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Going International: Mariners Sign Brayan Hernandez

Venezuelan outfielder Brayan Hernandez signs with the Seattle Mariners.

Venezuelan outfielder Brayan Hernandez signs with the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners organization is pleased to welcome a special player into the fold with the signing of 16-year-old Venezuelan switch-hitting outfielder Brayan Hernandez.

Mariners Director of International Operations Tim Kissner and coordinator Emilio Carrasquel worked very hard to make this signing official and it all culminated yesterday.

Everybody in the organization is happy to have him on board and ready to make contributions on the field. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Hernandez has been followed closely by the team, specifically by Carrasquel and scout Illich Salazar who is the area scout.

Photo Jul 24, 2 43 36 PM

Brayan Hernandez meets with Mariners Director of International Operations Tim Kissner (left) and coordinator of Venezuelan Operations Emilio Carrasquel (right).

“[Hernandez] is a young man with tremendous physical ability and projection,” said Carrasquel.  “We had the chance to see him with our International Director Tim Kissner and we always knew he would be a good acquisition.

“I believe he is a player, for his age, that combines all five tools that you need in baseball. He’s still developing and we are very happy that the Seattle Mariners have reached an agreement with the family and agent for Brayan Hernandez.”

Hernandez, for his part, was beaming after realizing that he would be joining the Mariners organization.

“I’m proud to be able to wear a Seattle Mariners uniform and I’m very happy because this is a dream that I’ve always wanted, to wear this uniform,” said Hernandez. “I never thought that I’d be here with them but thanks to God, everything worked out. I worked hard for this and it is a joy to wear this uniform, to be able to represent it and in the future be able to lead it to a World Series.”

Over the weekend, Hernandez visited with the team, met with the staff, worked out with the club and took batting practice.

“[Meeting Felix Hernandez] was a beautiful experience,” said Hernandez. “And it was always a dream to stretch out my hand to Cano and it felt very good to do that.”

Brayan Hernandez meets with Felix Hernandez (left) and Roenis Elias (right).

Brayan Hernandez meets with Felix Hernandez (left) and Roenis Elias (right).

Once out on the field, you could see the emerging talent shine. During batting practice, the young switch-hitter sprayed line drives all over the field and also hit a home run into Edgar’s Cantina in left field and hit a few off the wall.

“He’s a very interesting young centerfielder from Venezuela who we like his current ability and there is still the projection left with him” said Kissner. “He’s a plus athlete with plus instincts and tools. He’s an intelligent young man with good instincts for the game and all the tools that we have seen we like and we think that he can continue to grow. That’s probably the most intriguing thing, his ability to play the game but still the upside that he has left.”

Here are a few audio clips from Brayan Hernandez (in Spanish), Tim Kissner and Emilio Carrasquel (in Spanish) about the signing:

Brayan Hernandez on signing with the Mariners:

Brayan Hernandez on choosing Seattle:

Brayan Hernandez on meeting some of his favorite players:

Tim Kissner on Brayan Hernandez:

Emilio Carrasquel on Brayan Hernandez:

Here’s a slideshow from Brayan Hernandez weekend with the Mariners:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

African American Heritage Day

The Mariners will celebrate African American Heritage Day at Safeco Field today with a pregame ceremony to honor contributions of noted African Americans to the Northwest community. Among the honorees will be Herb Simpson, the last known surviving member of the old Negro Leagues Seattle Steelheads.

Here is a great story on Herb by Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer from last year.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Here is a pretty amazing photo of Herb taken by Seattle photographer Rick Takagi.

Simpson_Herb

Congratulations to Fernando Rodney on 200 Saves

Rodney_200

Mariners closer Fernando Rodney recorded his 200th career save this afternoon, becoming just the 45th pitcher in Major League history to record 200 saves. Rodney is 6th among active pitchers in saves, trailing only Joe Nathan (362), Francisco Rodriguez (333), Jonathan Papelbon (310), Jose Valverde (288) and Huston Street (260).

