Opponent: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)
Probable starters: Everett left-hander Bennett Whitmore (2-2, 4.75 ERA) vs. Salem-Keizer right-hander Lorenzo Mendoza (2-2, 6.
Everett starting pitcher Jordan Shipers, who was originally scheduled to start Thursday’s game, was scratched.
The 20-year-old left-hander, who’s been in the rotation since the beginning of the season, developed a crack in the nail on the index finger of his pitching hand. The Sox decided Wednesday to skip Shipers this time through the rotation to give the nail a chance to heal.
“It cracked a little bit a couple days ago and we’re holding him out for precautionary reasons,” Everett manager Scott Steinmann said. “He probably could pitch if it was a playoff situation or in the big leagues. But this is short season and we’re going to take every precaution. We’re skipping one start and we’ll see how it goes.”
Shipers has shown great promise this season, but is still awaiting his first win as a professional. In six starts he is 0-4 with a 5.04 ERA. However, going into Thursday’s action he was tied for the Northwest League lead in strikeouts, having fanned 38 in 30 1/3 innings.
Shipers was replaced Thursday by right-hander Joe DiRocco. Shipers is expected to make his next start, which is scheduled for Tuesday in Eugene.
Everett is currently without outfielder Nathan Melendres. Melendres, batting .281 in 24 games, suffered a dislocated pinkie finger on his right hand while diving back to first base during Monday’s 9-4 loss at Salem-Keizer.
Sox trainer Spyder Webb said Melendres, who hasn’t played since, was scheduled to have the injury examined Thursday.
On the plus side of the ledger, the Sox could be getting a relief pitcher back soon. Right-hander Max Krakowiak hasn’t pitched since July 8 because of a sore shoulder caused by a pre-existing knee issue. Krakowiak had his knee examined by a specialist last week, was cleared and is now on verge of beginning to throw again.
Everett reliever Jason Buursma has been promoted to High Desert of the high single-A California League.
Buursma has already had a busy season moving from level to level. He started the year playing in triple-A for the St. Louis Cardinals’ affiliate in Memphis before being released. The Seattle native then signed with his hometown Mariners and was assigned to Everett for the start of the Northwest League season.
Buursma went 0-1 with a 7.16 ERA and one save in eight relief appearances with the Sox. In 16 1/3 innings he allowed 29 hits and five walks and struck out eight.
Nick Patterson, Herald writer