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News & Analysis

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers

Mariners turn to Robbie Ray vs. Angels, try to keep rolling

August 5, 2022, 12:34 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

There will be plenty of storylines when the Los Angeles Angels open a four-game series Friday night against the host Seattle Mariners.

This will be the first meeting between the teams since a June 26 brawl in Anaheim, Calif., after the Mariners' Jesse Winker was hit by a pitch. A dozen players and coaches were disciplined, including a 10-game ban for Angels interim manager Phil Nevin.

The Angels are coming off a history-making, 8-7 loss to the Oakland A's on Thursday, when they became the first team ever to hit seven solo homers, including two by Shohei Ohtani, and score no other runs, according to STATS.

"I guess they always say solo home runs don't beat you, but you feel like if you hit seven, you might," Nevin said. "It didn't work out for us."

The Mariners are coming off two wins in a three-game series against the New York Yankees, and they turned their season around after the Angels' last trip to Seattle on June 16-19.

Los Angeles, which just a week earlier had snapped a 14-game losing streak, took four of five games, winning the final two by shutout.

The Mariners went on to win 22 of their next 25 games, including 14 in a row heading into the All-Star break, to move into wild-card playoff contention in the American League.

The Mariners did it despite Winker, J.P. Crawford and Julio Rodriguez serving suspensions for the brawl, plus a stint on the injured list by Ty France.

Rodriguez, an All-Star like France, is on the injured list after getting hit on the right wrist by a pitch on Saturday.

"Our turnaround here has been driven by a number of different things, but I've said it from day one: Our guys come in and they prepare and they're ready to compete," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I don't care who's on the other side coming after us. They're ready to go."

Left-hander Robbie Ray (8-8, 4.11 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday for the Mariners. Ray had a sterling seven-start stretch, flashing the form that helped him win the AL's Cy Young Award with Toronto last season, before being battered in his past two outings against AL West-leading Houston -- giving up 10 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

"I just need to flush these last two starts," Ray said. "I know I'm a good pitcher. The stretch that I had right before facing these guys was pretty much as good as it gets. So just put it behind me, get back to the grind."

Ray is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two career starts against the Angels. He posted Seattle's lone win in that five-game series in June, going seven innings and allowing one run on three hits, with 10 strikeouts in an 8-1 decision.

The Angels are set to counter on Friday with left-hander Patrick Sandoval (3-7, 3.61).

Sandoval is 0-3 with a 2.83 ERA in six previous appearances against Seattle. He made back-to-back starts against the Mariners in June, allowing just one run in each outing, but he didn't get a decision in either game.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout (rib-cage inflammation, back) began rotational exercises this week, but there is no update on when he'll be able to swing a bat.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Atlanta Braves

Angels' Mike Trout (back) skipping Seattle trip as recovery goes on

August 4, 2022, 9:46 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Three-time American League MVP Mike Trout is feeling better as he continues to recover from a back issue, but he isn't ready yet to rejoin the Los Angeles Angels.

He won't travel with the Angels to Seattle for their four-game set with the Mariners this weekend, instead staying behind to work out at the Angels' facilities.

Trout has not played since July 12, when he left a game against the Houston Astros with back spasms. He since has been diagnosed with costovertebral dysfunction at T5, which refers to the inflammation of a joint connected to a rib at the thoracic section of his spine.

He remains on the 10-day injured list.

Angels athletic trainer Mike Frostad said Thursday that Trout is doing exercises that gradually are building his muscles toward swinging a bat again.

"Mike's doing well," Frostad told reporters Thursday. "He's progressing as we expected and he's just continuing to go through his program right now. Everything's looking good."

No timeline has been set for the return of Trout, who turns 31 on Sunday.

The 2012 American League Rookie of the Year, Trout is batting .270 with 24 home runs and 51 RBIs in 79 games this season after playing just 36 games last year because of a right calf strain. He was named an All-Star Game starter this season but did not participate in the contest because of his injury.

