I’m picking up the Mariners on Monday in St. Pete, filling in for Geoff on the four-game series with Tampa Bay. On the way, I’m stopping in Jackson, Tenn., to check out the Generals this weekend, so I should have some good reports coming up. I’m flying out tomorrow and will get to see two of the big three, if all goes well — Taijuan Walker tomorrow night and Danny Hultzen on Sunday. James Paxton is working tonight’s game, hoping to get past his recent spell of wildness.
Speaking of Jackson, Andrew Carraway — who as I’ve said before is trying to make it a Big Four — ran his record to 3-0 with five solid innings in a 5-1 win over the Tennessee Smokies. Nick Franklin has his average up to .320 with a .850 OPS, which is encouraging. Joe Dunigan has six homers and a .600 slugging percentage, while Denny Almonte is hitting .333 with a .943 OPS, and Rich Poythress is at .293/.391/.440, so there are some encouraging offensive performances.
Speaking of which, Carlos Triunfel is on a bit of a roll for Tacoma, with five hits in his last seven at-bats. He is hitting .263/.309/.421 — not great, but heading in the right direction. Vinnie Catricala has been a big disappointment so far, hitting just .200 with a .464 OPS.
The biggest disappointment of all in the early going, however, has been Guillermo Pimentel, a highly regarded outfielder who made a few of the Mariners’ Top 10 prospects lists. Pimentel, playing for the Class A Clinton LumberKings, is hitting just .116 in 19 games, with 24 strikeouts in 69 at-bats. But he does have two homers, and here’s the reason not to panic: Pimentel is just 19 years old. There’s a long, long way to go in his development.