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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 23, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Mariners minor-league report, May 23

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I’m out at Cheney Stadium tonight to check out the Tacoma Rainiers. Here they are, in the top picture, gathering together prior to defensive drills and batting practice. The Rainiers (18-26) are playing the Nashville Sounds (17-25). Both teams are tied for last in their respective divisions. And in the bottom picture, manager Daren Brown runs them through fielding practice, calling out various situations.

Here is today’s minor-league report.

Naturally, I’m eager to see Dustin Ackley, who hit a two-run homer yesterday in the bottom of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie and propel the Rainiers to a 5-2 win over Memphis. It was his seventh homer in 218 plate appearances. Last year, his first as a pro, Ackley hit seven homers in 587 plate appearances. That’s a very encouraging development, because I know there have been concerns by scouts about whether Ackley was going to be any kind of a power threat. Ackley will never be a 30-homer guy, but I think he could evolve into a 15- to 20-homer guy, which would be fantastic if he hits for as high of an average as the Mariners envision.

Also glad to see Ryan Langerhans hit his fourth homer in the brief time since he joined Tacoma. Langerhans was designated for assignment when Mike Wilson was called up, but elected to stay in the organization. Those four homers have come in just 10 games.

Oh, and Mike Carp had two more hits and is at .306 with 10 homers and 31 runs batted in, and an OPS of .937. I still think he belongs in Seattle.

At High Desert, Dennis Raben went 4-for-4 with his ninth homer and three RBI, and now is hitting .298 with nine homers and 39 RBIs (most in the organization). Nick Franklin hit his third homer, and Vinnie Catricala, who has a .363 average, hit his ninth.

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