Mariners second baseman Robinson Canó today presided over the ribbon cutting for the RC22 DREAM School in his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.
The school was built by Canó and his RC22 Foundation. The Montessori school will serve 100 children, ages 3-8, and will offer holistic community and employment training programs for the people who live in San Pedro de Macoris.
The RC22 Foundation was created in 2010 to positively impact the lives of underserved children and communities through education and health care initiatives.
Now that the school is open, the focus has turned to providing supplies for students and administrators. Kits for Kidz has a link if you’d like to donate. For $20, you can purchase a kit with 30 essential items needed for an entire school year, along with a backpack. A donation of $1,000 will provide supplies for students and teachers in one classroom for the school year, and $2,500 will supply uniforms for all the students during the RC22 DREAM School’s inaugural year.
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto brought in a name that he was quite familiar with over the last few years, signing free agent catcher Chris Iannetta to a 1-year contract through the 2016 season.
“This move improves our depth at a critical position,” said Dipoto. “Chris provides us with a solid veteran presence behind the plate, as well as an experienced Major League hitter with strong on-base skills who will lengthen our lineup.”
While he was the Angels GM, Jerry acquired Iannetta from the Colorado Rockies prior to the 2012 season in exchange for right-hander Tyler Chatwood and the familiarity with each other has led to a reunion. At the moment, Iannetta joins Mike Zunino, Jesus Sucre and Steven Baron as the catchers on the Mariners 40-man roster.
Iannetta, 32, hit .188 (51×272) with 28 runs, 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 34 RBI in 92 games with the Angels last season. He appeared in 85 games behind the plate including 80 starts.
In 10 Major League seasons, he has hit .231 (590×2553) with 332 runs, 125 doubles, 10 triples, 100 home runs, 378 RBI and a .351 on-base percentage in 852 games with Colorado (2006-11) and Los Angeles-AL (2012-15). His .351 on-base percentage since the start of 2006 is T3rd-best amongst catchers (min. 3,000 PA) behind San Francisco’s Buster Posey (.375), Toronto’s Russell Martin (.352) and tied with Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz (.351). Amongst catchers since 2006 (min. 800 G), his .995 fielding percentage leads the Majors.
Iannetta was selected by Colorado in the 4th round of the 2004 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.
WINTER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS:
- LHP Ryan Horstman went 0-0 with a 0.93 ERA (1 ER, 9.2 IP), while walking 6 and striking out 5 in 9 relief appearances with the Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. He limited opponents to a .226 (7×31) average, including a .167 (4×24) clip vs. right-handed batters. He tossed 8.1 scoreless innings over his first 8 games, before allowing a solo home run in his appearance on Nov. 17 vs. Scottsdale (1.1,2,1,1,1,1,HR).
- LHP James Paxton is 2-4 with a 4.60 ERA (15 ER, 29.1 IP) in 7 starts with the Javelina’s. He has limited opponents to .308 (37×120) average, while walking 8 and striking out 29 batters. In his last start he recorded the loss in Peoria’s 0-5 loss at Scottsdale on Nov. 18 (5.0,8,3,3,0,7).
- After allowing 2 runs in his first appearance with Peoria, LHP David Rollins has allowed only 1 run on 4 hits and struck out 4 over his last 8 games (7.2 IP). Overall he wrapped up his AFL campaign, going 0-0 with 1 save and a 2.79 ERA (3 ER, 9.2 IP) in 9 relief appearances. He limited opponents to a .222 (8×36) average, while walking 3 and striking out 11.
- 1B/OF Kyle Petty has hit safely in 15 of 18 games, including 9 multi-hit contests with Adelaide. Overall he is batting .394 (28×71) with 14 runs scored, 5 doubles, 7 home runs, 22 RBI, 3 walks and 6 stolen bases in 18 games with the Bite in the ABL. Since Nov. 1, he is batting .429 (18×42) with 8 runs scored, 3 doubles, 6 home runs, 19 RBI and 4 stolen bases in last 11 games. Petty currently leads the Australian Baseball League in home runs (7), slugging percentage (.761), total bases (54) and HR/AB (1/10.14), while also ranking T1st in extra-base hits (12), T2nd in hits (28) and stolen bases (6), 3rd in RBI (22) and average (.394) and T4th in runs scored (14).