 

King Felix Ties MLB Record

Felix

FELIX TIES MLB RECORD, SETS AL RECORD…with his start tonight vs. the Orioles allowing 1 run in 7.0 innings (10 strikeouts, 0 walks), Felix Hernandez has tied a Major League record and set an American League record by allowing 2 or less runs in at least 7.0 innings in 13 consecutive starts…list courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau.

Streaks of consecutive starts with 7+ IP, 2 or fewer runs allowed, since 1900:
Felix Hernandez      May-July 2014              13
Tom Seaver           July-Sept 1971             13
Dwight Gooden        Sept 1985-May 1986         12
Chief Bender         June-August 1907           12
Mike Scott           May-July 1986              12
Ferdie Schupp        Sept 1916-May 1917         12

Streaks of consecutive starts with 7+ IP, 2 or fewer runs, AL history:
Felix Hernandez      May-July 2014              13
Chief Bender         June-August 1907           12
Gaylord Perry        April-June 1974            11
Jim Merritt          June-August 1967           11

Pitch Black: African American Baseball in Washington

The Pitch Black exhibit includes information about the earliest of the state’s African American baseball teams.

The Pitch Black exhibit includes information about the earliest of the state’s African American baseball teams.

The Mariners will celebrate African American Heritage Day at Safeco Field on Sunday with a pregame ceremony to honor contributions of noted African Americans to the Northwest community. Among the honorees will be Herb Simpson, the last known surviving member of the old Negro Leagues Seattle Steelheads.

For those how are interested in taking a closer look at the history of African American baseball in Washington, the Northwest African American Museum has an interesting exhibit called Pitch Black that features artifacts, photographs, videos and oral histories of the men and women who played and loved the game of baseball from the late 19th Century until today. The exhibition runs through November 9.

Among those featured are Roslyn miner and star pitcher Jimmy Claxton (the first African American on a baseball card), the Owls Club women’s softball team (Washington State Champs in 1938 and Seattle City Champs in 1939), and the Seattle Steelheads, the West Coast Negro Leagues team for which Herb Simpson played.

The Pitch Black exhibit includes more recent history including artifacts from Ken Griffey Jr.’s career.

The Pitch Black exhibit includes more recent history including artifacts from Ken Griffey Jr.’s career.

The exhibit is supported by a donation from Mariners Care, our non-profit foundation, and numerous corporate partners including the Safeco Insurance Foundation, Verizon Wireless and Wells Fargo.

For more about the Northwest African American Museum follow them on Twitter @naamnw, on Instagtram @naamnw, or on Facebook.

Kyle Seager Named Heart and Hustle Award Winner

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager has been named the Mariners recipient of the 2014 MLBPAA Heart and Hustle Award.

Created by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association in 2005, the Heart & Hustle Award is voted on by Alumni and active Major League players and is presented annually to an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.

Here is a list of Mariners recipients of the Heart and Hustle Award. Kyle will be presented his award on Fan Appreciation Night prior to the September 26 game vs. the Angels.

MLBPA Heart and Hustle Award – Mariners:
2006: Raul Ibanez
2007: Raul Ibanez
2008: Ichiro Suzuki
2009: Jose Lopez
2010: Franklin Gutierrez
2011: Miguel Olivo
2012: Munenori Kawasaki
2013: Raul Ibanez
2014: Kyle Seager

Instant Replay – How the First Half Went

052414_214 BVH

Heading into the 2014 season, one of the hot topics surrounding the game was the new Instant Replay rules. So, with the first half officially over (with the Mariners at 51-44), how did things go? Major League Baseball sent out the following statistics on play reviews so far this season: So, what have the Mariners done as far as play reviews this season and how successful has Lloyd McClendon been in challenging calls? Here is a breakdown involving Mariners games this season:

Instant Replay Reviews

  • The Mariners have requested reviews on 18 plays (3 confirmed, 9 overturned and 6 call stands).
  • Opponent have requested reviews on 20 plays (4 confirmed, 12 overturned and 4 call stands).
  • Umpires have requested reviews on 12 plays (10 confirmed, 2 overturned and 0 call stands).
  • Totals are 50 plays (17 confirmed, 23 overturned and 10 call stands).

