SALT LAKE BEES

Bees Bullets: Previewing Mariners Affiliate Tacoma Rainiers

Aug 23, 2022, 2:28 PM
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 01: Kyle Lewis #1 of the Seattle Mariners follows through on his first inning home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 01, 2022 in New York City.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Bees return to Salt Lake looking to build momentum against an offensively challenged Tacoma Rainiers team.

For all of the Bees offensive woes, Tacoma has performed even worse.

Tacoma is last in runs scored (597), hits (959), runs batted in (572), batting average (.244),  on-base percentage (.334) and slugging percentage (.770). About the only thing the Rainiers do well with consistency is hit the long ball. Their 161 home runs are the fourth most in the Pacific Coast League.

First baseman Zach Green leads the team with 17 home runs and 48 runs batted in.

The Rainiers pitching staff holds a middle of the pack 5.27 earned run average, good for sixth in the PCL.

Darren McCaughan (7-6) leads the starters with 122.2 innings. He has a 4.77 earned run averaged, striking out 116 batters and walking 37.

Patrick Weigel and Nick Ramirez form a nice 1-2 punch out of the bullpen. Each has appeared in 41 games with Weigel (3-4) throwing 47 innings with a 3.26 earned run average and one save. Ramirez has pitched 43.2 innings with a 2.27 ERA and 10 saves.

This will be the sixth and final meeting between these teams in 2022. The Bees (55-62, 3rd in PCL West) are 13-11 against Tacoma (53-64, 4th in PCL West).

The Mariners have seen much of their young talent graduate to the major league level as Julio Rodriguez, Cal Raleigh and Ty France are all contributing to a team fighting for a wild card spot. Add that to a system-depleting trade for Luis Castillo in July, and Tacoma doesn’t have a single MLB.com Mariners top-30 prospect on it’s roster.

Instead, we focus on a pair of big leaguers on rehab stints and three players that are looking to breakout of of season-long slumps.

Tacoma Rainiers – (Seattle Mariners)

Matthew Boyd – Starting Pitcher (Rehab Assignment)

A former Detroit Tigers left-handed prospect, Boyd signed with the San Francisco Giants in March before being traded to Seattle at the August trade deadline.

He is rehabbing from a flexor tendon strain in his throwing elbow.

Boyd went 3-8 with a 3.89 earned run average in 15 starts with Detroit last season.

Since first appearing on August 14, Boyd has thrown four innings across three games out of the bullpen. He has given up two earned runs while striking out seven and walking none.

Evan White – First Baseman (Rehab Assignment)

Recovering from a sports hernia that landed him on the 60-day injured list in late April, White is in his third rehab stint with Tacoma after earlier attempts to return were scuttled in May and again in June.

Since being activated on August 9, White has hit for power but at the expense of his average. He evens it out by drawing five walks against five strikeouts.

With four home runs and six runs batted in and a .344 on-base percentage, White is a more than capable and dangerous hitter in Tacoma’s lineup.

Kyle Lewis – Outfielder

After being activated by the Mariners from the injured list and sent on a rehab appearance in early July, Lewis has struggled at the plate. He has just one multi-hit game in 26 appearances between Double-A, Triple-A and Seattle.

Lewis has played just two games with Tacoma since being demoted on August 8.

Once considered a cornerstone of a Mariners rebuild, Lewis has hit .277 in 65 at-bats with Tacoma and just .143 in 56 at-bats with Seattle. Lewis went 1-for-7  against Albuquerque in two games last week.

The Bees faced Lewis earlier this season when he went 6-for-17 with two homers and six runs batted in as he rehabbed from a knee injury.

Jarred Kelenic – Outfielder

The embattled outfielder that figured prominently in the Mariners preseason plans, Kelenic hasn’t found any footing at the major league level in 2022.

Kelenic opened the season with Seattle and scuffled immediately. In 30 games to open the year, Kelenic hit .140 with three home runs and 10 runs batted in, earning the demotion to Tacoma.

A late July call-up saw Kelenic’s average fall to an anemic .124 in 10 games with Seattle before he was sent back to Tacoma on August 11.

In 63 games with the Rainiers, Kelenic is slashing .297/.364/.563 with 13 home runs, 25 doubles and 47 runs batted in.

Jonathan Villar – Utility

A veteran of 3,530 MLB games and playing with his third franchise in 2022, Villar opened the year with the Chicago Cubs before being designated for assignment in June and signing with the Angels. After 13 games with Los Angeles, Villar was DFA’d again before catching on with the Mariners organization.

The multi-faceted utility player hit his 100th career homer run earlier this season with the Cubs. He has a .255 batting average with seven teams in his major league career.

Villar is batting .229 in 12 games with Tacoma with four runs batted in and 13 strikeouts.

On Deck

The Bees return home where they will face the Tacoma Rainiers (53-64), Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Game one is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. (MST) first pitch on Tuesday, August 23.

Purchase tickets to see the Bees play at slbees.com. Listen to ‘Voice of the Bees’ Steve Klauke on The Zone Sports Network & KSLSports.com.

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Bees Bullets: Previewing Mariners Affiliate Tacoma Rainiers