After a highly productive first season with the Mariners, Nelson Cruz continues to receive some recognition for his efforts. Today it was announced that he was named to the Sporting News A.L. All-Star team as the designated hitter. It is his first career selection to the SN All-Star team. The 2015 team was chosen by a panel of 22 American League executives before the postseason began.
Here’s a recap of his 2015 accomplishments:
- Totals – Hit .302 (178×590) with 90 runs, 22 doubles, 1 triple, 44 home runs, 93 RBI, a .369 on-base percentage & .566 slugging percentage in 152 games.
- AL Leader – Amongst AL leaders in several offensive categories: 2nd in AL in HR (44), 3rd in SLG (.566), 4th in OPS (.936), T11th in multi-hit games (49), T8th in batting average (.302), T12th in RBI (93), T10th in extra-base hits (67).
- Clutch – T5th in A.L. with 27 go-ahead RBI and T7th with 14 game-winning RBI…hit .291 (43×148) with runners in scoring position.
- Team Leader – Led the team in runs (90), home runs (44), RBI (93), walks (59), average (.302), on-base percentage (.369) & slugging percentage (.566).
- Career Bests – Set career highs in runs (90), hits (178), home runs (44) and walks (59).
- 40 HR – 69th player in MLB history to log multiple 40-HR seasons in a career.
- Mariners with 40+ HR – 4th player in Mariners history to record a 40-HR season, first since Alex Rodriguez (41) in 2000: Ken Griffey Jr. (6), Jay Buhner (3), Alex Rodriguez (3)…2nd player to record a 40-HR season during the Safeco Field era (opened July 1999).
- Back-to-Back – First player since Miguel Cabrera (2012-2013) to record consecutive 40-homer seasons…53rd player with consecutive 40-HR seasons.
- Safeco Slugger – Hit 17 home runs at Safeco Field this season, T4th-most in ballpark history…club record is 21 by Richie Sexson in 2005.
- All-Star – Voted as the starting designated hitter for the American League…4th All-Star game selection (2009, 2013-2015) and second start (also: 2014).
- All-Star Game – Went 0-for-2, hitting cleanup as the designated hitter during the All-Star game.
- Small Setback – Missed 6 games Sept. 4-9 with a strained right quad…hit just .247 (20×81) after his return.
- The Streak – Reached base safely in a career-high 37 consecutive games July 18-Aug. 27 (previous personal best was 25 G in 2010 with Texas)…active on-base streak was the 3rd-longest in American League in 2015 and 6th-longest in Majors…during streak hit .355 (54×152) with 32 runs, 9 doubles, 18 home runs and a 1.200 OPS (.430 OBP/.770 SLG)…streak was extended via hit 34 times, walk 2 times, hit-by-pitch 1 time…streak is 12th-longest in franchise history, and longest since 43-game streak by Ichiro in 2009 (record is 47 by Alvin Davis in 1984).
- Extra Base Streak – Recorded an extra-base hit in 9 consecutive games July 31-Aug. 9, the 2nd-longest streak in club history…trails only a club-record 10-game streak by Ken Griffey Jr. July 19-29, 1993 (including his 8-game HR streak).
- Right Side Pop – Hit 44 home runs, tying the Mariners record for most home runs by a right-handed hitter (Jay Buhner, 44 in 1996).
- Crushed Lefties – Ranked 3rd in A.L. & 4th in Majors hitting .357 (60×168) with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 14 home runs, 27 RBI & a .683 slugging percentage against left-handed pitchers…his .673 slugging percentage and 14 home runs led American League (tied in HR with Todd Frazier).
- Road Warrior – Hit a Major League leading 27 home runs on the road in 2015, which were T3rd-most in club history behind Ken Griffey Jr. (29 in 1997), Alex Rodriguez (28 in 2000) & tied with Jay Buhner (27 in 1997).
- OF vs. DH – As outfielder hit .337 (105×312) with 55 runs, 11 doubles, 31 home runs, 59 RBI and a 1.072 OPS in 80 games; as the designated hitter, hit .263 (73×278) with 35 runs, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 13 home runs, 34 RBI and a .783 OPS in 72 games.
