Mariners Mini Morsels: August 23

Aaron Gleeman of hardballtalk.nbcsports.com reports that Twins catcher Joe Mauer was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list yesterday after multiple foul tips off his mask in Monday’s game led to dizziness 24 hours later. As LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes, Mauer is the fifth catcher currently on the concussion DL.  At any given time there are somewhere between 60 and 75 catchers on MLB rosters, and within the past 30 days around 15 percent of them have been on the DL specifically designed for concussions. MLB has made major strides in terms of concussion awareness and treatment in general, but it’s time to take a long look at the physical toll catching takes on someone’s brain before careers and lives are ruined.

 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote a piece on Jack Z’s status with the Ms, stating:

“When confronted specifically regarding a rumor circulating that there could be interest in Yankees GM Brian Cashman should there be a GM change in Seattle, Armstrong offered praise of Cashman but stopped well short of talking about Cashman in that context.

‘I can assure you we haven’t had conversations with anybody about changing GMs. Jack’s our GM, and it’s a situation where we’re finishing the season. Jack’s our GM until he’s not our GM.  I’m a fan of Brian Cashman. We’re both Kentucky guys. He’s an astute baseball man, and I like him very much,’ Armstrong said, revealing that he’d asked permission to interview Cashman before he hired Zduriencik five years ago. Should Zduriencik be kept only through 2014 to fulfill his current contract, Cashman’s contract would be up then. However, he has important family reasons to want to remain in New York, beyond his obvious loyalty to the Yankees, where he started as a low-level office worker in the late 1980s.”

 

Ben Badler of Baseball America writes that the MLB and the Japanese NPB league have been discussing changes to the current posting system. However, changes do not appear to be on the near horizon.  Badler notes:

“Several teams expect Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka to make the jump to MLB next season ….  Tanaka, a 24-year-old who some scouts project as a potential No. 2 starter, can immediately step into a major league rotation.”

Badler summarizes some of Tanaka’s stats and traits later in the article.. In a strong season for Rakuten, Tanaka has a perfect 17-0 record, with a 1.20 ERA, 130 strikeouts and 22 walks in 158 innings.  At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Tanaka throws a low-90s fastball that can touch 96 mph—though he throws it on a flat plane—and he has two secondary pitches that have earned grades of 60 or better on the 20-80 scale, including a 70 splitter with late downward action to keep hitters off his fastball. “His low- to mid-80s slider is another plus weapon, while he’ll mix in a curveball as well,” Badler reports.

 

Neat Tweets

 

 

 

Everett Aqua Sox pitcher named to MiLB Team of the Month.  Lars Huijer (19) of Hoofddorp, Netherlands, went 5-1 with a 0.82 ERA for the Everett AquaSox. The right-hander tossed 33 innings and led the Northwest League in wins, ERA, WHIP (0.70) and average against (.125). Huijer ended July with a 23 1/3-inning scoreless streak, allowing just one hit in each of his last two starts, starts which lasted seven and eight innings, respectively. The Seattle Mariners signed him as a non-drafted free agent in June 2011.

—From milb.com

 

Factoids

Zack Wheeler: 2nd Mets rookie to beat Braves at least 3x in season. Other: Tom Seaver. ESPN Stats & Info Via @EliasSports

 

Ichiro’s 2,722 hits in 13 MLB seasons is the most ever for any 13-year span in history.

 

High Desert Mavericks: Ji-Man Choi 181 AB with 1.045 OPS, Patrick Kivlehan 226 AB with .985 OPS, Chris Taylor 269 AB with .950 OPS, Steven Proscia 85 AB with .936 OPS, Ramon Morla 175 AB with .934 OPS, and 6 other players have OPS figures north of .800.

 

Clayton Kershaw has led the major leagues in ERA in each of the past two seasons and has the lowest career ERA in history among pitchers with at least 100 career starts and 1,000 career innings. His 2.63 betters Whitey Ford (2.75), Sandy Koufax (2.76), Spud Chandler (2.84) and Jim Palmer (2.86).

—From John Klima at  USA Today

 

I’m no fan of the Yankees, but I was impressed by how his teammates came on to the field to congratulate Ichiro on his 4,000 hits milestone, and I was impressed by the fans standing “O” for him, which was classy. After the A-Rod debacle, their front office had to love this positive image for a change.