In 1,367 games over 12 seasons, all with the Angels, Trout is a career .303 hitter with a 1.000 OPS and has 334 home runs with 867 RBIs. He is a 10-time All-Star.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels

Reports: Braves acquire closer Raisel Iglesias from Angels

August 2, 2022, 11:02 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves traded for right-handed closer Raisel Iglesias on Tuesday, sending the Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jesse Chavez and left-hander Tucker Davidson, according to multiple reports.

Iglesias, 32, owns a 4.04 ERA this season with 16 saves and a 2-6 record across 39 relief appearances for the Angels. The 32-year-old struck out 48 batters over 35 2/3 innings of work.

Iglesias was in his second year with Los Angeles after spending his first six MLB seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. He has 156 saves and a 3.13 ERA in his career. He also received American League Cy Young Award votes last year, finishing 11th.

Chavez turns 39 this month. He's played for nine different MLB clubs, including the Los Angeles Angels in 2017 when he went 7-11 with a 5.35 ERA as a part-time starter. In 31 games (one start) for Atlanta this year, he had a 1-1 record and a 2.11 ERA.

Davidson, 26, was in his third season with the Braves after they selected him in the 19th round of the 2016 draft. He is 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA across four games (three starts).

The Braves are taking on the remainder of the four-year, $58 million deal Iglesias signed with the Angels in December, per reports.

--Field Level Media

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates

Reports: Mariners land C Curt Casali from Giants

August 2, 2022, 9:17 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants traded backup catcher Curt Casali to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in exchange for minor league relief pitcher Michael Stryffeler, according to multiple reports.

Casali, 33, is currently on the 10-day injured list with a Grade 2 oblique strain. He last played July 4.

It was Casali's second season with the Giants after four with the Tampa Bay Rays (2014-17) and three with the Cincinnati Reds (2018-20). Before his injury, he was batting .231 with four home runs and 14 RBIs across 41 games.

Casali is a lifetime .227 hitter with 46 career home runs, 55 doubles and 145 RBIs over 446 games.

Stryffeler, 26, reached Double-A Arkansas last year and is 4-8 at that level with a 2.17 ERA and 128 strikeouts over 78 2/3 innings in two seasons.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels

Phillies trade for OF Brandon Marsh, RHP David Robertson

August 2, 2022, 9:11 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies traded for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Brandon Marsh and Chicago Cubs closer David Robertson on Tuesday.

The Phillies' No. 3 prospect, Double-A catcher Logan O'Hoppe, is going to the Angels in exchange for Marsh, both teams announced. Right-hander Ben Brown, the Phillies' No. 26 prospect, is headed to the Cubs.

The Phillies also designated right-hander Jeurys Familia and center fielder Odubel Herrera for assignment.

Marsh, himself a former top prospect in the Angels' organization, is just 24 years old and in his second season in the majors. Marsh is batting .226 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs. He has 10 career homers in 163 total MLB games.

Marsh, a second-round pick of the Angels in 2016, played some center field in 2021 and 2022 for the Angels with Mike Trout sidelined. But he has also logged 77 games in left field this season. He's expected to take over in center field in Philadelphia.

Robertson, 37, is enjoying a renaissance campaign so far with the Cubs.

He is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 14 saves in 36 appearances. He has given up just 23 hits in 40 1/3 innings and is averaging 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He has 151 career saves with five teams -- including the Phillies in 2019. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2006 and spent nine seasons in pinstripes.

Robertson suffered an elbow injury just seven games into his tenure with the Phillies in 2019, missing the rest of that season and the entire 2020 season following Tommy John surgery.

Herrera, 30, was batting .238 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 62 games this season. He manned center in 48 games this season. He's a career .271 hitter with 78 HRs and a .745 OPS in seven seasons in Philadelphia. He made the National League All-Star team in 2016.

Familia, 32, was in his first season with the Phillies after signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the club as a free agent in March. He was 1-1 with a 6.09 ERA in 38 appearances. He has 125 career saves -- all but one with the New York Mets -- and a 3.46 ERA in 537 appearances.