- Home Runs Before Break – 8th Mariner with 20 or more home runs prior to the All-Star break (18th time).
- Walk Off – Recorded 8th career walk-off RBI with 1B off Junichi Tazawa in the 9th 5/15 vs. BOS (last: 4/19/15 against TEX Neftali Feliz, 1B).
- Player of the Month – Named AL Player of the Month for April…first career POM Award and the first Mariners position player to earn a monthly award since Ichiro in August 2004…in 22 G in April batted .322 (28×87) w/10 HR, 3 2B, 3B, 22 RBI.
- Player of the Week – Named American League Player of the Week for April 13-19…hit .500 (12×24), 7 R, 6 HR, 10 RBI, 1.806 OPS.
- #200 – Hit 200th career home run April 13 at Los Angeles (NL), a first-inning 2-run homer.
- 20 HR – Hit at least 20 home runs in 7 consecutive seasons…one of three players with active streak of 7 consecutive 20-HR seasons.
- 5 Straight…Twice – Homered in 5 consecutive games July 31-Aug. 4, his second home run streak of 5 games in 2015…is 5th player in MLB history to homer in at least 5 consecutive games twice in the same season: Harmon Killebrew (1970 Twins), Frank Thomas (1994 White Sox), Barry Bonds (2001 Giants), Chase Utley (2008 Phillies)…also homered in 5 consecutive games April 11-15 (6 HR during streak)…tied for 2nd-longest home run streak in club history: Griffey Jr., 8; Cruz, Buhner (2x), Zisk, A. Rodriguez all 5 games.
- April Showers – 10 HR in April were 3rd-most in club history (Ken Griffey Jr. – 13 in ‘97, 11 in ‘98)…10 HR were most in any April in his career (had 7 in ‘11 and ‘10) and 2nd-most in a single month (13 in May 2014).
Scott Servais was introduced to the Seattle media on Monday as the new field manager for the Seattle Mariners (watch the entire news conference here). During a wide ranging news conference, he covered many topics including his path to the dugout, how to prepare a player for the Big Leagues, the importance of analytics, and why he considers himself a football coach in a baseball uniform.
Here are some of the highlights.
What kind of team will the Mariners be under Scott Servais’ leadership?
We will be prepared. I guarantee you we will be prepared. We will be disciplined in how we play. We will play with energy. And I believe it’s okay to show emotion once in a while. And we will compete. And competing is not trying hard. Everybody tries hard in the Big Leagues. I never met a Big Leaguer who didn’t try hard. But we are going to compete every night. I think the big thing is the Mariners fans deserve that.
What’s the difference between trying hard and competing?
Everybody tries hard. I never met a player who didn’t. Competing is making adjustments throughout the game to figure out how to beat the guy out on the mound. Or if you’re out on the mound, figuring out how to beat the guy in the batter’s box. That’s competing. It’s mental and physical. It’s not just physical and trying hard. That’s how I would look at it.
Working with young players as well as veterans.
Players today, seem to respond a little bit better from a pat on the back than maybe screaming at them. The veteran player deserves a certain amount of respect that he has been around the game. It doesn’t mean that he’s not held accountable. All the good teams I was ever on, or were part of, teams in Texas that went to the World Series, the players policed themselves. When your veteran crew buys into the vision, all players want to play for something bigger than themselves. They do. They all want to play in the playoffs. They all want to play in the World Series. That’s why they play. And to get your veteran players on board, and let them hold others accountable as well, is really important.
