The Mariners just promoted Mauricio Robles and Dan Cortes to Triple-A Tacoma from West Tennessee. Cortes was no surprise, as he’s been ridiculously good since moving into the bullpen a few weeks ago. Someone, I think Jason Churchill, reported that he hasn’t thrown a fastball under 97 mph, I believe, since the change. If he keeps up anything close to that, I’ll be amazed if he’s not in the Mariners’ pen to start next year. As it is, he’ll probably be called up in September anyway.
Robles is a little bit more surprising, but not incredibly so. He’s having a good but not incredible year, but I think most would be pretty satisfied with his development thus far. The lefty will start tomorrow, which pushes Pineda back a start. I would imagine the major reason for these promotions are to help keep Pineda’s innings in check without depriving the Rainiers of talent while they fight for a playoff spot. Both players are deserving though.
In other Tacoma news, Justin Smoak hit a homer last night and has three in his last 5 games. He’s up to four homers and a .779 OPS at Tacoma after a terrible start when he was first sent down. Dustin Ackley is hitting the cover off the ball, going 3-5 last night. He’s at .304/.381/.471. He’ll be starting at second in Seattle by July.
Thanks to Mike Curto’s blog, Mike… Off-Mic, for the info. He’s the Rainiers radio announcer and an all-around good guy.