Right-hander Francisco Morales and outfielder Mickey Moniak were recalled by the Phillies to fill the roster spots for Tuesday night's game.

O'Hoppe, 22, is hitting .269 with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs at Double-A Reading. He's the No. 86 prospect in all of baseball.

Brown, 22, is 3-5 with a 3.08 ERA and 105 strikeouts through 73 innings at High-A Jersey Shore. The 6-foot-6 Brown was taken in the 33rd round of the 2017 draft. He's expected to rise when the next prospect ratings are released.

--Field Level Media

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Mariners add OF Travis Jankowski to roster

August 2, 2022, 5:58 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners added outfielder Travis Jankowski to the roster Tuesday, one day after he was claimed off waivers from the New York Mets.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jack Larsen was sent down to Double-A Arkansas after Monday's game against the New York Yankees.

Jankowski, 31, was in his first season with the Mets after stints with the San Diego Padres (2015-19), Cincinnati Reds (2020) and Philadelphia Phillies (2021).

The Mets designated him for assignment on Friday after he batted .167 with no extra-base hits and two RBIs in 43 games.

Larsen, 27, made his major league debut Sunday and struck out in his only plate appearance.

--Field Level Media

MLB: New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

Mariners claim Travis Jankowski, add Jonathan Villar on minor league deal

August 1, 2022, 11:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners claimed outfielder Travis Jankowski off waivers from the New York Mets on Monday among a series of roster moves.

Seattle also signed infielder Jonathan Villar to a minor league deal, designated left-handed pitcher Danny Young for assignment and outrighted outfielder Marcus Wilson to Triple-A Tacoma.

Jankowski, 31, was in his first season with the Mets after stints with the San Diego Padres (2015-19), Cincinnati Reds (2020) and Philadelphia Phillies (2021). Jankowski was batting .167 in 43 games with the Mets, with no extra-base hits and just two RBIs.

New York designated him for assignment on Friday.

Villar, meanwhile, figures to join Triple-A Tacoma after suiting up for the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels earlier this season. The Angels designated the 31-year-old for assignment last week after he batted .163 across 13 games for them, collecting one home run and three RBIs.

Seattle will be Villar's ninth MLB organization -- and his sixth in three years -- after the Houston Astros (2013-15), Milwaukee Brewers (2016-18), Baltimore Orioles (2018-19), Miami Marlins (2020), Toronto Blue Jays (2020), New York Mets (2021), Cubs and Angels. He's a lifetime .255 hitter with 101 career homers.

Young, 28, is a rookie who got into two games for Seattle and racked up three earned runs over 3 2/3 innings. Wilson, 25, is also a rookie who played in three games for Seattle in June and July and batted .200.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Seattle Mariners

Royals trade for Mariners LHP Anthony Misiewicz

August 1, 2022, 7:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners sent left-hander Anthony Misiewicz to the Kansas City Royals on Monday in exchange for cash considerations.

The Mariners designated Misiewicz for assignment Sunday.

Misiewicz, 27, went 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA in 17 appearances for the Mariners this season. He debuted in 2020 and is 5-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 104 career relief appearances, all with the Mariners.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

Report: Angels will not trade two-way star Shohei Ohtani

August 1, 2022, 5:45 PM

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The New York Post reported Monday that reigning American League MVP Shohei Ohtani will not be dealt after reports circulated last week that the Los Angeles Angels were at least listening to trade offers for their two-way superstar.

The trade deadline is Tuesday.

Ohtani, 28, has become a transcendent player with his abilities to hit and pitch at a high level, providing constant comparisons to Babe Ruth. Yet despite his value as two players wrapped into one, the Angels entered play Monday just 43-59 and 11 games behind in the wild-card standings.