Managers he’s learned from…
You look at what they’re doing and how they handle situations and people. I played in Chicago for the Cubs and Jim Riggleman was the manager there. Jim gave me a lot of confidence. I was a younger player, trying to establish myself through being out there in an everyday role and he trusted my decision making. I played for Dusty Baker in San Francisco on a very talented team. Dusty was hands down probably the best players’ manager I played for. Clint Hurdle is a guy that I’ve been exposed to. We hired Clint in Texas, when I was there, as a hitting instructor. Clint has unbelievable presence. Clint has the ability to connect an entire organization. I learned a lot from him. The manager I wished I would have played for was Bobby Cox. I thought Bobby Cox did an unbelievable job in Atlanta. Bobby Cox came from the Front Office and went in the dugout. But Bobby Cox had energy, he welcomed young players. Even though he had the stud pitching, he always had the young players coming in – Chipper Jones, Javy Lopez, Raphael Furcal, Andruw Jones, they were always coming and he realized that was his lifeblood, that’s what makes it turn.
What do the Mariners need to do to win more games? What is team missing?
We need to do a better job of getting on base. That’s the one thing that we have to get better at. We have to create more opportunities to score runs. It’s really hard to hit home runs every night and win games. Nelly (Nelson Cruz) had an unbelievable year last year, we know what Robbie can do, what Seager’s about. The core is there. When putting the roster together, you’ve got to have balance. You’ve got to have depth. There are going to be injuries. There are going to be guys who don’t perform the way you think they’re going to perform. When I say depth, I’m talking about your AAA club. You gotta get guys you can go get, pop them in there and they gotta help produce. I’ll let Jerry and the staff upstairs worry about putting the group together. I’m sure they’ll ask me a few questions along the way, but I’m looking at what do we need to do as a club. Getting on base is probably the number one thing we need to tighten up.
Pitching and defense wins championships.
Pitching and defense is what’s playing right now, the teams that are playing in the World Series. Pitching and defense should always be our strength here. Pitching and knowing the ballpark and using it to your strength. The defensive part, putting athletic players on the field that can cover up this outfield, make the plays on the infield. The hitting, you’re not going to bang the ball out of the ballpark every night. I get it. Fortunately, on our staff is the greatest hitter that ever wore a Mariners uniform (Edgar Martinez), he gets it. For me, it’s about creating opportunities, getting on base, keeping pressure on the opposition. But pitching and defense has to be a priority here. We should be here, hopefully, at the top of the League standings every year in those categories.
Information is power.
It’s very important. It’s the way the game is going. If you try to fight it, you’re going to end up losing. You know, why not? It’s information. You have to use it. You have to put it in play. I’m not the guy that comes up with the formulas and spits out the numbers. Like I said earlier, I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know. But what I do know is that when somebody’s showing me that when we have a deficiency in a certain area, my job is how do we fix it? How do we attack the deficiency? How do we get better? I’ve used this term often, I’m a ‘why’ coach. Why is that happening? What are we going to do to fix it here? We couldn’t get the bunt down in the seventh inning. Is it because we didn’t have the right form to bunt, or is it because we didn’t really want to bunt? You have to be willing to run with it. But there’s also some feel to it, and some experience level of being a baseball guy. It goes hand in hand.
A football coach in a baseball uniform.
What I mean by that is I think football coaches are the most prepared and detailed of any of the coaches because they practice so much, they have to be. And in football, the game is won at the line of scrimmage. Over at CenturyLink, they control the line of scrimmage, they win the game… Where is the line of scrimmage in baseball? For me, the line of scrimmage in baseball is the strike zone. You have to control the strike zone, whether you’re on the mound or in the batter’s box. Controlling the strike zone, swinging at good pitches, getting deep in counts, walking maybe a little bit more. And on the flip side, controlling the strike zone, keeping the pitch count down, getting deep in the games, having a chance to win games as a starting pitcher, that’s where it happens, in the strike zone. So looking at the numbers, is there any particular number? Walks to strikeout. Pitching side, hitting side, that’s where the game is won.
