Here’s the latest report.
The big story yesterday was the pitching of Tacoma right-hander Steven Shell, who threw a complete-game, four–hit shutout, striking out six, in the Rainers’ 4-0 win over Nashville. Shell has a 15.1-inning scoreless streak going that has lowered his ERA to 1.62, to go with a 2-1 record. During this streak, opponents are hitting .115 (6-for-52).
Shell is no young pup. He is 27 years old, and had major-league experience with the Nationals in 2008-09 — 43 games in relief, in which he had a 2.45 ERA. The Mariners signed him last May after the Nationals designated him for assigment on April 20. He was 3-3-0, 0.43 in five games (three starts) for Class A West Tennessee, and 3-3, 6.98 in 17 games (five starts) for Tacoma. Shell was originally a third-round pick of the Angels in 2001.
For those wondering when the Mariners will make a catching move, Josh Bard went 2-for-4 with two RBI and has his average up to .250. He is on a 7-for-19 streak with four doubles and a homer. Mike Carp hit his fifth homer, but his first since April 19.
Dustin Ackley had two hits for West Tenn to reach the .200 mark, on the dot. He’s in a 10-for-26 surge with four runs, three doubles, a homer, and six RBI. And Carlos Triunfel is also streaking (12-for-32 over his last eight games) to raise his average to .288.
And today’s player that caught my eye: Left-handed pitcher Anthony Vasquez, the M’s 18th-round pick last year out of USC. Vazquez has made seven starts for Class A Clinton, and has a 0.84 ERA. In 42 2/3 innings, he’s allowed 25 hits and walked just five, while striking out 37. Vazquez has given up a mere four earned runs.