The Seattle Mariners made some noise at the trade deadline, adding two legitimate major league outfielders to a mix that badly needed them. The Mariners, then, stood as an improved team, seeing as the additions allowed them to demote two players who had been way below replacement level. Friday was the first day the M’s got to put their new-look roster to the test. It did not go well.
Wei-Yen Chen has quickly become a villainous name around the Seattle area. He’s a good-not-great guy who becomes something like a demigod whenever he faces the Mariners. That continued Friday, as Chen held the Mariners to one run over 7.1 innings. He struck out eight, walked one, and was dominant throughout. I guess this is just what’s going to happen when the Mariners play the Orioles now.
Roenis Elias had an excellent outing, even if he didn’t last long enough to record the last out of the sixth inning. Through 5.2 he struck out eight and walked one. He allowed two runs, one earned, and while that’s good, it’s not good enough to counter out the whole Chen vs. Seattle thing. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the last two-plus innings in shutout fashion, so yeah, this loss was all on the offense.
How discouraging, then, for a just-revamped position player group to be held to five hits and a pair of walks on the day. Robinson Cano had two singles and a walk. Dustin Ackley had a single. Kendrys Morales and Chris Taylor each doubled. So what of Austin Jackson? No hits and two strikeouts, but he did draw a walk. And Chris Denorfia, who showed up right behind Kyle Seager in the six spot? Didn’t reach base. He will, though. One day. Probably.
Happy James Paxton Day. The lefty prospect makes his return to MLB action today, nearly four months after having his season cut short after two strong April starts. Paxton’s always been an injury risk, and sure enough we just saw him miss extended time. But he’s still got top-of-the-rotation upside, and was a hot trade commodity even while injured. Wondering why the Mariners chose to focus exclusively on hitters and forego the arms market entirely? Because they’ve got Paxton and Walker back to health now, and that’s a big, cheap boost from within. Baltimore’s tossing Miguel Gonzalez, and first pitch is at 4:05.