Finding former Mariners

Jun 5, 2013, 7:35 AM | Updated: 10:37 am

By Gary Hill

Like most people on an idle Tuesday night I was perusing the 2013 Nippon Professional Baseball Central League batting leaders. I stumbled across a couple very familiar names, which launched my quest to search the globe to find former Mariners.

I found a couple of Mariners mashing in Japan. Jose Lopez is hitting .292 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs while playing first base for the Yomiuri Giants. His former teammate with the M’s, Wladimir Balentien, is also making noise for the Yakult Swallows. He has clubbed 15 home runs on the season while driving in 36 and batting .273. Bryan LaHair has hit 11 homers and driven in 40 for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, but Wily Mo Pena has not been able to find the same success with the club (.211, 0 HR, 6 RBI).

Brett Tomko has pitched for the York Revolution of the Atlantic League this season, but the interesting twist is that his former teammate is the pitching coach. After finally retiring from baseball after last season, John Halama was named the pitching coach of the Revolution. He was 13-8 with a 3.09 ERA as a pitcher for the club last season. He holds an Atlantic League record by getting the call to the Majors on four different occasions while pitching in the independent league.

Ryan Rowland-Smith is attempting a comeback for the Pawtucket Red Sox this year. He has thrown 18 times out of the pen and is boasting a 3-0 record with a 0.79 ERA.

Ben Broussard was brought to the Mariners in the Shin-Soo Choo deal. Broussard has split the season between the Long Island Ducks (.385, 3 HR, 11 RBI) and the Diablos Rojos del Mexico (.304, 2 HR, 11 RBI) in the Mexican League. He was united with former M’s pitcher Ian Snell (0-0, 6.58 ERA) with the Ducks.

Chris Snelling played for the Sydney Blue Sox in Australia last season (.273, 2 HR, 12 RBI) and is back on the roster this season.

Wilson Valdez: Camden Riversharks, .306, 0 HR, 3 RBI.
Chris Widger: Camden Riversharks, pitching coach.
Horacio Ramirez: Lancaster Barnstormers, 2-0, 2.38 ERA.
Roy Corcoran: Sugarland Skeeters, 4-1, 1.10 ERA.
Randy Messenger: Hanshin Tigers, 6-2, 3.57 ERA.
Eliezer Alfonzo: Diablos Rojos del Mexico, .328, 4 HR, 14 RBI.
Mike Wilson: Somerset Patriots, .325, 3 HR, 18 RBI.
Luis Jimenez: Buffalo Bisons, .348, 12 HR, 50 RBI.
Jeff Gray: Charlotte Knights, 2-1, 2.95.

Notes

• Raul Ibanez is hitting .303 with nine homers and 25 RBIs over the last 30 days. His OPS is 1.031.

• Ibanez is third in the American League in homers the last 30 days behind Miguel Cabrera (11) and Chris Davis (11).

• The Mariners are tied for fourth in the AL with 70 homers on the season

Catcher situation

The Mariners will probably need to add a catcher today thanks to the Jesus Sucre injury.

Chris Snyder was just DFA’d by Baltimore. The 32-year-old is a 10-year MLB veteran. He played in six games for the Orioles this season while only hitting .118 on the season. He would allow the M’s not to rush a youngster to the big leagues.

Former Washington catcher Jesus Flores just signed a minor-league deal with Tampa Bay. They have Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton on the big club. Flores joins Triple-A Durham and their starter and former M’s catcher, Chris Gimenez, could have been a possibility had he not been on the seven-day DL.

Josh Thole, Chris Herrmann, Rene Rivera and Max Ramirez are veteran catchers who are kicking around in Triple-A and could be pried away from their clubs at a reasonable rate.

The in-house options are Brandon Bantz or Mike Zunino.

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Finding former Mariners