- INF Jordan Cowan has hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games for Adelaide, batting .356 (16×45) with 7 runs scored, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 2 walks and 4 stolen bases. Overall in 18 games, Cowan is batting .308 (24×78) with 8 runs scored, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 3 walks and 8 stolen bases. He leads the ABL in stolen bases (8), while ranking 3rd in at-bats (77).
- RHP Kody Kerski is 1-1 with 4 saves and a 1.35 ERA (1 ER, 6.2 IP) in 8 relief appearances with the Bite. Since moving to the closer role on Nov. 6, he is 1-0 with 4 saves (4-for-4 in save opportunities) over 5 scoreless outings (5.0 IP). During this stretch he has allowing only 3 hits, walked 0 and struck out 5.
- LHP Vidal Nuño is 5-1 with a 1.98 ERA (9 ER, 41.0 IP) in 7 starts with Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has limited opponents to a .225 (34×151) average, while walking 5 and striking out 27. He has not allowed a walk in his last 3 starts (17.0 IP). Nuño did not allow an earned run (1 R) over his first 12.0 innings in first 2 starts, Oct. 17 vs. Zulia (6.0,4,0,0,1,4) and Oct. 25 at Lara (6.0,2,1,0,2,5). Nuño is currently leads in the VWL in WHIP (0.95), while ranking 2nd in wins (5), 5th in ERA (1.98). Also among VWL starters he ranks 1st in fewest baserunners per 9.0 innings (8.56) and in lowest walk per 9.0 inning ratio (0.88).
MARINERS RE-SIGN MINOR LEAGUERS FIELDS AND SCHEPEL
OF Arby Fields, 24, spent season with Single-A Clinton in the Midwest League, batting .262 (83×317) with 51 runs scored, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 23 RBI, 57 walks and 28 stolen bases in 91 games.
- League Leader – Finished T3rd in the Midwest League in on base percentage (.379) and T7th with 28 stolen bases.
- Impressive Streak – Reached base safely in 35 consecutive games, April 28-July 1…during the streak he hit .328 (41×125) with 32 runs scored, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 15 RBI, 35 walks and 10 stolen bases…his streak was the 2nd-longest in the Midwest League this season.
- Hit Streak – Hit safely in a season-high 9-game hitting streak (10 G), April 28-May 27…during this stretch hit .483 (14×29) with 11 runs scored, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 5 RBI, 5 walks and 3 stolen bases.
- Multi-Hits – Recorded 25 multi-hit games, including 5 season-high 3-hit games.
- About the Injury – On the 7-day Disabled List, May 1-19 with right oblique strain.
- Where He Came From – Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 34th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft from Los Osos HS (Rancho Cucamonga, CA), but did not sign…selected San Diego Padres in the 27th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft Draft from Cypress College (Cypress, CA).
- Welcome to Seattle – Signed a minor league contract with Seattle on Oct. 11, 2013; resigned by Seattle on Oct. 17, 2014 and Nov. 17, 2015.
RHP Kyle Schepel, 25, went 1-3 with 4 saves and a 3.21 ERA (15 ER, 42.0 IP) in 25 relief appearances combined between Single-A Clinton in the Midwest League, Single-A Bakersfield in the California League and Triple-A Tacoma in the PCL.
- Welcome to Seattle – Signed a minor league contract on June 3, 2015…released from MiL contract by the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 28.
- Clinton Highlights – Made 2 relief appearances with Clinton, June 8-14.
- California Dreaming – Spent the majority of the season with Bakersfield, appearing in 22 games in relief, June 15-Sept. 5…limited opponents to a .192 (25×130) average, while walking 15 and striking out 45.
- Lucky 11 – Averaged 11.0 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (45 SO, 36.2 IP), including striking out a season-high 5 batters: July 8 at San Jose (3.2,4,1,1,1,5) and Aug. 20 at San Jose (2.0,1,0,0,1,5).
