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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

October 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM

A few Thursday morning Mariners’ links, notes and thoughts

Greetings from Missoula, Montana!

I’m not on vacation, but just getting away from city life a little.

Congrats to the Kansas City Royals on making it to the World Series. I’m happy for  Times’ staffer Jayson “Puns” Jenks and my old boss Dale Phelps of the TNT, who are both from KC and diehard lifelong Royals’ fans. So for Jenks that’s like 13 years.

For Mariners fans watching the Royals’ unreal run through the playoffs – eight straight wins – it’s hard not to imagine what Seattle could’ve done if given the chance. Kansas City isn’t a particularly potent offense. But their solid pitching, including a spectacular bullpen, exceptional speed and defense and timely hitting have carried them to this point. They’ve waited a long time to get there. They also waited out Dayton Moore for eight-years to build this organization into something.

There were signs that this team was coming together the previous two seasons as Alex Gordon grew from converted third basemen in to all-star left fielder and prospects like Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas reached the big leagues. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Moustakas was sent to Class AAA each of the last two seasons because of hitting struggles and the team’s prized pitching prospects never materialized into much, forcing them to trade top prospect Will Myers and two other players to the Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis.

In the end, it all sort of worked together. It’s not to say the Royals are a great team. They are a good team that is playing very well at the moment. And that was always the hope for the Mariners. Get to the postseason – use their exceptional pitching and win some close games.

A few links to read from this …

  • Here’s Andy McCullough’s game story from the KC Star. He can really write and it shows in his gamer.  I can only imagine how cool/stressful it would be to write about something like that.
  • Star columnist Sam Mellinger writes about the Royals changing the identity of a city. Seeing some of the things, he wrote, it reminded me how much a team can chance a city. We saw it with the Seahawks.
  • Yahoo Columnist Jeff Passan, who lives in KC and covered the Royals for the Star, has this column on how the Royals got to this point.  Some great background on Dayton Moore and what went into it.
  • And if you only read one of these links, it should be this one. It’s a story from spring training. Brilliant features writer Chris Jones wrote about Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele and his climb to the big leagues. In talking with people around the PCL, there wasn’t a more respected person or manager.

Hirings ….

It looks as though the Rangers will hire Jeff Banister, the Pirates bench coach, to replace Ron Washington as their full-time manager for next season. Tim Bogar had been the interim manager after Washington resigned abruptly due to marital issues.

New Astros manager AJ Hinch hired Trey Hillman, a former Royals manager and Dodgers coach, to be his bench coach.

Winter League Update

Lots of offense last night in Arizona as the Surprise Saguaros defeated Scottsdale, 13-11. Mariners’ catching prospect John Hicks had the game-winning hit with a two-run single in the top of the ninth. But Hicks wasn’t the only Mariners’ prospect to have a big night (BOX SCORE)

DJ Peterson went 1-for-3 with a RBI double, two walks and two runs scored.

Here’s numbers from the very useful Twitter follow @MILBMariners

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 11.36.38 AM

Mariners director of minor league operations Chris Gwynn talked with MILB.com about several prospects

In Venezuela …. Gabe Noriega went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double in a 4-3 loss for LaraAnd reliever Mayckol Guaipe pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a hit and striking out another for Maganelles. 

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