<  Shannon Drayer

News notes and where will they play?

The big news of the day is Michael Saunders is back in the lineup after missing 10 of the last 11 games since crashing into the wall. He lined out hard to right in his first at bat, chopped one into the ground in his second, it doesn't look like the shoulder is bothering him at all.

In other news Daren Brown today said that they would most likely hold off on September callups until Tacoma season and post season is over. If there were a specific need at the big league level I have no doubt someone would be called up but as it is now they would like the Rainiers to stay together and win as many games possible.

In addition to figuring out who will come up in September the Mariners need to decide where some guys will play after the season. Some, like Dustin Ackley will play in the Arizona Fall League. We may not see him in Seattle because of this as they may want him to get a break before fall ball begins.

Others will play abroad. Representatives from the Lara team in Venezuela are here to talk with the Mariners about which players will be joining them. Director of Minor League and International Administration Hide Sueyoshi tells me that they most likely will send 6-7 players to Venezuela this year. The majority of those players are most likely to be pitchers and they will be watched closely by Lara's pitching coach who will be Jamie Navarro who currently holds the same position with Tacoma.

Sueyoshi says the experience in Venezuela can be a great one for young players as they get the opportunity to play in a very competitive environment. Two guys who benefited greatly from winter ball two years ago were Shawn Kelley and Chris Jakabauskas. Both made the club that year after being relatively under the radar in the system. Both credited their experience in Venezuela to being a big factor in making the team.

The Mariners will also look to place a couple of lower level players with the Adelaide Bite of the newly formed Australian Baseball League. Pat Kelly, a Mariners scout, owns the team.


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