- Finding a Groove – After allowing 9 runs over his first 3 appearances (2.0 IP), went 1-1 with 4 saves and a 1.56 ERA (6 ER, 34.2 IP) over final 12 appearances with the Blaze.
- No Runs for You – Did not allow a run over 10.2 innings (6 G), July 31-Aug. 20…allowed only 3 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 13.
- Tacoma Bound – Made Triple-A debut in only appearance with Tacoma on Sept. 7 at Las Vegas (1.0,0,0,0,3,2) after being promoted on Sept. 6.
- Non-Drafted Free Agent – Originally signed by Arizona as a non-drafted free agent on Sept. 23, 2012.
McKAY ON MLB NETWORK
Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay phones in to MLB Now to discuss the 2016 club and the organizations plans for player development. Click here to listen to the interview.
TRAINING NEVER STOPS
After having a successful rookie campaign with the Everett AquaSox in 2015, outfielder Braden Bishop has is already hard at work preparing the 2016 season.
OF Braden Bishop began his professional career with the Short-A Everett AquaSox, batting .320 (70×219) with 34 runs scored, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 22 RBI, 12 HBP, 5 walks and 13 stolen bases in 56 games.
- Welcome to the Organization – Selected by Seattle in the 3rd round (94th overall) out of the University of Washington in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
- Seeing Stars – Named to the Northwest League Post-Season All-Star Team (outfielder).
- Among the Best – Tied for the Northwest League in HBP (12), while also ranking 2nd in average (.320), T8th in hits (70), 9th in on base percentage (.367) and 12th in OPS (.760).
- Player Of The Week – Named Northwest League Player of the Week, Aug. 17-23…hit safely in all 6 games he appeared during the week, batting .385 (10×26) with 4 runs scored, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 9 RBI, 1 walks and 3 stolen bases.
- Getting On Base – Reached base safely in 47 of 54 games with an at-bat, including 41 games with a hit…reached base safely in a season-high 16 consecutive games, July 8-26 (.294/20×68, 15 R, 2 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 3 HBP, BB, 3 SB).
- Professional Debut – Went 1-for-2 with 2 runs scored and 1 walk in his pro debut on June 18 vs. Eugene.
- Mutli-Hits – Recorded 21 multi-hit games, including 4 3-hit games and 2 season-high 4-hit games: Aug. 9 at Vancouver (4×5, R) and Aug. 25 vs. Salem-Keizer (4×5, 2 RBI).
- Streaking – Hit safely in a season-high 10 games, July 11-23 (.295/13×44, 12 R, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 HBP, 2 SB).
- Getting in a Groove – After batting .111 (3×27) over first 8 games (June 18-26), hit .349 (67×192) with 30 runs scored, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 20 RBI, 9 HBP, 4 walks and 12 stolen bases.
- August Rush – Hit .408 (29×71) with 7 runs scored, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 13 RBI, 1 walk and 7 stolen bases in 18 games in August…his .408 average was the 2nd-highest in the Northwest League, trailing only teammate Drew Jackson (.417)…also ranked in the league during the month in on base percentage (2nd, .447), OPS (2nd, .997), slugging percentage (3rd, .549), hits (T4th, 29)
- Homer Happy – Hit 1st and 2nd career home runs in back-to-back games Aug. 18 vs. Spokane (2×5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI) and Aug. 19 vs. Spokane (2×5, R, HR, 2 RBI).
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto and Manager Scott Servais announced today that the Mariners have added Casey Candaele to the Major League Staff as the first base coach and Mike Hampton as the bullpen coach.
Candaele and Hampton join previously announced coaches Tim Bogar (Bench Coach), Edgar Martinez (Hitting Coach), Mel Stottlemyre (Pitching Coach) and Manny Acta (Third Base Coach) on Servais’ Mariners staff.
“Casey brings a great presence and high baseball IQ to our staff,” Servais said. “He’ll be working with our outfielders and on baserunning, both areas that he is uniquely prepared for given his experience over the past five years. Mike brings a tremendous amount of experience. His competitive nature will team well with Mel Stottlemyre as they help guide our pitching staff through the season.”
