Mariners Insider

Category: Rainiers


Rainiers catcher says Hisashi Iwakuma struggled early; Jack Zduriencik’s attendance decides relief rotation

By staff writers Jeff Giuliani and Ben Goldstein

In his second rehab start this season, and his first with the Tacoma Rainiers Hisashi Iwakuma threw four innings of shutout ball.

Iwakuma gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four batters. He threw 68 pitches, and 47 were strikes.

Steve Baron started at catcher and said the experience was much different catching Iwakuma.

“It was nice catching a major leaguer,” Baron said. “Someone of that caliber teaches you a little bit about the major league level.”

Baron said Iwakuma was missing pitches arm side, but made an adjustment in

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James Jones trying to shorten swing, work on bunting

By staff writers Jeff Giuliani and Ben Goldstein

James Jones is hoping to use his time back with the Tacoma Rainiers to improve his game for a possible return to the Seattle Mariners.

Jones was optioned to Tacoma on Wednesday after the Mariners called up outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.

He cited shortening his swing and working on bunting as two things he will be working on with the Rainiers. For the latter, he pointed to Shawn O’Malley, who was born in Richland, as the team’s best bunter and someone whose brain he wanted to pick.

“He has a lot of good

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Rainiers manager on Franklin Gutierrez: He’s ready

Tacoma Rainiers manager Pat Listach said Franklin Gutierrez is ready to be a major leaguer again. And that’s why he was called up to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.

“He had to prove to himself that he could come out and do this on a daily basis,” Listach said. “He had some bad days and some good days. Lately he’s been having more good days.

“He missed a whole year and he worked hard to get back to major-league-caliber readiness. And he’s ready.”

Gutierrez had played in 48 of the Rainiers’ 72 games entering Wednesday after missing all of last

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James Jones suffered concussion in Rainiers home opener

James Jones suffered a concussion sliding head-first into third base in Friday night’s home opener for the Tacoma Rainiers, manager Pat Listach said Saturday.

Jones was sent to the hospital after the play and hadn’t returned by the end of the game. But he did not have to stay overnight at the hospital, Listach said.

Listach said Jones will be day-to-day until they know more about the extent of the concussion.

“It could be two days, it could be two weeks it could be a month,” Listach said. “I’m just throwing numbers out there. He just has to pass the tests

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Franklin back to work in Tacoma

It didn’t appear as if Tacoma Rainiers manager Roy Howell has had a chance to sit down with Nick Franklin yet and discuss why he struggled with the Mariners in 17 appearances.

But Howell was direct on the difference between .376-hitting (30 games) Triple-A Franklin and .128-hitting (17 games) Mariners Franklin.

“It’s called the big leagues,” Howell said. “This is the little leagues.”

I didn’t get to talk to Nick Franklin before the Rainiers’ doubleheader today against Albuquerque. I’ll try to get him afterward.

This is Franklin’s first game since his second demotion of the season from the Mariners, and

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Almonte regaining comfort since demotion from M’s

Abraham Almonte said it wasn’t so much his swing that cost him his place with the Seattle Mariners.  It was his comfort level.

Since his demotion to the Rainiers he has been working to regain the comfort and confidence that helped him hit .314 in 94 games with Tacoma last season before being called up to Seattle in September.

“I think that’s what got me in trouble in the big leagues was just losing confidence and trying to be somebody that is not me,” Almonte said. “As soon as I get comfortable again, and I can trust in what I

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Taylor hits first 2 Triple-A homers in Rainiers win

Few will confuse Tacoma Rainiers shortstop Chris Taylor for a power hitter. He sure doesn’t.

“That’s not my game,” he said. “I just think about getting on base and let the big guys hit me in.”

That didn’t seem to stop Taylor, the Mariners’ 2013 minor league player of the year, from hitting two home runs in two consecutive at bats – the first two of his Triple-A career – and a double his fourth plate appearance Monday in an 8-5 rain-shortened victory against the Sacramento River Cats at Cheney Stadium.

Taylor, 23, went 3-for-4 to up his batting average

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Rainiers transaction madhouse

Tacoma Rainiers manager Roy Howell has been a popular guy lately.

His phone has been ringing almost off the hook the past five days. It’s his clubhouse phone, but all the same – he’s got what the Seattle Mariners want.

The Rainiers have undergone 22 official transactions since the start of the season (15 days ago). Fourteen have occurred the past five days.

“That’s why we’ve talked about how it’s very important for me and this staff to have these guys ready when the phone rings,” Howell said. “And lately it’s been ringing a lot.”

The Mariners have snagged away

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