== Jabari creates a tsunami of Blash Splash, while Walker is, well, shaky ==
Tons of intrigue in one AAA game in El Paso on Tuesday.
And the game wasn’t really close or otherwise interesting.
In fact, the Rainiers won 13-4 in a relative laugher.
But for Mariners followers, a lot to pay attention to.
Needless to say, it takes quite a bit to take the spotlight away from top Mariner prospect Taijuan Walker as he nears a return to the majors.
But Jabari Blash did it.
He lit up West Texas but good with no fewer than three Blash Splash longballs in one game.
First, a three-run shot on a line drive to center field; then a solo blast on a line shot to left; and finally yet another three-run shot on another line drive to left (video link here — third one only).
We always knew the native of the U.S. Virgin Islands could hit for power — it was just a matter of consistency.
Well, with Nos. 11, 12 and 13 in place by early June, the consistency is looking pretty good.
And the 33 walks are looking really good, too.
Strikeouts? Not so much, but sluggers who walk can get away with higher K-rates.
You may recall Blash had 9 HR last August, giving him 23 HR in his last 83 games. That’s slugging.
Might he show up in Seattle sometime this summer? Yes, I’m beginning to think so. Maybe around the All-Star Break. His batting average is low, but mostly due to low BABIP. Of course, the high K-rate contributes to that as well.
On to Taijuan. He only made it through 2.0 IP on 56 pitches, walking four.
So “rusty” is probably the right word.
He did strikeout four as well, and only gave up one run, but even the Mariners public relations crew called it a “shaky” outing.
And the Mariner brass made it clear later that Walker had not put himself in line to fill the rotation spot for which Brandon Maurer and Erasmo Ramirez have been tossing back and forth like a hot potato.
Given the reaction, it seems pretty clear that the Powers that Be were disappointed that Walker did not look better, particularly since the Big Club is in pretty desperate need of another starter.
- Logan Morrison: 1-for-5 with his 2nd Tacoma home run.
- Newly signed veteran Xavier Nady: 3-for-4, double, walk.
- Jesus Montero: 3-for-5, 2 doubles.
- The aforementioned Maurer, in relief: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- Another newly signed veteran, Todd Coffey: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
- Jackson got three doubles from Patrick Kivlehan, and a decent but brief start from Victor Sanchez (4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K).
- Stephen Kohlscheen got his 5th save, and his ERA is just 1.27. It would be nice to see him in Tacoma. You may recall we were touting Kohlscheen along with another guy you may have heard of: Dominic Leone (and also Carson Smith).
- High Desert was the uncharacteristically low-scoring team — just two runs. Jabari Henry did get his 10th double, but he couldn’t keep up with his fellow Jabari, who jumped past him on the organizational HR list.
- And in case you’re wondering, here it is:
|13||(not that) Burt Reynolds||25||HDS,CLI||A+,A||28||6||.255||.352||.564||.916|