The Mariners minor league season started with much excitement because of the Jackson Generals trio of Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker but the last month has been much of a flutter with Hultzen struggling in his first two AAA starts, Walker having a bad June, and Paxton on the DL since May 25th.
Welcome back to the bang!
Hultzen will be making his third start for Tacoma at 7:05 PST against Jason Stevenson (2-1, 5.01 ERA) and the Fresno Grizzlies. In 75.1 innings with the Generals, Hultzen had allowed 10 ER for a 1.19 ERA but he's seen 6 ER cross the plate in his first seven innings with Tacoma. He only allowed a single run in his last start but failed to make it past the fourth inning and walked four batters with six strikeouts.
The Rainiers beat Fresno 4-3 last night after Luis Jimenez singled with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the twelfth inning.
Meanwhile down in AA Jackson, Paxton will make his first start in over a month, facing off against Jacob Thompson (5-5, 5.17 ERA) and the Montgomery Biscuits at 5:05 PST. In his last start, Paxton went 2.2 innings, allowing 4 hits, 4 ER, 5 BB and only 1 strikeout. Paxton was dominant in his first start of the season, striking out 10 and walking none, but has struggled to find control, consistency, and efficiency since then. The lefty is walking 6.2 batters per nine innings. He'll not only have to regain his health, but he'll have to show he's got better control if he's going to be joining Hultzen in AAA this season. With better command, Paxton could join the Mariners rotation next season and be among the league-leaders in strikeouts before too long.
The Generals beat Montgomery by a score of 2-1 last night, with Forrest Snow going 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 R, 1 BB and 4 strikeouts. He's now made four starts since being demoted and is 1-2 with a 3.32 ERA and only six walks in 21.2 innings. Carter Capps picked up his 13th save of the season and struck out 2 in 1.1 innings. He now has an ERA of 1.14.
Also, this guy Felix something-something is pitching in Seattle.