Mariners Reviews

Looking back at the implementation of the replay review system by MLB through the first half of the season, Mariners Assistant General Manager Jeff Kingston said, “All things considered, we believe the system has worked very well.  The goal of getting calls on the field correct has been accomplished, and it hasn’t been that disruptive.  There have been very few major issues, and just a few small technical glitches.”

Indeed.  A total of 1,424 games were played prior to the All-Star break, and there have been 728 challenges/reviews, or basically one every other game.  Jeff pointed out that is what MLB projected to be the frequency, based on data from past seasons.  He also noted that the goal was for each review to be completed in two minutes, and the average length has been 1:49.

Jeff added that he has been surprised and pleased that “there have not been more tactical delays.  I think that shows that the managers, coaches and players have respected the system.  They should be given credit for that.”

There are a couple of great websites that go into detail on the plays that have done under review this season, including BaseballSavant.com and Baseball-Reference.com. Be sure to bookmark both of those and check them out. You can also follow the official MLB Instant Replay twitter site via @MLBReplays.

A Mariners Themed Infield in Tonight’s AAA All-Star Game

AAA All-Star Lineup

The Mariners organization will be well-represented in tonight’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Durham, North Carolina. Nick Franklin (2B), Chris Taylor (SS) and Gabriel Noriega (3B) will all start for the Pacific Coast League against the International League. You can watch the game starting at 4 pm PT/7 pm ET on the MLB Network (check local listings). Relief pitcher Logan Kensing is also representing the Rainiers in the game.

Here is today’s Mariners Minor League Report:

Felix’s All-Star Game Start

Watch the highlights of the All-Star game start by Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez.

 

 

All-Star Player Bios

Photo Jul 15, 7 37 42 AM

When watching the Major League All-Star game tonight, you may want to reference these notes on the four Mariners All-Stars:

CANO, Robinson (22)

  • The First Half – Appeared in 91 games, all starts (2B-85, DH-6), hitting .334 (118×353) with 49 runs, 22 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, 57 RBI and an .855 OPS.
  • All-Star – Elected by the fans as the American League starting second baseman…it is the 5th consecutive Midsummer Classic he will start for the AL and his 6th All-Star selection…is the first AL second baseman to start 5 consecutive All-Star games since Roberto Alomar (1996-2000).
  • AL Leaders – Among American Leaguers ranked 2nd in hits, T2nd in multi-hit games (37), 3rd in average and T12th in RBI (57).
  • Hot Heading into the Break – .334 (118×353) batting average is the 2nd highest average taken in to the All-Star Break (.336 in 2010).
  • The Big Picture – Hit at a .362 (79×218) clip with 33 runs scored , 16 doubles, 6 home runs, 38 RBI and a .940 OPS in his final 57 games since May 9.
  • Heating Up – Hit 5 home runs in his final 31 games (116 AB) before the break; hit 2 home runs in his first 60 games of the season.
  • Lighting up RHP – Led the AL and ranked 2nd in the Majors by hitting .350 (76×217) against right-handed pitchers (Matt Adams, STL, .364).
  • Southpaws – Hit .309 (42×136) vs. LHP, the most hits by a left-handed batter against LHP (Ellsbury, NYY – 39).
  • RISP – Ranked 3rd in the AL with a .368 (28×76) average with runners in scoring position and T7th with a .350 (50×143) average with runners on base.
  • Road Hitting Streak – Had a 21-game road hitting streak May 3-June 20; hitting .419 (36×86) with 13 runs, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home runs and 15 RBI.
  • On Base Streak – Reached base safely (via hit or walk) in 31 straight games (27 via hit), April 20-May 24; hit .368 (45×121) with 18 runs, 9 doubles, a home run and 20 RBI…was tied for the 20th-longest streak in club history.
  • Hitting Streaks – Had two hitting streaks of 9+ games: 10 game streak June 2-12, hitting .368 (14×38) with 6 runs, 3 doubles, 1 home run and 4 RBI and a 9-game streak April 20-May 1, hitting .371 (13×35) with 5 runs, 4 doubles and 6 RBI.
  • Unfinished Business – Went into the All-Star break with an active 7-game hitting streak, hitting .500 (14×28) with 2 runs, 2 doubles, one home run and 6 RBI.
  • In Mariners Wins - Hit .372 (70×188) with 39 runs, 14 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 41 RBI and a .966 OPS in Mariners wins; .291 (48×165) in losses.
  • First Mariners Homers – Hit his first Mariners home run on April 17 at Texas (3-run HR off Tanner Scheppers); hit his first Safeco Field home run on June 11 vs. New York’s Masahiro Tanaka (2-run HR in bottom of 9th inning).
  • Can’t Keep Him Down – Missed four games (May 29-June 1) with a left hand contusion…first time since 2006 to not start in four consecutive team.
  • Mariners Debut – Went 2-for-4 in his Mariners debut and scored his 800th career run on March 31 at Los Angeles-AL (Opening Day).

