Strasburg, Chapman deliver in openers

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UPDATE: Strasburg allowed four runs — one earned — over five innings and tallied eight strikeouts against two walks.  According to the AP he was clocked consistently in the 97-98 MPH range. 

Chapman tossed 4 2/3 innings down in Louisville, fanning nine batters and allowing one earned run on five hits.  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay says four of those hits were infield singles.  Not a bad start for both.

12:53pm: Baseball fans, listen up.  Young pitching prospects Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman are scheduled to make their 2010 minor league debuts this afternoon and MLB.com will be streaming both appearances.  For Free.

The pitchers are both scheduled to take the mound at 2 PM ET.  Strasburg will be dealing for the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, while Chapman will be handling his business for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats.

Strasburg, 21, signed a $15.1 million contract last year after being selected No. 1 overall in baseball’s first-year player draft.  Chapman signed a $25 million free agent contract this offseason.

Mariners give manager Scott Servais a multi-year contract extension

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Two weeks ago the Seattle Mariners gave GM Jerry Dipoto a contract extension. Today they did the same for manager Scott Servais. They are calling it a “multi-year contract extension,” though the exact number of years and the money is not reported. The money rarely is reported for the managers.

Servais has a record of 222–199 (.527) midway through his third season as the M’s skipper. That, actually, makes him the fourth-winningest manager in Mariners history if you can believe it. Twenty men have held that job. A lot of them helmed some pretty bad teams.

The Mariners released a quote from Dipoto regarding Servais:

“Scott has created a culture here in Seattle that allows players to be successful,” Dipoto said. “They are encouraged to be themselves, which has resulted in a loose environment, while still maintaining the focus on team above self. His leadership has also been evident through the ongoing growth and impact of one of the best coaching staffs in Major League Baseball.

“He has been the right leader at the right time for the right team and I look forward to many more years together.”

The Mariners are currently 58–39, good for the fourth-best record in the Major Leagues. If the season ended today they’d be in the playoffs for the first time since 2001, baseball’s longest postseason drought.