Remember When…Felix’s Debut

Felix

It is hard to believe, but it has been exactly 10 years since King Felix took to a Major League mound for the first time as a 19-year-old on August 4, 2005 at Comerica Park in Detroit. Felix took the loss that day, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs (1 ER) in 5.0 innings, but as we know, started a career that has resulted in 6 All-Star Game selections, a Cy Young Award and the most starts and innings pitched in club history. And, oh yeah, Felix is still just 29 years old.

Here is to anot

Mariners Game Central – Aug. 4 at Rockies

Lineup

Game #108 (8/4): Mariners (49-58) at Rockies (44-60) | 6:40 pm MT/5:40 pm PT | Coors Field
Starting Pitchers: LHP Vidal Nuño (0-0, 2.12) vs. RHP Jon Gray (MLB Debut)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Starting Lineups: Starting lineups will be posted on MarinersMedia.com and Twitter when they become available
Game Information: Mariners | Rockies | Mariners-Rockies History

Roster | Midseason Report | 2015 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

Multiple Benefits – Mariners Magazine Preview

Mariners players provide insights into the lessons learned, advantages gained and lasting value from playing multiple sports while growing up.

By Kieran O’Dwyer

Seth Smith believes his time on the football field provided helpful lessons that still apply to his approach on the diamond.

Seth Smith believes his time on the football field provided valuable lessons that still apply to his approach on the diamond.


The following article is from the August issue of Mariners Magazine. Pick up yours today at any Mariners Team Store, or subscribe to receive all six issues (April-September), plus a free 2015 Mariners Yearbook, delivered to your home or office. Each issue is filled with great action photography, up to date news, player stats and feature interviews.


When Seth Smith was a teenager attending Hillcrest Christian High School in Jackson, Mississippi, he kept busy during the springtime by leading the baseball team to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 1997 and 1998, all while earning multiple honors at the local and state level. As for the rest of the school year? Well, during autumn he was firing the pigskin all over the gridiron – in his high school career he threw more than 50 touchdowns and accumulated nearly 6,000 passing yards at quarterback – while also earning state honors. As if that weren’t enough, he earned three letters in basketball as an all-conference player and five letters in soccer. Having conquered the high school sports landscape, Smith moved on to the University of Mississippi, where he starred on the baseball team and was a member of the football team that included future two-time Super Bowl winning QB Eli Manning.

When Austin Jackson was a teenager attending Billy Ryan High School in Denton, Texas, he helped lead the baseball team to the class AAAA Texas State championship game. Moreover, Baseball America named him the best 15-year-old baseball player in the nation. Pretty heady stuff. Much like Smith, however, Jackson wasn’t the type to rest on his baseball accomplishments. So when he wasn’t tearing it up on the diamond, he could be found schooling opponents on the hardwood. Ranked by some media outlets as one of the top point guards in the country, Jackson looked like he was headed to Georgia Tech – a member of the mighty Atlantic Coast Conference – to play baseball and basketball. Ultimately, his desire to pursue a baseball career won out and he decided to turn pro out of high school.

Austin Jackson's athleticism made him one of the top point guards in the country while attending Billy Ryan High School in Denton, Texas.

Austin Jackson’s athleticism made him one of the top point guards in the country while attending Billy Ryan High School in Denton, Texas.

Each year, only a select handful of youngsters achieve the level of successes across various sports that Smith and Jackson enjoyed. Yet, even though the championships and honors are fun to reminisce about, both Mariners, as well as their teammates interviewed for this feature, focused instead on how participating in a diversity of sports from elementary school through high school proved invaluable toward their development into well-rounded individuals and athletes.

“I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the different sports I played coming up,” said Smith. “Not only that, but [also] the different coaches and people that I was around that were part of my life. People I was able to learn from along the way who can kind of help propel you forward. As well as the different lessons that different sports teach you – whether it’s time management, working as a team, picking each other up, whatever it may be. All of that definitely came from playing a lot of different sports and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

Developing Well-Rounded Athletes

It’s no secret that one of the hottest issues related to youth sports in recent years is the debate over whether youngsters should specialize in playing one sport year-round from an early age or play multiple sports while
growing up.

The vast majority of literature available on this topic suggests that the latter approach may provide a healthier long-term path, both physiologically and psychologically, for kids. Still, there are those who believe focusing on one sport and consistently fine-tuning the skill sets and mechanics needed to excel can give a kid a big advantage on the field or court over “seasonal players.”

