The two newest flame-throwers in the Seattle Mariners’ bullpen each achieved pitching’s ultimate status symbol for the first time this season while toiling in relative obscurity in the Southern League.
After an appearance in Huntsville, Ala., while with the Jackson Generals, Stephen Pryor heard from a teammate who had been wielding the radar gun that he had hit 100 mph.
“It was exciting,” Pryor said. “It doesn’t mean everything, but it’s a goal you personally want to have, I guess.”
Carter Capps, Pryor’s Jackson teammate in the first half of this season, reached the triple-digit club during an outing in Pensacola, Fla., against the Blue Wahoos.
“It’s cool, but it’s no different than anything else,” Capps said. “You still have to hit your spots with it.”
That’s true, especially in the major leagues, where Pryor and Capps are now part of the Mariners’ bullpen.
They’re giving an enticing preview of what the M’s foresee as a shutdown power relief corps, with closer Tom Wilhelmsen also capable of reaching 100 mph.
“You allow yourself a little more room for error, even though in the big leagues, that room isn’t very large no matter how hard you throw,” M’s pitching coach Carl Willis said.
Machado makes it
Upon learning of his promotion to the big leagues, 20-year-old Manny Machado excitedly called his mother in Florida to share the exciting news.
She didn’t believe him.
And who could blame her? The Baltimore Orioles are fighting for a postseason berth and Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, was playing with Double-A Bowie in his third season of professional baseball.
No matter. The Orioles purchased Machado’s contract, paid his way to Baltimore and put him in the starting lineup Thursday night against the Kansas City Royals. Machado went 2 for 4, with a triple, in his debut.
“Just thought he gave us a chance to win more baseball games,” manager Buck Showalter said, matter-of-factly.
Clearing the bases
Injured Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza (5-7, 3.91 earned-run average) says he hopes to pitch again this season. The right-hander hasn’t pitched since July 21 because of trouble with his pitching elbow. … The Houston Astros acquired infielder Tyler Greene (.218, four homers, 19 RBIs) from the St. Louis Cardinals. The Astros received Greene for a player to be named or cash considerations. … One day after snapping an 11-game losing streak, the Cleveland Indians fired pitching coach Scott Radinsky. Ruben Niebla was named an interim replacement. … The Toronto Blue Jays placed third baseman Brett Lawrie on the 15-day disabled list. Lawrie – who has a possible rib cage injury – is on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 4.