EVERETT — Tuesday’s Northwest League off day gave the Everett AquaSox a chance to catch their collective breath as the season enters its middle third.
“With the grind they have to do in professional baseball, they are now getting used to playing every day,” Everett manager Jose Moreno said. “(They’re getting used to the) travels and the stuff like that, the routine they have to create to do something to prepare.
“But (it’s good) to have a day off and then come back home and try to make those adjustments.”
The AquaSox entered Wednesday’s game against Salem-Keizer on a five-game losing streak and have continued to struggle at the plate. Moreno and the coaching staff continue to emphasize putting together good at-bats and stringing those good at-bats together. Everett averaged fewer than six hits per game during its losing streak.
“When we lose it’s a learning (opportunity),” Moreno said. “Offensively we have to do a better job to score. We have to put something together, get something going to put some pressure on the bases. (That is) something we did at the beginning, but it’s tough when you don’t have runners on base. That’s the tough part right now.”
With few runners reaching base, the Frogs are unable to utilize their speed and put pressure on opposing defenses.
However, shortstop Connor Kopach continues to buck the trend, entering Wednesday’s game with a .333 batting average.
“He’s one of the reasons we’re only one game back (in the standings),” Moreno said. “He’s getting good at-bats and playing really good defense for us.”
Whalen makes 2nd rehab start
Rob Whalen started on the mound for Everett on Wednesday. It was the second NWL start for the right-hander, who has spent most of the season at Triple-A Tacoma and made one appearance for the Mariners.
Whalen worked around a leadoff single in the top of the first inning, but allowed two runs (one earned) in the second inning. He exited in the top of the third inning trailing 4-2. He threw 45 pitches, 33 for strikes. He struck out three and allowed seven hits in 22⁄3 innings.
Whalen has spent the past two weeks with the AquaSox as he recovers from shoulder inflammation. He attended the team’s recent three-game road trip to Kennewick to continue his rehab process.
Shortstop Bobby Honeyman was promoted to advanced-A Modesto following Everett’s second game at Kennewick on Sunday.
A 29th-round pick by the Mariners in this year’s draft, Honeyman was slashing .311/.358/.377 with three extra-base hits and five RBI in 61 at-bats for Everett.
He went hitless in four at-bats during his Modesto debut Tuesday.
AquaSox outfielder Jansiel Rivera was called up to Tacoma for one game during Everett’s recent road trip.
Rivera, who played three games with the Rainiers prior to the start of the NWL season, went 1-for-3 with a run in Tacoma’s 8-6 win over the Albuquerque Isotopes on Sunday.