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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.

June 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Mariners’ minor-league report, June 9

Here is today’s Mariner minor-league report. It’s a little light, because both Tacoma (AAA) and High Desert (A) had the day off.

Speaking of Tacoma, now that Mike Carp is up, the next player to focus on, of course, is Dustin Ackley. I can’t pinpoint a date when he’ll come up, but I’d imagine that once it gets to mid-June, it’s getting close to being safe to call him up without worrying about the Super 2 arbitration ramifications. Ackley is on fire, hitting in 16 of his last 17 games with a .406 average over that span (28-for-69) with 26 runs, seven doubles, three triples and 11 RBIs.

The M’s are getting young quickly. By July, they could have a lineup on a given day that includes Justin Smoak (age 24) at first, Ackley (23) at second, Carp (25) at DH, and Greg Halman (23) and Carlos Peguero (24) in the outfield, with Michael Pineda (22) on the mound.

Double-A Jackson took a 1-0 win over Tennessee, with lefty Anthony Vasquez working 7 1/3 scoreless innings. Vasquez, an 18th-round pick out of USC in 2009, is 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA. Kyle Seager had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and raise his average to .317.

Seven Jackson players, including Seager, were named to the Southern League All-Star team. The others were RHP Andrew Carraway (4-0, 2.44 ERA), RHP Jarrett Grube (4-1, 3.57 ERA, 52 strikeouts in 68 innings), RHP Kenn Kasparek (4-2, 3.45 ERA, but scratched from the All-Star team because he is on the DL), LHP Bobby LaFromboise (2-2, 2.55 ERA in 21 relief appearances), RHP Erasmo Ramirez (6-2, 3.89 ERA, five walks in 69 1/3 innings), and outfielder Jake Shaffer (.321, nine homers, 30 RBIs, league-leading 78 hits).

Single-A Clinton got blanked 5-0 by Dayton. Outfielder Kalian Sams was named the Midwest League Player of the Week after hitting .429 with nine runs, four doubles, a triple, four homers, 12 RBIs and five stolen bases. Sams is an interesting guy. He’s old to be still in Class A (he turns 25 in August), but he didn’t have a traditional baseball background growing up in The Hague, Netherlands. He’s listed at 6-2, 248 pounds. Overall this year, Sams is hitting .299 with seven homers and 18 RBIs, and has a .621 slugging percernage.

Clinton lefty James Paxton was named to the Midwest League All-Star team, the LumberKings’ lone representative. Paxton, the M’s fourth-round pick last year, didn’t sign until spring training but has dazzled since joining Clinton in mid-season. He is 2-2 with a 2.11 ERA, 25 walks, and 54 strikeouts over 38.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .215 off him.

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