VOTE NOW! VOTE OFTEN!: Fan voting for the 2015 MiLBYs is under way. Choose the best teams, players, plays, promotions and more from across Minor League Baseball (http://www.milb.com/news/awards/y2015/index.jsp). Vote as often as you’d like. Voting will continue until Oct. 27. Winners for the 13 categories will be announced from Oct. 28-Nov. 5. LHP Paul Fry, who was named Mariners Relief Pitcher of the Year, is nominated for Top Relief Pitcher. Fry went 4-5 with 9 saves and a 2.03 ERA in 50 games, 1 starts combined between High-A Bakersfield and AA Jackson. He limited opponents to a .230 average (68×296), while walking 24 and striking out 113. Amongst all minor league pitchers his strikeout rate (12.71 K/9.0 IP) was 3rd-lowest (min. 75.0 IP). A photo of Everett outfielder Braden Bishop making a diving catch was nominated Photo of the Year.
You can get updated Winter League stats on Milb.com.
Here is the latest edition of the Mariners Winter League Update:
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto & Manager Scott Servais announced today the following Major League coaching staff assignments:
- Tim Bogar – Bench Coach
- Edgar Martinez – Hitting Coach
- Mel Stottlemyre Jr. – Pitching Coach
- Chris Woodward – First Base Coach
Bogar, 48 (will turn 49 on Oct. 28), spent the 2015 season as the Los Angeles Angels Special Assistant to the General Manager. Prior to joining the Angels, he spent the 2014 season on the Texas Rangers coaching staff as bench coach and interim manager (replaced Ron Washington on Sept. 5, 2014). During his time as Rangers manager, he guided the club to a 14-8 mark. From 2009-12, he spent four seasons on the Major League staff for the Boston Red Sox, serving as bench coach (2012), third base coach (2010-11) and first base coach (2009). He spent the 2008 season as the quality assurance coach for the A.L. champion Tampa Bay Rays. Bogar owns a 362-266 (.576) career record as a minor league manager in the Indians (2006-07), Astros (2004-05) and Angels (2013) organizations. In his five seasons at the helm, his teams reached their league’s championship round four times, while he was named manager of the year three times. Bogar played shortstop primarily during a nine-year Major League career with the New York-NL (1993-96), Houston (1997-2000) and Los Angeles-NL (2001). He was originally selected by the Mets in the eighth round of the 1987 June draft out of Eastern Illinois University.
Martinez, 52, returns to the Mariners coaching staff after being named hitting coach on June 21, 2015. After taking over as hitting coach, the Mariners ranked 3rd in the American League in slugging percentage (.437) and 4th in home runs (130), extra-base hits (305) and OPS (.758) over the final 94 games of the season, batting .260 (846×3255) with 426 runs scored, 165 doubles, 10 triples, 130 home runs and 408 RBI. He has spent the past several seasons working as a guest hitting instructor at Spring Training, and had an extended schedule during the first half of the 2015 season working in Seattle’s minor league system. Martinez had an 18-year Major League career, all with the Mariners. In 2,055 career games, he hit .312 (2247×7213) with 1,219 runs scored, 514 doubles, 15 triples, 309 home runs and 1,261 RBI. Martinez won two AL Batting Titles (1992 & 1995), three AL On-Base Percentage Titles (1995, 1998 and 1999), five Silver Sluggers® (1992, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003 and five DH of the Year Awards (1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 & 2001). Upon his retirement, Major League Baseball re-named the DH of the Year Award the Edgar Martinez Award. Martinez was enshrined in the Mariners Hall of Fame in 2007. He was the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2004.
Stottlemyre Jr., 51, has spent the past 13 years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, most recently as its bullpen coach (2014-15) following stints as its minor league pitching coordinator (2011-13), Major League pitching coach (2009-10), minor league pitching coordinator (2007-09), and minor league pitching coach with affiliates in Missoula (2005-06), El Paso (2004), Lancaster (2003) and Yakima (2002). The Yakima native began his coaching career as the pitching coach with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2001. He pitched in six minor league seasons in the Houston (1985-1987) and Kansas City (1987-1990) organizations, combining to go 25-24 with a 3.50 ERA (162 ER, 416.2 IP) with 24 saves in 122 appearances including 57 starts. He pitched briefly in the Majors with Kansas City, going 0-1 with a 4.88 ERA (17 ER, 31.1 IP) in 13 games including 2 starts in 1990. He was originally selected by Houston in the first round of the 1985 January Draft and was previously drafted by Seattle in the 28th round of the 1982 June Draft but did not sign.