That said, and without diving head-first into this debate now (including its related factors such as medical issues and financial costs), at least one thing is certain among those Mariners who played multiple sports: there is no debate.

“Growing up in Maine you’re forced to play two or three sports [because of the weather],” said reliever Charlie Furbush, who also excelled on the soccer pitch and basketball court through his high school years. “I was fortunate and think it was a blessing in disguise to get to play more than one sport instead of trying to be all-in in one. I think it broadens your physical and mental ability athletically.

“I’m not saying that [specialization] doesn’t work, but I certainly learned from playing soccer and basketball [about] the competitiveness and what it takes in each sport to do well. I took those things and translated them to baseball.”

Charlie Furbush looks for an open man while playing basketball as a teenager in Maine. Photo: Portland Press Herald.

Charlie Furbush looks for an open man while playing basketball as a teenager in Maine. Photo: Portland Press Herald.

Like Furbush, Jackson is quick to give a nod for his overall success as a baseball player today to having played more than one sport as a kid. Mariners fans enjoy watching the athletic center fielder fly around the bases, lay out for line drives in the gap and leap into the night sky to haul in deep fly balls. He believes the countless hours of work he put in dribbling and driving, and dishing and swishing on blacktops all around the Dallas-Ft Worth area proved beneficial to his overall athleticism.

“For me, being a point guard and having to focus on footwork and being quick was big,” he said. “Those things transition easily to baseball – the first step you take [on defense when the ball comes] off the bat, that first step after your secondary [lead] on the basepaths. That was pretty similar to the first step in basketball, making that move to beat the guy defending you. All those things helped, especially when I was going from basketball season straight to baseball. I knew I wouldn’t have to get back as much of my speed and quickness because basketball had already pretty much helped. With those things the fast-twitch muscles, the explosiveness, were pretty much already trained and ready to go.”

“Being a point guard and having to focus on footwork and being quick was big. Those things transition easily to baseball.”

-Austin Jackson

Fellow former hoopster Nelson Cruz agreed. As a youngster growing up in the Dominican Republic where baseball reigns supreme, Cruz wanted to “Be Like Mike.” Not Trout, of course. Michael Jordan. He even played basketball for his country’s Junior National Team.

Slugger Nelson Cruz was a member of the Dominican Republic Junior National Basketball Team.

Slugger Nelson Cruz was a member of the Dominican Republic Junior National Basketball Team.

“With basketball I think you have to have quick feet, quick hands,” the All-Star slugger pointed out. “You’re running and jumping, always moving. It all transfers to baseball – hitting, defense. I think it helped me become a good athlete.”

Transferring Skills Among Sports

Smith believes his time on the football field provided vital transferable lessons that still apply to his approach as a baseball player.

“As a quarterback, you have to prepare yourself in a certain way to be successful,” he explained. “You have to know what everybody is supposed to be doing, where they’re going on any given play. You have to be able to take charge in the huddle. Also, you can’t get too high or too low no matter what’s going on. You have to be the calming, steady influence for the offense. Things like that kind of mold your personality.

“Certainly, as you get into professional baseball, there is a lot of failure and a little bit of success and you have to find a way to stay on an even keel. You learn to understand that the hard times won’t last forever and, at the same time, neither will the good times.”

Should Smith ever want to talk football, he could easily bond with Pat Kivlehan. Like Smith, the 25-year-old infielder currently playing for Triple-A Tacoma starred in both baseball and football through high school and played both sports at the collegiate level.

“I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the different sports I played coming up.”

-Seth Smith

“I think playing different sports helped keep me a more well-rounded athlete,” said Kivlehan, who played safety and linebacker for Rutgers University for four seasons, and baseball in his senior year. Amazingly, after a three-year absence from competitive baseball, he returned to the diamond as a senior and thrived – so much so that he earned the first Triple Crown in Conference history and was named the Big EAST Player of the Year.

Mariners prospect Pat Kivlehan played football for four seasons at Rutgers University before returning to the diamond.

Mariners prospect Pat Kivlehan played football for four seasons at Rutgers University before returning to the diamond.

“Concentrating on just one sport, let’s say baseball year-round, you kind of get specific and geared into that sport and can lose your overall general athleticism,” he added. “Things you don’t do a lot in baseball, like running and jumping in a football or basketball way, you kind of lose that and the sense of ‘burst’ that you’d get playing those other sports. When you bring that over into your baseball season, you’re ahead of those guys who are just concentrating on a few baseball motions throughout the year, while guys who played basketball and football maintain that more athletic body frame.”

