EVERETT — Right-handed pitcher Rob Whalen got the start for the Everett AquaSox Friday night as they played host to the Vancouver Canadians in the rubber match of the three-game series.
Whalen has spent most of the year with Class AAA Tacoma and made one appearance last month for the Seattle Mariners. Whalen has been with the AquaSox this week on a rehab assignment after landing on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
“Just trying to get my legs back under me and get familiar with the mound again and we’ll go from there,” said Whalen, who threw 27 pitches including 13 strikes in two innings of work with his fastball topping out at 90 miles per hour. “Today was basically a glorified bullpen (session) to try to get out there and get my feet wet again.”
Whalen needed just five pitches to get through the top of the first inning. Things got trickier in the second when he gave up a 447-foot solo home run to Griffin Conine and a 429-foot solo shot to Bryan Lizardo as Vancouver took a 2-0 lead.
“Today I was just trying to fill out the zone and throw a bunch of fastballs,” Whalen said. “It’s a smaller ballpark than what I’m used to, but those guys came out aggressive. Kudos to them. Tip the hat. They swung the bats well.”
Whalen’s last outing with Tacoma was June 21 at Salt Lake City when he surrendered three earned runs in three innings of work. In 14 starts with Tacoma this season he has a 7-4 record with a 4.68 earned-run average and 66 strikeouts in 75 innings. Whalen also threw four scoreless relief innings for Seattle in 7-6 win over Boston on June 15.
The Rainiers are currently on the road and the Triple-A All-Star break is next week, so Whalen will make another appearance with Everett as he continues his rehab process.
“It’s a great group of guys here and it’s nice to be around some of the young guys and see the future of the team coming up,” Whalen said.
Stowers returns to lineup
Outfielder Josh Stowers, who was Seattle’s second-round pick out of Louisville, returned to the Everett lineup Friday after missing three games. Stowers was in uniform during Everett’s first two games against Vancouver, but did not play.
Stowers dealt with a hamstring issue that caused him to miss the first three games of the regular season before debuting as Everett’s designated hitter in the team’s fourth game of the season and homering in his debut.
Rosario, Ramiz switch places
Everett outfielder Ronald Rosario was sent down to Arizona Friday while outfielder Ryan Ramiz was called up from Arizona to Everett.
Rosario was in his second season with the Frogs, but was slashing just .079/.103/.105 with just three hits in 38 at-bats this season.
Ramiz, who was Seattle’s 23rd-round pick out of Seton Hall last month, was slashing .298/.431/.319 in 14 games with Peoria. Ramiz singled in his first at-bat Friday.
Gilbert back home
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto, who signed a contract extension Friday, told Seattle media that Mariners first-round draft pick Logan Gilbert has mononucleosis and has returned home to Florida.
Gilbert was initially assigned to Everett last month after his signing was announced at Safeco Field. He caught the ceremonial first pitch the day after he signed, but did not accompany the AquaSox on their first road trip to Vancouver. He has been away from the team since.
Dipoto said the original plan was for the former Stetson star to make two starts before being shut down after he threw more than 100 innings this spring.
Raleigh headed to Everett
Dipoto also told Seattle media the Mariners have signed third-round pick Cal Raleigh, a catcher from Florida State.
Raleigh is currently at the Mariners’ spring training complex in Peoria, Arizona, and is expected to report to Everett in the coming days.
The switch-hitter slashed .326/.447/.583 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI while staring all 62 games for the Seminoles this spring.
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