This is definitely a career first: I’m blogging from the Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Castaic, Calif., north of Los Angeles. With a free day between the All-Star Game and the Mariners’ series with the Angels starting tomorrow — both in Anaheim — I decided to make the five-hour drive north to see my parents in Paso Robles in Central California. I stopped to grab a bite at Carl’s (which I prefer to In & Out Burger — I know, blasphemous. But it’s what I grew up with).
I checked my Blackberry and saw the press release from the Mariners announcing that Dustin Ackley, left-handed pitcher Edward Paredes and right-handed pitcher Anthony Varvaro have all been transferred from Class AA West Tennessee to Class AAA Tacoma. So I got the ‘ol computer out of the trunk and fired up.
The three will join the Rainiers tomorrow.
It’s indicative of the upswing of Ackley, last year’s No. 2 overall pick (behind Stephen Strasburg), who started off slow as he adjusted to a position change to second base, as well as starting his pro career at Double-A. He’s hitting .263 with 42 runs, 21 doubles, four triples, two homers and 28 RBI. Since May 12, Ackley is batting .305 (57-for-187) in 54 games to raise his average from .186.
In the interests of getting back on the road, I will cut and paste the rest of the Mariners’ press release:
Paredes, 23, was 2-1 with 3 saves and a 3.63 ERA (14 ER, 34.2 IP) in 26 relief appearances with West Tennessee. This season he has limited opponents a .255 (35×137) batting average, while walking 16 and striking out 35 in 34.2 innings. Paredes has tossed over 1.0 innings in 15 of his 26 games, including a season-high 2.1 innings twice.
In six minor league seasons, Paredes is 31-26 with 21 saves and a 4.09 ERA (179 ER, 393.0 IP) in 151 games, 46 starts. He was originally signed as a non-draft free agent on May 12, 2005.
Varvaro, 25, was 1-3 with 9 saves and a 3.20 ERA (14 ER, 39.1 IP) in a team-high 31 relief appearances with West Tennessee. In 39.1 innings, he has allowed 27 hits, while walking 21 and striking out 46. Varvaro has limited opponents to a .194 (27×139) average, including a .096 (5×52) clip vs. lefties. He leads the team in saves, while going 9-for-10 in save opportunities. He was recently selected to his second consecutive Southern League All-Star team and allowed 2 runs on 1 hit in 1.0 inning on Monday night (1.0,1,2,2,0,1,HR).
Varvaro was originally the Mariners 12th round selection in the 2005 June draft out of St. Johns University. In five minor league seasons, he is 12-28 with 22 saves and a 5.10 ERA (190 ER, 338.2 IP) in 132 games, 48 starts..
Hopefully, I didn’t get any ketchup on the screen.