Kivlehan said the physicality and mentality of football also proved advantageous when it was time to move into the baseball season.

“I felt like I was physically stronger, and wouldn’t wear down as easy,” he noted. “Baseball workouts are obviously different than football where you’re looking to lift as much weight as possible. I learned the mentality of knowing there’s a guy over there trying to knock you over and you’ve got to knock him over first. It’s not really that kind of a mentality in baseball; it’s a more laid back approach. Still, when I took the mentality and physicality that I learned in football over to baseball I felt like that confidence and athleticism gave me an advantage.”

Beyond developing into well-rounded athletes, getting the opportunity to learn from various coaches and bond with other players, Furbush emphasized that there is another valuable – if less talked about – benefit to playing multiple sports when growing up. Indeed, it’s something that he said he and his Mariners teammates continue to seek comfort in as professional athletes: the opportunity to step away and catch your breath.

“It’s nice to talk to kids and tell them, ‘Hey, don’t be afraid to take a break. It’s ok if you want to let your mind and body recover from baseball. Play another sport or do something else for a while.’ As Big Leaguers, we play almost every day, so sometimes when we have those days off, they’re really valuable, not just physically, but [also] especially mentally. Just to be able to get away and shut it off. Then to come back fresh and ready to go.”


Kieran O’Dwyer is a freelance sportswriter based in New York.

15MM5_Cover_Cano2

Game Central – Aug. 3 at Rockies

08.03.15 Lineup

Game #107 (8/3): Mariners (48-58) at Rockies (44-59) | 6:40 pm MT/5:40 pm PT | Coors Field
Starting Pitchers: RHP Felix Hernandez (12-6, 3.02) vs. RHP Eddie Butler (3-7, 4.82)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Rockies | Mariners-Rockies History

Roster | Midseason Report | 2015 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule  Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @Mariners | @LosMarineros

Here are today’s Game Notes:

Mariners Game Central – August 2 at Twins

Sunday line-up at Twins

Sunday line-up at Twins

Game #106 (8/2): Mariners (47-58) at Twins (54-49) | 1:10 pm CT/11:10 am PT | Target Field
Starting Pitchers: LHP Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2, 5.10) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-7, 3.92)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Twins | Mariners-Twins History

Roster | Midseason Report | 2015 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

Mariners Game Central – August 1 at Minnesota Twins

Tonight's Line-up at Twins

Tonight’s Line-up at Twins

Game #105 (8/1): Mariners (47-57) at Twins (53-49) | 6:10 pm CT/4:10 pm PT | Target Field
Starting Pitchers: LHP Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.20) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (8-8, 3.41)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Twins | Mariners-Twins History

Roster | Midseason Report | 2015 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

Trade Deadline Recap

Jersey - Home

The Mariners made several trades over the last few days leading up to today’s 1 pm (PT) non-waiver trade deadline.

Here is a recap of the trades:

  • OF Ramon Flores and RHP Jose Ramirez acquired from New York (AL) for OF Dustin Ackley  (7/30)
  • LHPs Rob Rasmussen, Jake Brentz & Nick Wells acquired from Toronto for RHP Mark Lowe (7/31)
  • RHP Adrian Sampson acquired from Pittsburgh for LHP J.A. Happ (7/31)

Here are some tidbits on the six new players that are joining the organization:

Sampson, 23, is a Redmond native who was drafted by the Pirates out of Bellevue College in 2012 after attending Skyline High School in Sammamish. With AAA Indianapolis this season, he is 8-8 with a 3.98 ERA (55 ER, 124.1 IP) with 95 strikeouts in 21 starts. Amongst International League leaders he ranks tied for 1st in starts, 4th in strikeouts and 3rd in innings pitched. In four minor league seasons, he is 24-23 with a 3.87 ERA (204 ER, 474.0 IP) with 333 strikeouts in 85 games including 82 starts. He played for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League following the 2014 season where he posted a 2.25 ERA (3 ER, 12.0 IP) in 10 relief appearances. He was rated by Baseball America as the 15th-best prospect in the Pirates organization entering the 2015 season.