Batting .255 in 99 games this season, with an .847 OPS, Ohtani has hit 22 home runs with 62 RBIs. He had a .965 OPS with 46 home runs and 100 RBIs in his MVP season of 2021 and is a career .262 hitter with an .881 OPS in 508 games with the Angels over five seasons. He has 115 career homers with 309 RBIs.

Reports that the Angels were at least listening to offers for Ohtani signaled a possible change in outlook for the AL club that has watched three-time MVP Mike Trout struggle with injuries the past two seasons.

The New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres were named in the report as teams that inquired about Ohtani's availability.

Ohtani currently is on the final season of a two-year $8.5 million contract, and is making $5.5 million of that this season. He remains arbitration eligible for the 2023 season and would become a free agent for the first time in 2024 in the absence of a long-term deal with the Angels.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Atlanta Braves

Angels OF Mike Trout making progress with back injury

July 31, 2022, 6:52 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels star outfielder Mike Trout is making progress from a back injury that has kept him out since July 12 and will take the next step in his rehab program this week.

Speaking with reporters Sunday morning, Trout said he is set to begin rotational exercises for his back as soon as Wednesday after meeting with Dr. Robert Watkins last week. Rotational exercises are expected to lead to swinging a bat in the near future.

It is a far better prognosis than the news Wednesday when Angels trainer Mike Frostad revealed that Trout is dealing with a rare back condition called "costovertebral dysfunction." Trout responded to that news by saying the reaction to it was overblown.

"It went from my career is over to now hopefully I'm going to play here soon," Trout said with a laugh Sunday.

A three-time MVP and the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year, Trout is batting .270 with 24 home runs and 54 RBIs in 79 games this season after playing just 36 games last year because of a right calf strain. He was named an All-Star Game starter this season but did not participate in the contest because of his injury.

In 1,367 games over 12 seasons, all with the Angels, Trout is a career .303 hitter with a 1.000 OPS and has 334 home runs with 867 RBIs. He is a 10-time All-Star.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Angels activate RHP Jimmy Herget, option RHP Chase Silseth

July 31, 2022, 6:30 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels recalled right-hander Jimmy Herget from an injury rehab assignment, while right-hander Chase Silseth was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Herget, 28, has been out since June 21 with a shoulder injury. In 25 appearances (one start) this season, he is 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA. In four major league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Angels, he is 5-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 68 appearances (two starts).

Silseth, 22, gave up five runs on five hits and four walks over four innings against the Rangers in a start Saturday. The Angels eventually earned a 9-7 victory.

In his first major league season, Silseth is 1-3 with a 6.59 ERA over seven starts.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros

X-rays negative on hand of Mariners' Julio Rodriguez

July 31, 2022, 4:53 PM

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The news, so far, is good about the condition of the right hand of Seattle Mariners All-Star rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez, who was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of Saturday's win over the Houston Astros.

X-rays were negative, general manager Jerry Dipoto told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio on Sunday. He said additional evaluation of the hand was taking place.

"Julio appears to be OK," Dipoto said. "I don't know that he'll be in the lineup (Sunday) -- maybe, maybe not -- but it appears to be a good portent for the future," he said.

Rodriguez swung at the pitch and missed, then was hit on the back of his hand by the ball. He struck out and took his spot in the outfield in the bottom of the inning, then was lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning.

Pinch hitter Abraham Toro hit a two-run single off Astros closer Ryan Pressly that gave the Mariners a 5-4 win.

Mariners outfielder Dylan Moore also left Saturday's game with back spasms.

The Mariners enter their final game of their four-game series with the Astros on Sunday 11 games behind American League West-leading Houston but sitting in the second AL wild-card spot.

Rodriguez has been key to the Mariners' stellar July, in which they're 18-6. The back-to-back reigning AL Rookie of the Month has hit .267 with 12 runs, five home runs and 18 RBIs in July.

On the season, the 21-year-old is batting .271 and leads the team in home runs (18) and RBIs (57).

