Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that Seattle has completed a six-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Seattle has acquired right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns, left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser and minor league outfielder Boog Powell in exchange for first baseman Logan Morrison, infielder/outfielder Brad Miller and right-handed pitcher Danny Farquhar.
“As I said when I was hired, we need to get more flexible, more athletic and build pitching depth,” Dipoto said. “This trade allows us to do all three. Powell brings speed, defense on on-base percentage to the table and could be ready to help us as soon as 2016, while Karns and Riefenhauser give us young, but experienced, pitching options”.
Karns, who turns 28 on Nov. 25, went 7-5 with a 3.67 ERA (60 ER, 147.0 IP) in 27 games, 26 starts with Tampa Bay in 2015. He limited opponents to a .239 (132×553) average, while walking 56 and striking out 145. Karns led all American League rookies in innings pitched (147.0 IP), strikeouts (145) and game starts (26), while his 7 wins were tied for 5th-most. Among A.L. rookies with at least 100.0 innings pitched, he ranked 3rd in ERA and 2nd in opponent batting average (.239).
Karns was originally selected by Washington in the 12th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University. He made his Major League debut with the Nationals on May 28, 2013 vs. Baltimore, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits over 4.1 innings, but did not factor into the team’s 9-3 win. Karns was acquired by the Rays from the Nationals in exchange for C Jose Lobaton, LHP Felipe Rivero and OF Drew Vettleson on February 13, 2014. In parts of three Major League seasons, Karns is 8-7 with a 4.00 ERA (76 ER, 171.0) in 32 games, 31 starts with Washington (2013) and Tampa Bay (2014-15).
Riefenhauser, 25, made 17 appearances over four separate stints with the Rays in 2015, combining for a 1-0, 5.52 mark, all in relief. In his final 11 appearances (Sept. 1-end of season) he posted a 2.16 ERA (2 ER, 8.1 IP), closing the season with a career-high 7 consecutive scoreless appearances. Overall, he was with Tampa Bay April 17-May 28 (including a stint on the 15-day DL April 23-May 28 with left shoulder inflammation), June 12-17, July 1-4 and September 1 – end of season. He appeared in 29 games (all in relief) with AAA Durham, posting a 4-2, 2.86 mark with 1 save (11 ER, 34.2 IP).
Riefenhauser was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 20th round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He made his Major League debut with the Rays on April 19, 2014 vs. the Yankees, retiring all four batters faced. Overall in two seasons with Tampa, he was 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA (14 ER, 20.0 IP) in 24 relief appearances. Riefenhauser went 30-23 with a 2.77 ERA (138 ER, 448.0 IP) in 191 games, 42 starts over 6 seasons in the minor leagues.
Powell, 22, hit .295 (131×444) with 66 runs scored, 16 doubles, 9 triples, 3 home runs, 40 RBI, 61 walks, 18 stolen bases and a .385 on-base percentage combined between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham in 2015. Powell began the season with Montgomery and was named to the 2015 Southern League All-Star team. Overall with the Biscuits, he hit .328 (78×238) with 44 runs scored, 6 doubles, 6 triples, 1 home run, 22 RBI, 29 walks, 11 stolen bases and a .408 on-base percentage in 61 games. At the time of his promotion to Durham on June 26, Powell ranked among the Southern League leaders in average (3rd, .328), hits (3rd, 78), runs scored, (T3rd, 44) and on-base percentage (4th, .408). Over 56 games with Durham, Powell hit .257 (53×206) with 22 run scored, 10 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs and 18 RBI.
Powell was originally selected by Oakland in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Orange Coast College. He was traded from the Athletics along with C John Jaso, INF Daniel Roberson and cash considerations to Tampa Bay in in exchange for SS Yunel Escobar and INF/OF Ben Zobrist on January 10, 2015. Over four seasons in the minor leagues, he batted .308 (333×1082) with 170 runs scored, 34 doubles, 17 triples, 6 home runs, 95 RBI, 163 walks and 53 stolen bases in 294 games. In his career has a .401 on-base percentage, including a .451 on-base percentage in 2014 that was 2nd-best in the minor leagues.
Farquhar, 28, was 1-8, 5.12 ERA (29 ER, 51.0 IP) with 1 save in 43 games over five separate stints with Seattle in 2015. In his three-year (2013-2105) career with Seattle, Farquhar was 4-12, 3.85 ERA (76 ER, 177.2 IP) with 18 saves in 155 games. He has also appeared in the Majors with Toronto (2011), and has a career MLB mark of 4-12, 3.96 ERA (79 ER, 179.2 IP) with 18 saves in 158 games.
