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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

May 18, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Mariners minor-league report, May 18, 2011

Sorry I’ve been a little lax in posting the minor-league report. My travel has been kind of hectic so far this week, but now I’m back settled in Seattle. For an extensive weekly minor-league summary, check out Jay Yencich on USS Mariner. And if you want to know what’s going on with the Rainiers, following the blog of their announcer, Mike Curto, is essential.

The big news on the Mariner farm continues to be Dustin Ackley, who had three more hits yesterday, including a home run, and is absolutely on fire. He’s hit in 11 of his last 12 games with a .440 average (22-for-50) over that span, with five doubles and three homers. The only question is not if he’ll be coming up to the Mariners, but when. Geoff has a nice discussion of that topic on his blog today.

Mike Carp, whose promotion I endorsed a few days ago, isn’t doing anything to change my mind. He had two hits, including a double, in Tacoma’s 7-2 win in New Orleans and is now hitting .398 (33-for-83) over his last 20 games, with nine doubles, eight home runs and 27 RBIs. I know that Triple-A is Triple-A and the majors is the majors, but Carp has always been an intriguing player to me; why not take advantage of one of the hottest bats around, especially when you have a Mariner offense that can’t even score two runs on a night when Felix Hernandez is outstanding?

Outfielder Johan Limonta is another guy at Tacoma that keeps opening eyes, the longer he stays hot. Limonta is no youngster — he turns 28 on Aug. 4 — but the lefty, with two more hits yesterday, is hitting .436 (24-for-55) over his last 16 games and has his average up to .370 in 29 games with Tacoma.

At Double-A Jackson, which is riding a five-game winning streak and has moved into a tie for first at 22-15, Carlos Triunfel keeps putting up encouraging numbers. He’s hitting .415 (17-for-41) over his last 12 games.

High Desert’s Vinnie Catricala, the California League player of the week, went 2-for-3 yesterday in their 9-8 win over Lancaster and is now hitting .375 with six homers and 28 RBIs. All statistics from High Desert have to be taken with a grain of salt, but .375 is impressive in any league.

At Clinton, I was remiss in pointing out that in their last outings, Taijuan Walker (last year’s No. 1 draft pick) and James Paxton (the former No. 1 pick of the Blue Jays who didn’t sign) each were excellent. Walker struck out 11 in an 11-1 win, and Paxton struck out 10 in a game against Wisconsin. In 12 2/3 innings over three starts, Walker has struck out 20, while Paxton has 19 strikeouts in 17 innings.

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