--Field Level Media

Syndication: USA TODAY

Mariners land Reds ace Luis Castillo for four minor-leaguers

July 30, 2022, 3:49 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners acquired Cincinnati Reds ace right-hander Luis Castillo in exchange for four minor-leaguers on Friday.

In return for the 29-year-old Castillo, who won't be a free agent until after the 2023 season, the Reds will receive shortstops Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo and right-handers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore.

Marte, Arroyo and Stoudt were ranked first, third and fifth, respectively among Mariners prospects, according to

Castillo, widely considered the top starting pitcher on the market before the Tuesday trade deadline, is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA 14 starts this season. He missed spring training and the first month of the season with right shoulder soreness.

As the trade talk escalated, Castillo, who earned his second All-Star berth this season, has posted five consecutive quality starts, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 34 innings. He went seven innings in four of those outings.

"We see Luis Castillo as an impact, top of the rotation starter who's currently on top of his game," Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "Our goal remains to play in the postseason, now and in the years to come. We believe adding Luis is a big step in that direction."

Castillo is in his sixth season in the majors, all with the Reds, after being acquired from the Miami Marlins in January 2017 in a six-player trade involving Reds starter Dan Straily.

The Reds ace has made 137 starts, going 44-53 with a 3.62 ERA and 860 strikeouts in 792 1/3 innings.

Castillo drew interest from 10-15 teams, according to Reds general manager Nick Krall.

"We had to make ourselves better for the long haul," Krall said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Marte, 20, was playing for Class-A Everett. He is a .281 hitter with a .473 slugging mark in 1,199 plate appearances covering three minor league seasons.

Arroyo, 18, was with Class-A Modesto, where he hit .316 and slugging .514 in 410 plate appearances, with 13 homers and 67 RBIs.

Stoudt, 24, went 6-6 with a 5.28 ERA in 18 starts for Double-A Arkansas this year. He allowed 92 hits and 22 walks in 87 innings, with 82 strikeouts.

Moore, 22, was 2-1 with one save and a 1.95 ERA in 25 relief appearances for Modesto this season.

The Reds, who were expected to be busy at the trade deadline with several players drawing interest from other teams, dealt outfielder Tyler Naquin to the New York Mets on Thursday.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

Reports: Angels listening to offers for Shohei Ohtani

July 28, 2022, 8:22 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels reportedly have provided a listening ear to teams expressing interest in acquiring two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.

The New York Post reported the Angels are telling teams they are willing to listen to offers involving Ohtani, this with the club residing 21 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West entering play on Thursday. With fellow superstar Mike Trout holding a no-trade clause, Ohtani has become in play -- in theory.

CBS Sports reported the New York Mets have engaged in talks with the Angels over the reigning AL MVP. Mets general manager Billy Eppler signed Ohtani while he was the GM of the Angels from 2015-20.

The Athletic reported that San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller "checked in" on Ohtani, as well as Oakland Athletics ace Frankie Montas.

Previously, MLB Network reported the Angels have no plans to trade Ohtani prior to Tuesday's deadline.

Ohtani, 28, is 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings this season. He also is batting .257 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs in 95 games this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners

Mariners place RHP Diego Castillo (shoulder) on 15-day IL

July 28, 2022, 5:50 PM

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The Seattle Mariners put reliever Diego Castillo on the 15-day injured list Thursday with right shoulder inflammation.

The injury designation for the 28-year-old right-hander is retroactive to Tuesday.

Castillo is 7-1 with a 3.93 ERA and six saves in 39 appearances out of the bullpen this season. His seven wins trail only Toronto's Adam Cimber (eight) for the most among relievers in the majors.

Castillo is 24-16 with a 3.12 ERA and 34 saves in 230 games (17 starts) with the Tampa Bay Rays (2018-21) and Mariners.

Seattle recalled right-hander Matt Brash to take Castillo's spot on the roster.

Brash, 24, made his MLB debut on April 12 and is 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 games (five starts) for Seattle. He is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA and three saves in 22 relief appearances at Tacoma.

--Field Level Media