HERNANDEZ, Felix (34)

  • Dominating – Went 11-2 with a 2.11 ERA (34 ER, 144.1 IP), 154 strikeouts (9.60 K/9.0 IP) and 25 walks (1.56 BB/9.0 IP)…Mariners are 14-6 in his 20 starts.
  • All-Star Starting Pitcher – Selected as the starting pitcher for the American League…second pitcher in club history to be named the AL starting pitcher, joining Randy Johnson (1995 & 1997)…first Venezuelan pitcher to start an All-Star game.
  • 5-Time All-Star – Selected to play in his 5th All-Star game, tying Randy Johnson for the most All-Star game appearances by a Mariners pitcher.
  • AL Leaderboard - Among American League leaders ranked 1st in ERA (2.12), 1st in quality starts (18), 1st in WHIP (.901), T1st in games started (20), 2nd in strikeouts (154), 2nd in innings pitched (144.2) and T3rd in wins (11)…has the highest WAR among AL pitchers at 4.4 (3rd in AL overall).
  • The First Half – Set career-high for wins prior to the All-Star break (11), tied for 3rd-most in club history and most since Jamie Moyer had 12 in 2003…lowest first-half ERA in club history (2.11), breaking old mark of 2.20 by Randy Johnson in 1997 (min. 10 GS)…tied a club record with 20 starts pre-ASG and recorded the 4th-most strikeouts pre-ASG in club history (only Randy Johnson had more).
  • Ultra Quality Start Streak – Has a current streak of 11 consecutive starts allowing 2 or fewer runs in at least 7.0 innings (has 14 this season)…is tied for the longest single-season streak dating back to 1914 and longest by an American League pitchers since Gaylord Perry for Cleveland in 1974…is 7-1 with a 1.48 ERA (14 ER, 85.0 IP) during the streak…recorded 135 career starts with 7.0 or more IP, 2 or less runs allowed, most in the Majors since his debut season in 2005 (Cliff Lee is 2nd with 113).
  • Batting Average – Held opponents to a .201 batting average (105×522) with only 5 home runs allowed…opponents are batting .196 with runners in scoring position (18×92)…2nd-lowest opponent OPS (.520) in the AL.
  • June Pitcher of the Month - Named the American League June Pitcher of the Month…went 3-1 with a 1.22 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 6 starts…fourth career AL Pitcher of the Month award (June 2009, September 2009, August 2012, June 2014)…25-8, 2.63 ERA in 47 career June starts.
  • AL Player of the Week -Named the AL Player of the Week for June 2-8 following 15-strikeout performance June 8 at Tampa Bay…second career AL Player of the Week honor (Aug. 13-19, 2012).
  • Double-Digits K’s – Recorded four games with double-digit strikeouts: 6/8 at TB (15), 4/11 vs. OAK (11), 3/31 at LAA (11), 6/18 at SD (10)…30 career starts with 10+ strikeouts, 2nd-most in club history trailing Randy Johnson who had 94 double-digit strikeout games in his Mariners career.
  • 15 Strikeouts – Struck out a career-high 15 batters June 8 at Tampa Bay, tied for most in the Majors this season (Jon Lester, BOS on May 3 vs. OAK)…12st time in club history that a pitcher had at least 15 strikeouts in a game, first since Randy Johnson had 15 on July 11, 1998 vs. Angels…Johnson (17), Mark Langston (2x) and Mike Moore (1).
  • Quality Starts – Recorded his 189th career quality start May 23 vs. Houston, breaking the Mariners all-time record (Jamie Moyer, 188)…has 198 career quality starts, including AL-leading 18 (out of 20 starts) this season.
  • Well Rested - When pitching on an extra day of rest (5 days since last start), is 4-0 with a 1.76 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 7 starts (51.0 IP).
  • AL West – Made 12 of 20 starts vs. AL West opponents, going 6-2 with a 2.21 ERA (21 ER, 85.2 IP)…3-0, 2.43 ERA in 4 starts vs. Oakland.
  • Ejection – Ejected for the first time in his career following his start May 12 vs. Tampa Bay (Mark Ripperger).
  • Young Strikeouts – Turned 28 on April 8 with 1,722 career strikeouts, 4th-most in MLB history by a pitcher before a 28th birthday trailing only Sam McDowell (1,956), Bert Blyleven (1,910) & Walter Johnson (1,886)…currently has 1,857 strikeouts, 5th-most by a pitcher before turning 29 (Sam McDowell-2,156, Walter Johnson-2,117, Bert Blyleven-2,082, Amos Rusie-1,951)…recorded career strikeout #1,800 June 8 at Tampa Bay.
  • Opening Day Start – Made 7th career Opening Day start March 31 at LA Angels…allowed 3 runs (2 ER) and struck out 11 in 6.0 innings to earn the win…6th time in club history a starter recorded 10+ strikeouts on Opening Day (2nd time by Felix).
  • Opening Day Record – Improved to 5-0, 1.52 ERA in his 7 career Opening Day starts (2007, 2009-14)…holds club Opening Day records for starts (7), consecutive starts (6), wins (5) and strikeouts (52).
  • Elite Company – Is the only pitcher in MLB history (since 1900) with 7 Opening Day starts as a pitcher before turning 28…there are 4 pitchers with 6 Opening Day starts before turning 28: Bert Blyleven, Dennis Eckersley, Dwight Gooden, and Fernando Valenzuela.
  • 10th MLB Season – In his 10th Major League season…since making his debut on Aug. 4, 2005, he is 121-88 with a 3.12 ERA and 1,857 strikeouts.

