Shocking trade of top Mariner player angers many, and among those unhappy are two with ties to local high school baseball program…plus other diamond cuts on a Wednesday

Good Wednesday morning. We are talking baseball and the Seattle Mariners are very much in the thick of the American League playoff chase, after a great weekend series performance this past weekend against division rival Oakland and their dramatic come-from-behind win Monday night over division leader Houston. But a decision made by the team prior to last night’s game with the Astros to trade one of their top players created a firestorm of criticism, from fans, media and Mariners players alike. And among those taking to social media to offer their thoughts about the move were two players with ties to Mount Si High School’s baseball program.

Wildcat senior-to-be Ryan Gerlitz and 2017 graduate Gavin Gorrell, now playing collegiately with the University of Utah, both expressed disappointment with the Mariners’ trade of pitcher Kendall Graveman, who had served as the team’s so-called “closer” (ninth-inning specialist) this season and amassed 10 saves with an earned run average below one. Gorrell, on Twitter from Bend, OR, where his college summer team, the Wenatchee AppleSox, were playing the Bend Elks, wrote, “Like what are we doing man. Seriously, I’ve tried understanding this trade .. and nothing makes sense.” Gorrell’s Tweet echoed many from fans and media alike following the shocking news which came about two hours before the start of last night’s game.

In the trade, the Mariners sent Graveman and another pitcher, Rafael Montero, who had been designated for assignment after struggling this season with the club, to Houston in exchange for a veteran pitcher, Joe Smith, who too has struggled this season, along with infield prospect Abraham Toro. That the deal came with the division leaders was also something that made the masses extremely upset. Gerlitz in his Tweet pointed his criticism specifically at Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, suggesting the GM ruined what the team had put together during the course of this season, which sees them in strong contention for a wild card playoff spot.

It should be noted that Dipoto told reporters that the deal was likely going to be part of a series of those involving the Mariners prior to the major league baseball trading deadline, which is Friday afternoon at 1:00 our time. And to that end, a second trade was completed following last night’s game, won by Houston 8-6. In that trade, Seattle acquired left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a pair of minor league prospects – one, a catcher whose ascension to the big leagues likely was going to be held up anyway by the emergence of new Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh, and the second a pitcher who was in the lowest levels of the Seattle minor league system.

It is now anticipated the Mariners will look to reel in some bigger fish at the trade deadline. Among those available would be a replacement for Graveman in that closer’s spot – Chicago Cubs pitcher Craig Kimbrel, long regarded as one of the best closing pitchers in baseball. So we’ll see what the next few days holds, and whether the jeers about last night’s trade from local players – and many other fans of the team in our community – turn into cheers.

Time for some scores.

Pippins outlast Black Bears with aid of a Marenco
The Yakima Valley Pippins college summer baseball squad returned home following a brief road trip this past weekend to see their West Coast League arch-rivals from Wenatchee, and the home cooking was very good last night, as they won a slugfest with the Cowlitz Black Bears.

The Pippins took the contest 12-8 at Yakima County Stadium aided by Spencer Marenco. The 2018 Mount Si grad from North Bend went 0-3 but walked twice and scored a run as YVP scored five second-inning runs, then were able to respond to a number of rally attempts by the Black Bears during the late stages of the contest to seal the win.

Another Kingco 4A alum delivered for Cowlitz in the game – Inglemoor High grad Sean Mulcare went 2-5 with a double, run scored and RBI for the Black Bears pacing their efforts.

The two teams continue their series tonight in Yakima at 6:30 and you can see the game on YouTube, search Yakima Valley Pippins.

Youth baseball scores now, powered by Gamechanger and their apps, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

Washington A’s 16U Purple 6, City Baseball Navy 2: The Sammamish-based A’s took game one of the best-of-three Seattle Elite League title series at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue last night over the Seattle-based foes. Mount Si’s Kam Korrell went 0-4 for the A’s, who can wrap up the title with a win tonight.

Baden Premier 3, Seattle Stars 18U 0: The Stars were held to three hits in the loss at Rainier Beach High School in southeast Seattle. One of those hits belonged to Mercer Island High School grad Mason Gronewald, a former Mount Si player. The two teams meet again tonight in their league title series.

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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