Mariners reliever Chris Ray is brewing beer for charity

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Mariners reliever Chris Ray was at the Fremont Brewing Company yesterday, helping brew a beer called Homefront IPA that will be sold at Safeco Field and around Seattle to raise money for the Operation Homefront organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of military personnel.

Kendall Jones of Washington Beer Blog wrote a good article about tagging along with Ray, who has been brewing his own beer at home since back in the minor leagues and plans to open a brewery in Virginia with his brother someday:

Talking with Chris, you immediately recognize that he’s serious about beer. He talks about the rhizomes they chose to grow their hops and the first year’s hop harvest. Albeit tight-lipped, he tells me about the company that is potentially going to build the brewhouse. We discuss Virginia’s archaic liquor laws and the obstacles those laws create for a small brewery. It is clear that he is very serious about opening a brewery. He’s not just some guy who likes IPA.

Ray told Jones that he sometimes brings his home brewed beer into the Mariners’ clubhouse, but “it’s pretty hard converting light beer drinkers.” For shame, Mariners. For shame.

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.