Miller, 26, hit .258 (113×438) with 44 runs, 22 doubles, 4 triples, 11 home runs and 46 RBI in 144 games in 2015. He appeared in games at shortstop, center field, left field, right field, second base and third base. Originally a second round pick by the Mariners in the 2011 draft, Miller appeared in 343 games with Seattle over the past three (2013-2015) seasons, batting a combined .248 (275×1111) with 48 doubles, 14 triples, 29 home runs and 118 RBI.
Morrison, 28, hit .225 (103×457) with 47 runs, 15 doubles, 3 triples, 17 home runs and 54 RBI in 146 games this season, appearing in 140 games (115 starts) at first base, 3 games (1 start) in right field & 1 start in left field. In two seasons with Seattle, he hit .241 (191×793) with 88 runs, 35 doubles, 3 triples, 28 home runs and 92 RBI in 245 games. In six Major League seasons with Miami (2010-13) & Seattle (2014-15), he has hit .246 (513×2088) with 247 runs, 108 doubles, 19 triples, 70 home runs and 254 RBI in 608 games.
The Mariners answered a challenge (by the Orioles) and are now challenging the Rays in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Nelson Cruz, Brad Miller and Mike Zunino were showered with ice cold water to help raise awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
A special guest joined the Mariners players for the Ice Bucket Challenge, as Spokane native John Oakley helped count them down to the ice bath. Oakley is a middle school coach and has been diagnosed with ALS. He is on a mission to to visit every Major League Baseball stadium with his kids.
The Mariners and Major League Baseball are participating in the second year of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Throughout the month of August, each club will host its own challenge and will then challenge another franchise, along with two other local personalities or organizations, to partake.
As a part of the initiative, MLB is donating $100,000 to The ALS Association. The funds will be used to further collaborative efforts between several organizations. Fans can join MLB by donating at ALSIceBucketChallenge.org and to make donations to an ALS organization of their choosing.
Mariners shortstop Brad Miller hit a pair of home runs in the Mariners 8-3 win over the Angels last night. Here is a video clip of his homers:
What is amazing is that this was the fourth multi-home run game of Miller’s relatively young career. In fact, Miller has hit 10 home runs in 78 career games, meaning 8 of those homers have come in multi-HR games. How does that stack up in baseball history you ask? Well, we’ve got your answer. In the awesome Baseball-Reference.com searchable era (dating back to 1916), Miller is just the third player in history to record as many as four multi-homer games in the first 80 games of a career, joining Bob Horner (ATL, 1978) and Jason Bay (PIT, 2003-2004). Here is that list, including the players that recorded three multi-HR games:
|1||Brad Miller||4||Ind. Games|
|2||Bob Horner||4||Ind. Games|
|3||Jason Bay||4||Ind. Games|
|4||Rudy York||3||Ind. Games|
|5||Hal Trosky||3||Ind. Games|
|6||Daryl Spencer||3||Ind. Games|
|7||Cory Snyder||3||Ind. Games|
|8||George Scott||3||Ind. Games|
|9||Chris Richard||3||Ind. Games|
|10||Mark Quinn||3||Ind. Games|
|11||Mark McGwire||3||Ind. Games|
|12||Dave Kingman||3||Ind. Games|
|13||Bo Jackson||3||Ind. Games|
|14||Dave Hostetler||3||Ind. Games|
|15||Willie Horton||3||Ind. Games|
|16||Jim Fuller||3||Ind. Games|
|17||Bobby Estalella||3||Ind. Games|
|18||Luke Easter||3||Ind. Games|
|19||Walt Dropo||3||Ind. Games|
|20||Jose Cruz||3||Ind. Games|
|21||Russell Branyan||3||Ind. Games|
|22||Zeke Bonura||3||Ind. Games|
|23||Wally Berger||3||Ind. Games|
The Mariners rallied late to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-7 in 10 innings Wednesday night in Cactus League play. Seattle scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to force extra innings, with John Buck coming up with a clutch 20-out, 2-run single. Abraham Almonte and Willie Bloomquist each singled to lead off the 10th inning, and Ty Kelly hit a walk-off single to improve the Mariners to 12-4-1 in Cactus League play.
