Of course, overshadowing the immediate return of the offensive slump in the 5-0 loss to Texas Tuesday night was the news that Taijuan Walker had been scratched from his planned start for AAA Tacoma.
Walker reported stiffness in the shoulder that had caused him to miss the beginning of the season with what had been described as an inflamed bursa sac.
General Manager Jack Zduriencik took a “wait-and-see” attitude in the official report, so we’ll see. Of course, when the other shoe dropped on Danny Hultzen, it was the worst possible news. Let’s hope that’s not the case with Taijuan.
Many of us thought Walker should have been slated for the MLB start Tuesday, but the club chose caution and went with Blake Beavan.
Now it turns out that Beavan had issues too!
Beavan said after the game that he was battling a “dead arm” and lacked velocity and command. Nevertheless, he made it through 4.0 IP and gave up only two runs, on back-to-back homers to Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff.
But who knows if Beavan can come back for the next turn through the rotation.
So here’s the checklist with the currently unavailable in red (although Beavan is uncertain at this point):
- Felix Hernandez — no health problems so far (better not jinx him)
- Hisashi Iwakuma — strained finger; yet to appear in a game of any kind
- Taijuan Walker — shoulder inflammation; imminent return now uncertain
- James Paxton — started the year hot, but then strained a lat muscle
Randy Wolf— bailed]
Scott Baker— bailed]
- Erasmo Ramirez — healthy, but only one solid start and two iffy ones
- Roenis Elias — cut to the head of the line, and holding his own
- Chris Young — apparently healthy, but hasn’t pitched a full season since 2007
- Blake Beavan — got his shot, but had arm issues as well
- Brandon Maurer — back issues; returned to action as a reliever and not stretched out
Hector Noesi— club decided they’d better trade him or else they might have to use him
- Chance Ruffin — yes, he’s actually next, or …
- Anthony Fernandez — two years ago, when both were at High-A, he was better than Elias, but still …
- Victor Sanchez — Felix was in the bigs at 19, but, no, I don’t think we’ll see it Update: Holy cripes! Sanchez on the DL too!
- Tom Wilhelmsen? — He’s been a starter before, but he’s not stretched out.
- Andrew Carraway or James Gillheeney — both look like AAAA guys, but Gilheeney had a decent start in Beavan’s place for Tacoma
No, despite my cheeky headline, there are no MRIs scheduled for Walker or Beavan (that have been reported anyway).
- Hyper-detailed baseball-reference.com box score here.
Texas lefty Robbie Ross (also sometimes Robert Ross Jr.) made his third career start after 123 bullpen appearances over the two prior seasons.
He mixed in low-90s heat with a mid-80s slider and effective curve, and the Mariners’ bats couldn’t do anything with him.
The one-day revival got stopped in its tracks, and the M’s had zero extra-base hits for the second time in three games. And they only got one in the game before that.
Seattle is now 7-6 going into the big Wednesday night showdown between Felix and Yu Darvish.
That being said, they trail only Oakland in the West, and would be in position for a wild card if the season ended today.
So there’s that.
- Obviously, no Walker, so James Gillheeney stepped in and went 5.0 IP with 1 ER and 6 K.
- And Stephen Pryor made his Tacoma debut (after a long recovery from a torn lat muscle and four games at AA Jackson) with: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
- Nick Franklin: 4th HR of the short year. He was lifted in the 8th, so I don’t know if something is going on there (like having to head to Texas if Logan Morrison goes on the DL? — Update: reports now indicate that, yes, Franklin will join the MLB club in Morrison’s spot).
- Little Nicky is at .395/.469/.744. All four HR, natch, left-handed.
- Cole Gillespie is making a case for another MLB shot after a double, a triple and two walks. He’s at .405/.500/.730. Oddly enough, Gillespie would probably displace fellow Oregon State Beaver Stefen Romero as the RH outfield option if he got the call.
- High Desert lost in the 9th despite Patrick Kivlehan‘s third HR.
- Clinton lost a pitcher’s duel with Edwin Diaz on the LumberKing side. His line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Lars Huijer and Emilio Pagan had scoreless relief outings.