Woodward, 39, spent the last two seasons as a coach on the Mariners staff, including last season as first base coach. He began his coaching career with the Mariners in 20013 as the Minor League Infield Coordinator after retiring from a 17-year professional baseball career. With the Mariners last season he played a key role in the growth of infielders Ketel Marte and Chris Taylor as they elevated to the Major League level, and worked closely with Gold Glove third baseman Kyle Seager and shortstop Brad Miller. Woodward played nearly every position on the diamond during his 12 seasons at the Major League level with the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2004, 2011), New York Mets (2005-06), Atlanta Braves (2007), Seattle Mariners (2009, 2010) and the Boston Red Sox (2009).
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that Scott Servais (pronounced ‘service’) has been named as the Seattle Mariners new manager.
“Through the course of the 20-plus years I’ve known Scott, I’ve come to see him as one of the most complete, well balanced and inclusive baseball people in the industry,” Dipoto said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to call him a teammate as a player, while also having worked closely with him as an organizational leader in both Colorado and Los Angeles. He is a communicator with strong baseball acumen and leadership skills. I truly believe his strong character and career experiences as a player, coach and executive have prepared him for this opportunity.”
Servais, 48, spent the past four seasons as the Los Angeles Angels Assistant General Manager, Scouting and Player Development. In that role, he worked closely with Dipoto on all aspects of baseball operations, with a focus on player development.
“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to manage the Seattle Mariners,” Servais said. “It has long been my goal to manage a big league team and while I took a slightly different path than many, I am confident in my ability to lead. We have a terrific core of players and I’m looking forward to bringing in a coaching staff that will help me establish a winning culture here as we work toward putting a championship-caliber team on the field for the fans of the Northwest.”
Servais is the 17th full-time skipper in Mariners history.
Prior to joining the Angels, Scott spent the previous six seasons (2006-2011) as the Texas Rangers Senior Director of Player Development. With the Rangers he was responsible for the on-field development of all players in the Rangers minor league system. He was also responsible for instructing Texas’ Major League catchers.
Scott spent one season (2005) as a professional scout for the Rockies, after spending the prior two years as a roving catching instructor for the Chicago Cubs (2003-04).
Scott had an 11-year Major League playing career (1991-2001) with the Houston Astros (1991-95, 2001), Chicago Cubs (1995-98), San Francisco Giants (1999-2000) and Colorado Rockies (2000). He batted .245 with 30 doubles, 63 home runs and 319 RBI in 820 career MLB games. He ranked among the top-three NL catchers in fielding percentage in three separate seasons.
Servais played college baseball at Creighton University (his head coach was former Cubs GM Jim Hendry) and was inducted into the Creighton Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He was a member of Team USA, winning a Silver Medal in the Pan Am Games in 1987 and a Gold Medal in the 1988 Olympics (Seoul, South Korea). He earned USA Baseball’s Alumni Award in 1994.
Servais was drafted by the New York Mets in the second round (scout: Terry Ryan) out of high school but did not sign. He was selected in the third round of the 1988 June Draft following his junior year of college. Scott is a native of Coon Valley, WI and graduated from Westby High School (WI) in 1985.
Scott and his wife Jill have three children: Tyler (11/18/92) recently graduated from Princeton University and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers; Jacqueline (9/12/94) who is enrolled at UNC Charlotte where she played volleyball and is currently interning with the Carolina Panthers; and Victoria (9/2/97) who attends Ole Miss University.
August 12, 2015 was obviously an exciting day for Hisashi Iwakuma, etching his name in the history books by tossing a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles. If you were at the game (and even if you weren’t), we’re sure you wanted to save something from that day to remember the great achievement..and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York was no different.
If you weren’t able to save a ticket stub, a game program or even some garlic fries (we won’t judge) from that day, now you can see a bit of Mariners history when you visit the Hall of Fame.
Iwakuma graciously donated his game-worn hat to them and it will be on display for all baseball lovers to enjoy.