Robinson Cano continued his torrid spring at the plate going 2-for-2 with 2 doubles and one RBI. Cano is now batting .632 (12×19) in 8 Cactus League games. Starting pitcher Randy Wolf recorded a no-decision allowing 6 hits and 2 runs in 4.0 innings. Shortstop Brad Miller was 2-for-2 with his team-leading third home run of the spring. Here are some video highlights of the game:
Brad Miller’s Solo Home Run:
Cano’s Slick-Fielding Double Play:
Cano’s RBI Double:
Buck’s game-tying hit:
Kelly’s walk-off hit:
And the official box score:
It’s another great lineup for tonight’s Hot Stove League. New Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon will join the show for two segments and the always entertaining Brad Miller will catch you up on his offseason. Plus, hear from new Mariners pitching coach Rick Waits, new Tacoma News Tribune beat writer Bob Dutton, and Mandy Lincoln of the Mariners Marketing department will tell you everything you need to know about this weekend’s FanFest.
Tune in from 7 to 9 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle or listen for free online here.
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. This post covers Nick Franklin batting leadoff for the first time in his MLB career, tonight’s pitching match-up between Hisashi Iwakuma and Derek Holland, and a Clemson connection.
Nick Franklin saw his name at the top of the lineup card for the first time in his Major League career Monday. “I love hitting leadoff,” Franklin said. “I’ve hit all up and down the order in my career, but feel like I’m at my best when I’m fighting off pitches and working counts.”
It will be interesting to see if Nick is leading off again Tuesday against Texas. When Franklin is seeing the ball well, he proved to be one of the more patient and effective hitters on the team. Through his first 35 games, the M’s second baseman hit .290/.350/.473. In his last 36 games Franklin is batting .177/.255/.355.
It will be up to Hisashi Iwakuma to keep the Rangers off the board Tuesday night. He’s coming off his 13th quality start of the season, holding the A’s to three runs over seven innings on August 21. Talking with Iwakuma yesterday after batting practice (through interpreter Antony Suzuki), he said he threw less sliders to the A’s in his last start and more fastballs. When asked what makes his 90 mph fastball to effective, Iwakuma said it was because of how well he hides the ball in his delivery.
Iwakuma will need to be especially stingy Tuesday. Texas starter Derek Holland has made three starts against Seattle this year and has struck out 26 batters over 19 2/3 innings while allowing just two earned runs (0.92 ERA).
There was a Clemson connection Monday night at Safeco Field. Jeff Baker was in left field for the Rangers while Brad Miller was at shortstop for the Mariners. “He was a big reason why I wanted to go to Clemson,” Miller said. With 59 career homers, Baker left Clemson as the school’s all time home run leader and was part of the Tigers 2002 College World Series team with Khalil Greene and Michael Johnson.
“All my friends wanted to play at Florida, but I knew I wanted to play at Clemson,” Brad explained. “What Baker, Khalil, and Johnson did there made me so excited to play for Clemson.”
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today Aaron talks with Brad Miller about facing his former Team USA teammate Sonny Gray.
It didn’t take many questions to get Brad Miller talking about his former teammate, Sonny Gray.
“He’s a competitor, number one. That’s what I love about him.”
Gray, the 18th overall pick in 2011 by the A’s, and Miller, taken in the 2nd round that same year, are now Major League rookies after both suited up for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2009 and 2010. Tuesday night in Oakland these two with face each other as Gray makes just this third Major League start.
With a 94 mph fastball and a deadly curveball, Miller was quick to say that Gray “pitches like he’s seven-feet tall.” Truth is, he’s 5-foot-11.
“Sonny was the guy we wanted on the mound that year,” Miller said with no hesitation. And that really is saying something since in 2010 Gerrit Cole — the number one overall pick in 2011 — was also a member of Team USA’s rotation.
To show you what a small baseball world it really is, Miller, Gray and the rest of Team USA lost in the 2010 Gold Medal Game of the World University Games in Tokyo to a Team Cuba squad that featured the following players:
- Leyonis Martin, Rangers leadoff hitter
- Yoenis Cespedis, home run derby winner
- Henry Urrutia, 21 games with Baltimore
- Alfredo Gonzalez, signed with Philadelphia for 6 years/$50 million
- Alfredo Despaigne, broke Cespedis’ Cuban home run record
Miller has faced Gray just one time. On June 16, Gray started for the Sacramento River Cats while Miller was the Rainiers leadoff hitter. “He got me with a curveball, but I got a hit off him before he was done.”
Gray defeated the Rainiers that night by allowing three runs over six innings. Hopefully he won’t have the same success Tuesday night vs. the Mariners.