RODNEY, Fernando (56)

  • AL Saves Leader – Leads the American League with 27 saves, going 27-for-29 in save opportunities (93.1%)…2nd-best save percentage in the AL.
  • All-Star – Added to the American League All-Star team when David Price was not able to pitch…also an All-Star in 2012.
  • Sub 2.00 ERA – One 14 AL relievers with a sub 2.00 ERA (min. 30.0 IP).
  • K/9.0 IP – Averaging 10.40 strikeouts per 9.0 IP (42 K’s, 36.1 IP)…recorded at least one strikeout in 31 of 38 appearances.
  • Are you Experienced – After allowing at least 1 base runner in 10 of his first 13 save opportunities, has allowed a runner in just 6 of last 16 save opps.
  • Approaching 200 Saves – Next save will be #200 of his career…199 career saves are 6th-most among active pitchers: J. Nathan (360), F. Rodriguez (331), J. Papelbon (308), J. Valverde (288) & H. Street (258)
  • Since 2012 - Recorded 112 saves since the 2012 season, 2nd-most in MLB behind Craig Kimbrel.
  • 16 in a Row - Converted his last 16 save opportunities (since 5/18), going 0-1 with a 0.90 ERA (2 ER, 20.0 IP) in his last 21 appearances.
  • Saving the Series - Recorded a save in all three games of the Mariners 3-game series sweep at Kansas City June 20-22…fourth Seattle pitcher (5 times) to save all three games in a 3-game sweep: Mike Schooler (2x: 7/4-6/89 vs. MIN & 9/11-13/89 vs. BOS), Jose Mesa (7/30-8/1/99 vs. BAL) and J.J. Putz (6/8-10/07 at SD).
  • 20-Save Seasons – Already recorded his fourth 20-save season in the Majors: 37 in 2009 w/DET, 48 in 2012 & 37 in 2013 w/TB and 27 {and counting} w/SEA.