This week, Kuma received a certificate to thank him for his generous donation.
If you want to take a trip down memory lane, here are some highlights from the no-hitter as well as some fun facts.
IWAKUMA NO-NO…Hisashi Iwakuma threw the 5th no-hitter (4th individual) in Mariners history August 12 vs. Baltimore at Safeco Field…here are some details on the no-hitter:
- Japanese No-Hitter – Became the second Japanese-born pitcher with a no-hitter in MLB history, joining Hideo Nomo: Sept. 17, 1996 at Colorado (with Dodgers) & April 4, 2001 at Baltimore (with Boston).
- Breaking the AL Jinx – At the time, became the first AL pitcher with a no-hitter since Felix Hernandez on Aug. 15, 2012…there were 12 no-hitters (11 individual, one combined) in the NL since Felix’s Perfect Game…marks the longest streak of no-hitters thrown in one league since the inception of the AL in 1901.
- Mariners No-Hit Theme – Each of the 3 previous no-hitters in the American League have been tossed by the Mariners…the last team responsible for 3 consecutive no-hitters in its league was NYY (3 straight, 1996-99).
- Home No-No’s – Was the 5th no-hitter in Seattle Mariners history, the 4th individual…all 5 of the Mariners no-hitters have come in home games, with 3 at Safeco Field (Iwakuma, Felix, combined no-no) and two at The Kingdome (Randy, Bosio).
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that Andy McKay has been hired as Seattle’s new Director of Player Development.
McKay comes to Seattle from the Colorado Rockies where he has been Peak Performance Coordinator for the Rockies minor league system since September of 2012.
Prior to joining the Rockies, Andy was the Head Baseball Coach at Sacramento City College for 14 seasons (1999-2012). He compiled a record of 427-205-2 (.675) with 8 League Titles, and finished in the top-3 in the State of California 3 times, including 1 State Championship. He was the Assistant Coach at Sacramento City College from 1994-1998, after spending one season as a Player/Coach at the University of Tampa in 1993. Tampa won the Division II National Title in his only season there.
McKay has also coached in the summers in the Cape Cod League and the Northwoods League.
Andy, a Sacramento native, is a graduate of Del Campo HS (Sacramento), Sacramento City College and Sacramento State University. He earned his MBA in Organizational Behavior Studies from Sacramento State in 1996.
In addition to coaching at Sacramento City College, McKay taught classes in Physical Education and Business.
McKay and his wife, Anne, have two children: Hank and Gabrielle.
Here is the latest edition of the Mariners Weekly Winter League Update. You can get updated Winter League stats on Milb.com.
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that the club has claimed right-handed pitcher Cody Martin off of waivers from the Oakland Athletics.
To make room on the Major League, 40-man, roster, Seattle has released right-handed pitcher Logan Kensing. The Mariners 40-man roster now stands at 40.
Martin, 26, who was acquired in a trade by Oakland from the Atlanta Braves on July 2, 2015, appeared 4 games, including 2 starts with the Athletics, going 0-2 with a 14.00 ERA (14 ER, 9.0 IP). Prior to joining the A’s on Sept. 1, Martin went 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA (34 ER, 60.0 IP) in 11 starts with Triple-A Nashville.
Martin was on the Braves Opening Day roster and went 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA (13 ER, 21.1 IP) in 21 relief appearances over two stints with Atlanta in his Major League debut. He also went 1-3 with 1 save, a 2.10 ERA and .198 opponents batting average in 7 games, including 6 starts, with Triple-A Gwinnett. Martin was originally selected by the Braves in the 7th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft and is 31-29 with a 3.24 ERA in 118 games, including 84 starts, in 5 minor league seasons.
Kensing, 33, went 2-1 with a 5.87 ERA (10 ER, 15.1 IP) in 19 relief appearances with Seattle this season. He also appeared in 19 games in his second season with Triple-A Tacoma, going 2-0 with 1 save and a 2.23 ERA (8 ER, 32.1 IP) after signing a minor league player contract with Seattle on May 13.