By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — Everett has gradually seen its pitching staff shrink the past week, with Ambioris Hidalgo the latest loss as he was promoted Tuesday to High Desert of the high Class A California League.
Hidalgo, a right-hander who went 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA in 10 appearances (six starts) with Everett, was called up to cover for injuries at High Desert.
Hidalgo’s departure came three days after Rusty Shellhorn was promoted to Clinton of the mid Class-A Midwest League. Neither player was replaced.
The promotions left Everett with just 14 pitchers on staff. That includes Jose Valdivia, who hasn’t pitched since July 17 because of a shoulder injury. Those numbers are beginning to seem a little light, considering Northwest League team’s typically carry in the vicinity of 16 or 17 pitchers in an effort to protect the young and developing arms.
However, Everett manager Rob Mummau is not concerned.
“Not really, because I thought we were heavy before,” Mummau replied when asked if he felt his staff was getting thin. “We lost a couple guys and didn’t get anybody in return, but I think we’ll be fine.”
Hidalgo had just been reinserted into Everett’s starting rotation, giving the Sox a six-man rotation. His departure returns Everett to a five-man rotation. Marcos Reyna, who threw four scoreless innings in a spot start after Shellhorn was promoted, will remain in the rotation as the fifth starter.
Mummau also said there was a possibility Hidalgo would return to Everett later in the season.
Tuesday’s game was Everett’s last opportunity to affect who the Sox will face in the first round of the playoffs.
Everett already clinched a playoff berth by winning the Northwest League West Division’s first-half title. The Sox will face the division’s second-half winner in a best-of-three series. Tuesday’s opponent, Eugene, is battling with Vancouver for first. Going into Tuesday, Vancouver had a two-game lead over Eugene with 11 games remaining.
Beginning today, it’s out of Everett’s hands as the final 10 games of the season are against teams in the East Division.
When Everett’s Taylor Ard hit a double in the third inning of Monday’s game, it was his league-leading 20th of the season. He did that in 64 games, which projects to approximately 50 over a full major-league season.
The 20 doubles are the most by an Everett player since Mario Martinez smacked 20 in 2009, but still well off the franchise record of 27 set by Oswaldo Navarro in 2004.
Ard also went into Tuesday leading the league in extra-base hits (32), total bases (124) and RBI (48).
Opponent: Yakima Bears
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)
Probable starting pitchers: Everett left-hander Scott DeCecco (1-3, 5.64 ERA) vs. Yakima undecided