 SEAGER, Kyle (15)

  • The Totals – Appeared in 92 games, making 91 starts (3B-90, DH-1)…hit .279 (95×341) with 38 runs, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 15 home runs, 63 RBI (.843 OPS).
  • All-Star – Selected to the American League All-Star team for the first time in his career (replaced Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion)…first Mariners third baseman to be named to the All-Star team since Edgar Martinez in 1992 and Jim Presley in 1986.
  • Team Leader – Led the team in games (92), home runs (15), RBI (63) and slugging percentage (.493) and ranked T2nd in doubles (22) and walks (33).
  • The Hot Corner – Among AL third basemen, ranked T2nd in triples, 3rd in home runs, 4th in hits, doubles, home runs and 5th in slugging and OPS.
  • Multi-Hit Games – Ranked 2nd on the team (Cano – 37) and T10th in the Majors with 30 multi-hit games.
  • RBI Man – Led the team and tied for 10th in the AL with 63 RBI.
  • Home Hitter – Batted .353 (59×167) with 22 runs, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 13 home runs, 42 RBI and a 1.073 OPS at Safeco Field…among AL leaders in home games, ranked 1st in RBI, 2nd in home runs, slugging percentage (.653) and OPS, and 3rd in batting average…hit .207 (36×174) with 4 extra-base hits on the road.
  • Slow Start, Strong Finish – Hit .307 (85×277) with 33 runs, 18 doubles, 3 triples, 15 home runs, 61 RBI and .923 OPS in final 73 games of the first half; in first 19 games batted .156 (10×64) without a home run.
  • Not Cooling Down – Hit .358 (38×106) with 13 runs, 9 doubles, 6 home runs, 24 RBI and a 1.023 OPS over his final 28 games of the first half (since June 14).
  • Safeco Production – Hit 13 home runs and recorded 42 RBI at Safeco Field, both 2nd-most in the first half of the season…batting average (.353) ranked 5th.
  • Situational – Hit .331 (49×148) with runners on base, .302 (26×86) with runners in scoring position and .300 (3×10) with the bases loaded.
  • 2-Times AL Player of the Week – Was a two-time American League Player of the Week: April 21-27 (.409/9×22, 8 R, 5 HR, 11 RBI) and June 23-29 (.583/14×24, 5 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI)…first Mariners player since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 to earn multiple Player of the Week honors in the same season.
  • Extra Bases – Tied a club record with 4 extra-base hits and 2 triples on June 2 at New York (AL)…went 4-for-5 with 3 runs, a double, 2 triples, a home run and 3 RBI…became the first Major Leaguer to hit 2 triples and at least one homer and one double since Hal Breeden for Montreal in 1973…last AL player to do it was Hoot Evers for Detroit in 1950.
  • 4-Game Stretch – Recorded 5 home runs and 11 RBI over a 4-game stretch April 23-27 (.533/8×15)…only other Mariners player with as many hits, RBI and home runs over a 4-game stretch was Ken Griffey Jr. (May 21-4, 1996: .556/10×18, 5 HR, 12 RBI).
  • Hitting Streak – Recorded season-high 8-game hitting streak April 23-May 3 (.394/13×33, 9 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 14 RBI)…
  • HR Data – Led the team with 15 home runs…4 gave the Mariners the lead and 2 were game-tying…2nd in the Majors with five 3-run home runs.
  • Walk-Off – Hit a walk-off 3-run home run April 23 vs. Houston’s Josh Fields to give Seattle a 5-3 win (snapped 8-game losing streak).
  • Multi-HR Games – Had a pair of multi-home run games: April 23 vs. Houston (including walk-off) and on April 27 vs. Texas (including go-ahead 3-run shot in 8th inning).
  • Web Gems – Ranked T3rd in the American League and T5th in the Majors among third basemen with 6 defensive runs saved (according to FanGraphs.com)…has not made an error over his last 42 games (104 total chances).
  • Iron Man - Did not play April 2 at LAA, snapping string of 117 consecutive games played…was the 6th-longest active streak in the Majors at the time…appeared in 407 of Mariners 419 games since 2012.
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