Do the Mariners and Brewers have something cookin'?

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As I mentioned in the recaps
this morning, it was probably a blessing in disguise that the Mariners
have face-planted in the past week or so. It was always going to be
tough to keep up with the Angels and even the Rangers, and the fact
that their lot seems to have been cast before, rather than after, the
trading deadline is probably better for their long term prospects.

As Geoff Baker notes,
trading Jarrod Washburn has to be on the top of the agenda. He’s
classic deadline material: a veteran starter pitching better than he
ever has, and in great need of being shipped out so that some value can
be realized. If the Mariners didn’t get rocked by the Indians this
weekend, it would be Seattle, and not someone else, who would have to
watch his painful regression to his mediocre mean.

Baker talks about maybe unloading Washburn to Milwaukee for
shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar. As he notes, it would take more
than Washburn to do it, but if they could pull that off, it would go a
long way to balancing their karma out from the Adam Jones-Erik Bedard
deal. Oh, and it would help the team a lot too.

And lest you think that this is mere wishcasting on the part of Mr. Baker, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is thinking the same thing.
Almost exactly the same thing, actually (Washburn and change for
Escobar), which makes you wonder if he and Baker compared notes. Or
have the same team source.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.