Rasmussen, 26, appeared in one game with Toronto earlier this year and was 4-1 with one save and a 2.36 ERA (11 ER, 42.0 IP) with 40 strikeouts in 34 games including one start with AAA Buffalo in the International League. In 12.1 Major League innings over the last two seasons, he has a 2.92 ERA (4 ER, 12.1 IP) with 14 strikeouts. He was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 2nd round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of California, Los Angeles. During his minor league career, he is 28-34 with a 3.72 ERA (214 ER, 517.2 IP) with 438 strikeouts in 157 games including 78 starts over 6 minor league seasons in the Miami, Houston, Los Angeles (NL) & Toronto organizations.

Wells, 19, was 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA (17 ER, 32.0 IP) with 31 strikeouts in 7 starts for Rookie level Bluefield in the Appalachian League this season. He was originally drafted by Toronto in the 3rd round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia. In two minor league seasons, he is 2-5 with a 5.26 ERA (39 ER, 66.2 IP) with 49 strikeouts. Wells is listed as the Blue Jays No. 28 prospect by Baseball America.

Brentz, 20, was 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA (10 ER, 22.0 IP) with 16 strikeouts in 6 starts for Rookie level Bluefield in the Appalachian League. He was originally drafted by Toronto in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft out of Parkway South High School in Manchester, Missouri. In three minor league seasons, he is 1-4 with a 4.80 ERA (37 ER, 69.1 IP) with 58 strikeouts in 27 games including 12 starts.

And here is a look at the Mariners current 25-man roster:

Mariners Acquire Ramon Flores & Jose Ramirez from Yankees

Flores_Ramirez_Mail

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced the club has acquired outfielder Ramon Flores and right-handed pitcher Jose Ramirez from the New York Yankees in exchange for outfielder Dustin Ackley.

  • Ramon Flores, OF, acquired from New York (AL)
  • Jose Ramirez, RHP, acquired from New York (AL)
  • Dustin Ackley, OF, traded to New York (AL)

Flores, 23, has spent most of the season with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the International League. He is batting .286 (79×276) with 43 runs scored, 11 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs and 34 RBI in 73 games. The left-handed hitter is also batting .333 (24×72) with runners in scoring position and currently ranks 5th in the International League with a .377 on-base percentage. He made his Major League debut May 30 vs. the Athletics, and appeared in 12 games with the Yankees (.219/7×32, 3 R, 2B).

In 7 minor league seasons the Venezuelan native is a .272 hitter (676×2483) with 129 doubles, 29 triples, 43 home runs and 260 RBI. He has played all three outfield positions during his career, but has played the bulk of his games in left field (396 G). Flories was listed as the Yankees No. 27 prospect heading into the season by Baseball America.

Ramirez, 25, is 3-0 with 10 saves and a 2.90 ERA (16 ER, 49.2 IP) in 32 relief appearances with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has recorded 56 strikeouts for 10.15 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, 3rd-best amongst International League relief pitchers. Ramirez also saw action in 3 Major League games with the Yankees this season (0-0, 15.00 ERA) and made 8 appearances in his debut season in 2014 (0-2, 5.40).

In 8 minor league seasons the Dominican Republic native has combined to go 32-32 with 12 saves and a 3.60 ERA (222 ER, 555.2 IP) in 146 appearances (96 starts). A starter most of his professional career, Ramirez made the move to the bullpen in 2014. He is listed by Baseball America as the Yankees No. 26 prospect.

Ackley, 27, is hitting .215 (40×186) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs and 19 RBI in 85 games this season. In 5 seasons with the Mariners (2011-2015) he combined to bat .243 (488×2012). Ackley was originally selected by the Mariners second overall in the 2009 June Amateur Draft out of the University of North Carolina.

Mariners Game Central – July 30 at Twins

Lineup

Game #103 (7/30): Mariners (46-56) at Twins (52-48) | 7:10 pm CT/5:10 pm PT | Target Field
Starting Pitchers: LHP J.A. Happ (4-5, 4.27) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (9-6, 3.93)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Starting Lineups: Starting lineups will be posted on MarinersMedia.com and Twitter when they become available
Game Information: Mariners | Twins | Mariners-Twins History

Roster | Midseason Report | 2015 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

Moyer Hall of Fame Moment

Moyer_HOF_01

Over the next week leading up to the Mariners Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Jamie Moyer we will share a statistic or career moment on Moyer on the blog. The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held prior to the 1:10 pm game Saturday, August 8 vs. the Texas Rangers:

On this day in 1996 (7/30/96), the Mariners acquired LHP Jamie Moyer from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Darren Bragg. Moyer would go on to have a remarkable career in a Mariners uniform, posting the most wins in club history with a 145-87 record in 11 seasons.

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