Mariner Squalls + Minors Rewind 07/17/14: Checking on Rusney

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== Plus news & notes ==

The Mariners will send representatives to check out Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo when he holds a “showcase” next week.

Castillo has jumped through the necessary hoops to become a free agent.  Of course, Cuban hitters are muy popular at the moment with Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu and Yoenis Cespedes smashing balls all over various stadiums.

Castillo is not in their class power-wise, but is known for speed combined with a decent amount of pop.  Baseball America has coverage here, and here’s their video:

Mariner speculation has run a bit higher than usual due to the M’s search for a RH outfield bat, and the fact that Castillo could have a short trip to the majors.  And he’s represented by Jay-Z’s group, who brought Robinson Cano to Seattle.

Jack Zduriencik downplayed the buzz, saying that they always send scouts to such things.

Worth following.

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Stefen Romero returned to the majors now that the enhanced bullpen is no longer needed, and there’s still no one else to play in the outfield.

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Taijuan Walker‘s AAA start was moved back a day, apparently to give him extra rest and to tamp down expectations that he will start for the Big Club next Tuesday.

Lloyd McClendon indicated another “bullpen” start might be possible, though Friday’s extended extra-innings game might throw a wrench in that.

Erasmo Ramirez is probably the alternative.  It could also be a trade showcase for e-RAM, who clearly has no long-term shot at a rotation slot.

One reason for that is James Paxton‘s imminent return from the disabled list.  He got a start at Everett Thursday (see below).

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Daily Prospect-palooza

  • Mariners affiliate scoreboard here.
  • The brass pronounced themselves happy with Paxton’s rehab start: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.
  • Corey Simpson and Austin Cousino homered to help Paxton’s cause.
  • Meanwhile, e-RAM pitched for Tacoma:  6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
  • Jesus Montero was the hitting star with a home run and two singles.
  • Jackson got a home run and two singles from D.J. Peterson, a homer and single for Dario Pizzano, and a double and a triple for Patrick Kivlehan.
  • High Desert squeezed out a win with a run in the 10th.  The hitting star was Gabirel Guerrero, who hit a homer, a double and a single.  Dylan Unsworth got 9 K in just 5.1 IP, but allowed 4 ER.
  • Edwin Diaz was brilliant for Clinton: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K.  One of the best lines of the year.  Jeff Zimmerman and Luis Caballero contributed homers.
  • And right when I did a featrue on Zack Littel he has an ugly Pulaski outing: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.  But then again it was the same deal where he gives up a ton of singles.
  • On the other hand, another guy I’ve been touting — Osmel Morales — had a far better outing for the Arizona rookies: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K.   Neither of the glamor prospects (Alex Jackson  and Gareth Morgan) had a hit.
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