Rainiers Report #4 - Roster Chaos
So, the rumor about Brandon Morrow making his first start vs. Kevin Millwood down in Arlington? And that Jake Woods is down in favor of Sean Green? Well, I don't know if it was the slew of 'WTF?' comments over there or a sober look at the innings the bullpen's been racking up, but the M's brass seemed to have changed their mind about a few things.
Cha Seung Baek, last night's probable starter, wasn't in uniform, which led to a spot start by Jason Mackintosh. Sean Green, who was supposed to be in Seattle to be a long reliever behind Morrow, was in Tacoma, catching the ceremonial first pitch and then pitching one rather lackluster inning in relief. So: while both Woods and Baek are still listed on the Tacoma roster, keep an eye on the M's website (bastion of internet rumors!) and let's see if Baek doesn't come up if/when Felix is DL'ed.
Last night's game was notable in large part for Mackintosh's sterling first AAA start. He's soon to be 27, with a fastball at 85-87 MPH, so he's not exactly on a lot of prospect lists, but he exhibited great command and hid his change-up well. He induced some very ugly swings from some good hitters, like Justin Knoedler, whom he got swinging on 3 straight changeups. The News Tribune got a nice photo of Mac that's on the front page of the sports secton this morning, and the accompanying story has the details of Jason's journey to Tacoma from the bustling metropolis of Jackson, Tennessee. The new guy pitched 5 innings, giving up 2 hits (one a roped double, and the other a comebacker that died about 80 feet from home plate), giving up no runs, and striking out 4 to 1 walk.
Ryan Rowland-Smith came on in the 6th and gave up 4 runs on 3BBs and 3H in only 2/3 of an inning. Jon Huber finally had a nice outing, going 2 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, before Sean Green allowed 1 run in his one inning.
As the Rainiers only mustered 1 run, there really wasn't much offense to speak of. Wladimir Balentien continued his hot start, going 2-3 with a walk. Wlad's out was a smashed one hopper that the Fresno SS made a great play on to get Wlad by a step. Adam Jones got a hit in the 9th, and Jeremy Reed and Brant Ust both slammed doubles to right.
We'll see if Salt Lake City helps the M's bats come to life, as Ryan Feierabend goes for the R's tonight in Utah. The R's return on April 30th versus Colorado Springs.