock the Rays back out of the talks.

Carlos Pena – Seattle Mariners: Pena is a DH. The guy is a defensive liability. He struggled much of last season with injuries but will look to bounce back in a new team. Seattle is a perfect fit for him. Same type of laid-back fans and with the team looking to add a true power bat, they could start to build an offense around Pena. He’s just a building block to launch the Mariners into contention with the Rangers, who could be the best team in baseball if they win the World Series.

Jonny Gomes – Philadelphia Phillies: This is more like wishful thinking. With Werth likely gone in Philly, they will be looking to fill not only a hole in the outfield but also that important right-handed bat to protect Ryan Howard. Gomes would be a good replacement, that is assuming the Reds don’t pick up his $1.75 million option for next season. Gomes hit .266 with 18 homers and 86 RBIs last season. Similar numbers like that would be a fine replacement. Only problem is that he’s a worse defensive option than Raul Ibanez could ever have a nightmare to be. A two-year contract will be fine if Ruben Amaro, Jr. doesn’t over-pay.

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