Candaele, 54, spent the 2015 season as the Texas Rangers field coordinator where he oversaw all on-field instruction for minor league position players while also organizing spring training and instructional league. He spent the previous four seasons (2011-14) as the organization’s minor league infield and base running coordinator.
From 2000-10, he held various coaching positions at San Luis Obispo (CA) High School and summer collegiate baseball leagues following his playing career. Candaele had an 18-year playing career (1983-2000) in the Montreal, Houston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Los Angeles-NL, Pittsburgh and Florida organizations. In parts of nine Major League seasons with the Expos (1986-1988), Astros (1988-1993) and Indians (1996-97), he hit .250 (483×1934) with 206 runs, 86 doubles, 20 triples, 11 home runs and 139 RBI in 754 games.
Casey was primarily a second baseman during his MLB career, but played nearly every position on the diamond, appearing at First Base (1 G), Second Base (343 games, 237 games started), Third Base (54 G, 29 GS), Shortstop (118 G, 62 GS), Left Field (86 G, 36 GS), Center Field (78 G, 50 GS) and Right Field (38 G, 17 GS).
He played collegiately at the University of Arizona (1980-83) where he helped the Wildcats to the 1980 NCAA National Championship. Casey’s late mother, Helen Callaghan St. Aubin, played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Casey and his mother are believed to be the only mother/son combination to have both played professional baseball at the highest levels available.
Hampton, 43, served two seasons as a pitching coach in the Angels minor league system with the Arizona League Angels (2014) and AA Arkansas (2013) following a 20-year playing career.
In 16 Major League seasons with Seattle (1993), Houston (1994-99, 2009), New York-NL (2000), Colorado (2001-02), Atlanta (2003-05, 08) and Arizona (2010), he compiled a 148-115 record with a 4.06 ERA (1024 ER, 2268.1 IP) with 1387 strikeouts in 419 games including 355 starts. Hampton had five straight seasons of 200.0-plus innings (1997-2001) and made 32+ starts in each of those seasons.
He appeared in the postseason six times with Houston (1997, 1998, 1999), New York-NL (2000) & Atlanta (2003, 2004), combining to go 2-4 with a 3.74 ERA (27 ER, 65.0 IP) with 53 strikeouts in 11 games including 10 starts.
The two-time All-Star (1999 with Houston & 2001 with Colorado) won five Silver Slugger Awards (1999-2003) and won a Gold Glove in 2003. He played in the postseason six times and was the NLCS MVP with the Mets in 2000. In 2003 he became the first pitcher to win a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the same season. He finished second in the 1999 Cy Young Award voting when he went 22-4 with a 2.90 ERA with the Houston Astros.
Hampton was originally drafted by the Mariners in the 6th round of the 1990 amateur draft out of Crystal River High School (Crystal River, FL). He made his Major League debut with Seattle in 1993, appearing in 13 games including 3 starts.
The Mariners family is mourning the passing of the team’s first physician and medical director Dr. Larry Pedegana.
Dr. Pedegana, an orthopedist who cared for Mariners players from the team’s founding in 1977 until 2006, died of cancer on November 13, at the age of 74.
Mariners President and COO Kevin Mather issued this statement today:
“Larry Pedegana was a very important member of the Mariners organization from its inception in 1977 to 2006. His contributions of his skill and advice and service to our franchise, our players and our training staff are too many to mention. Larry often went above and beyond to take care of the Mariners and our families. We are indebted to him for his dedication to Mariners baseball.
“On behalf of the Mariners, I extend my deepest sympathy to his family and many friends.”
Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone described Dr. Pedegana’s long career and life-long bond with many of the Mariners players he treated including Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson.
When Dr. Pedegana retired, he was honored on Opening Day, April 3, 2006, with a pregame presentation of a “Silver Scalpel.” At the time, Dr. Pedegana said:
“I am looking forward to devoting more time to my private practice. It’s exciting to take the expertise I have acquired with the Mariners and apply it to recreational and amateur athletes. It will also be nice have a chance to take some time off in the summer for the first time in 29 years.”
There will be a celebration of life on Sunday, December 13, at Safeco Field. Doors open at 1pm, with a program beginning at 2:30pm.
