The Seattle Mariners’ four full-season affiliates open their seasons on Thursday.
Triple-A Tacoma will start right-hander Sam Gaviglio at Sacramento (Giants). Gaviglio, 26, was a combined 8-7 last year at Tacoma and Double-A Jackson with a 3.98 ERA in 28 games.
The Rainiers’ roster includes prospects 1B Daniel Vogelbach, OF Tyler O’Neill and OF Boog Powell along with MLB veterans RHP Chris Heston, INF Gordon Beckham, RHP Mark Lowe and C Tuffy Gosewisch. Reliever Tony Zych starts the season on rehab.
2016 Texas League Pitcher of the Year Chase De Jong, Christian Bergman, and Dylan Unsworth – all right-handed pitchers – slot into the Tacoma starting rotation to open the season.
Double-A Arkansas will start right-hander Andrew Moore against visiting Corpus Christi (Astros). Moore, 22, was a combined 12-4 last year with a 2.65 ERA in 28 starts at Jackson and Hi-A Bakersfield.
20 of the 25 new Travelers have previous experience in Double-A including 14 with the Jackson Generals last season. The Jackson, Tennessee team was Seattle’s previous Double-A affiliate and won the Southern League Championship last season.
High-A Modesto will start prospect RHP Nick Neidert at Lake Elsinore (Padres). Neidert, 20, was 7-3 last year with a 2.57 ERA in 19 starts at Clinton and is the Mariners No. 4 prospect according to Baseball America.
Low-A Clinton will start right-hander Brandon Miller at Kane County (Diamondbacks). Miller, 21, was 4-2 last year with a 2.72 ERA in 14 games at Short-A Everett.
The infield will boast four returners: Rayder Ascanio, Kristian Brito, Conner Hale, and Jhombeyker Morales.
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