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today the following roster moves:
- Patrick Kivlehan, INF, selected from AAA Tacoma.
- Boog Powell, OF, selected from AAA Tacoma.
- Danny Hultzen, LHP, designated for assignment.
The Mariners Major League 40-man roster is now full.
Kivlehan, 25, hit .256 (121×472) with 58 runs, 25 doubles, 1 triple, 22 home runs, 73 RBI, 36 walks and 14 stolen bases in 123 games in his first full season with AAA Tacoma. He participated for the U.S.A. in the Pan Am Games, hitting .342 with a team-leading 3 home runs. He led the Rainiers in games played (123), while also finishing among the team leaders in home runs (T1st/22), doubles (2nd, 25), RBI (3rd, 73), hits (3rd, 121) and walks (3rd, 36). His 22 home runs ranked T7th in the Pacific Coast League. Kivlehan appeared in games at 6 different positions: first base (30 G/26 GS), third base (26 G/23 GS), left field (48 G/46 GS), center field (11 G/9 GS), right field (13 G/11 GS) and designated hitter (7 GS).
Kivlehan was the Mariners 4th round selection in the 2012 Amateur Draft out of Rutgers University. In four minor league seasons in the Mariners organization, he has hit .288 (507×1762) with 262 runs, 99 doubles, 16 triples, 70 home runs, 318 RBI, 54 stolen bases, a .352 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage in 461 games.
Powell, 22, was acquired by the Mariners as part of a six-player trade along with RHP Nathan Karns and LHP C.J. Riefenhauser from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 1B Logan Morrison, INF/OF Brad Miller and RHP Danny Farquhar on November 5. He 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 (333x1082ss) 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.
Hultzen, 25, went 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA (3 ER, 8.0 IP) in 3 starts with AA Jackson. He began the season on the disabled list and was reactivated on May 1. He made 3 starts with Jackson before being placed on the disabled list on May 26 for the remainder of the season with a left rotator cuff strain. In four years (three seasons) in the Mariners organization, he was 14-9 with a 2.84 ERA (53 ER, 167.2 IP) with 186 strikeouts in 35 starts. He missed the entire 2014 season recovering from left shoulder surgery on Oct. 1, 2013 to clean up his labrum, a partial tear of the rotator cuff and repaired a capsule. Hultzen was selected by the Mariners in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA).
The Mariners now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Hultzen’s contract to the minors.
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that the club has acquired infielder Luis Sardiñas from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Ramon Flores.
Sardiñas, 22, spent the majority of last season with AAA Colorado Springs, hitting .282 (110×390) with 51 runs, 17 doubles, 5 triples, 1 home run, 33 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 103 games. Appeared in 36 games with the Brewers, hitting .196 (19×97) with 8 runs, 1 triple and 4 RBI in two stints in the Majors (May 15-June 8 & Sept. 8-end of season). During his Major League career, has appeared defensively at second base (35 G, 22 GS), shortstop (27 G, 22 GS) and third base (10 G, 7 GS). In his minor league career, has appeared in games at shortstop (390 G, 384 GS) and second base (46 G, 41 GS).
The switch-hitter was rated as a Top-100 prospect by Baseball Prospectus & MLB.com in both 2013 & 2014. He entered the 2015 season as the 3rd-best prospect in the Brewers organization according to Baseball America after being acquired from Texas in the Yovani Gallardo trade on Jan. 19, 2015. In parts of two Major League seasons with Texas (2014) and Milwaukee (2015), has hit .231 (49×212) with 20 runs, 6 doubles, 1 triple and 12 RBI in 79 games. During his minor league career, has hit .288 (514×1786) with 281 runs, 76 doubles, 14 triples, 6 home runs and 161 RBI in 446 games in six seasons. He was originally signed by Texas as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2009
Flores, 23, was acquired from the New York Yankees along with RH Jose Ramirez in exchange for OF Dustin Ackley on July 30. With AAA Tacoma, he hit .423 (22×52) with 11 runs scored, 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 7 RBI and 11 walks in 14 games before being placed on the minor league disabled list on Aug. 15 for the remainder of the season with a right fibular fracture. Prior to being acquired by Seattle, he hit .286 (79×276) with 43 runs scored with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs, 34 RBI, 39 walks and 3 stolen bases in 73 game with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the International League. He appeared in 12 games with the Yankees, hitting .219 (7×32) with 3 runs and 1 double
The Seattle Mariners open the 2016 regular season on the road at the Texas Rangers on Monday, April 4. The game will be one of seven games televised nationally by ESPN over the first two days of the season on Sunday, April 3rd and Monday, April 4th. The Mariners and Rangers will be the second games televised on Monday starting at 1:05 p.m. PT (3:05 pm CT).
After a three-game set in Arlington, the Mariners return to Safeco Field for the home opener on Friday, April 8, vs. the Oakland Athletics.
MLB also announced, for the second consecutive year, all games played on the final scheduled day of the regular season on Sunday, October 2nd will begin at 12:00 p.m. PT. The overlapping schedule aims to maximize the excitement of Postseason races throughout the sport on the season’s final day.
The schedule for ESPN on Sunday, April 3rd and Monday, April 4th will be as follows (all times are in PT unless noted):
SUNDAY, APRIL 3RD
- 10:05 a.m. (PT) – STL @ PIT ESPN
- 1:05 p.m. (PT) – TOR @ TB ESPN2
- 5:35 p.m. (PT) – NYM @ KC ESPNMONDAY, APRIL 4TH
- 10:05 a.m. (PT) – HOU @ NYY ESPN
- 1:05 p.m. (PT)/3:05 p.m. (CT) – SEA @ TEX ESPN
- 4:05 p.m. (PT) – LAD @ SD ESPN
- 7:05 p.m. (PT) – CHI @ LAA ESPN2
It’s not every day young ballplayers get tips on their pitching form or stand in on the Wiffle® Ball diamond against a Cy Young winner.
But that’s what happened on Monday as Mariners ace Felix Hernandez visited the Smilow Clubhouse and Teen Center at Rainier Vista.
The skills clinic and Wiffle® Ball game for Little Leaguers and participants in the Reviving Baseball in Innercities program followed a ceremony where Felix awarded grants totaling $100,000 to five Seattle non-profit organizations.
The grants are part of the Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association “Players Going Home” program that gives select players the opportunity to contribute to non-profits in their home towns or adopted hometowns.
The organizations Felix chose to receive grants were the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County ($30,000); Washington State Little League Districts 8/9 Challenger program for children with disabilities ($30,000); Baseball Beyond Borders ($20,000); Seattle Central Little League ($10,000); Seattle Children’s Hospital Strong Against Cancer initiative ($10,000).
Before arriving at Rainier Vista, Felix spent time at Seattle Children’s visiting with patients in the playroom and on the cancer ward.
The MLB/MLBPA “Players Going Home” program is part of the previously announced $30 million jointly-funded and jointly-administered youth initiative created by the MLBPA and MLB to improve the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.
Since Jerry Dipoto was hired as the Mariners General Manager, he’s been talking about having a more athletic team, especially in the vast Safeco Field outfield. Today’s trade with the Texas Rangers that brought Cuban centerfielder Leonys Martin did just that, it brought an athlete that can cover a tremendous amount of ground in the outfield.
“The addition of Martin gives us a premier defensive center fielder,” said Dipoto. “His athleticism and speed will be strong additions to our lineup as we continue to mold the roster.”
To give you an idea of Martin’s defensive prowess, over the last three seasons (2013-15), Martin ranks 4th in the Majors amongst center fielders in defensive runs saved (44) behind the Mets Juan Lagares (56), Royals Lorenzo Cain (49) and Astros Carlos Gomez (46).
To give you some background on Leonys, he defected from Cuba in the late summer of 2010 and established residency in Mexico before signing with the Texas organization. When he was still a free agent, he took part in the same workouts as Mariners lefty Roenis Elias as they were looking to latch on with a Major League organization. During his career in Cuba, he played five seasons with Villa Clara in the Serie Nacional Cuban League, where he hit .314 (417×1329) with 329 runs, 62 doubles, 1 triple and 38 home runs.