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Meet the 2019 Tacoma Rainiers. Here’s the breakdown of their roster

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Erik Swanson pitches in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Erik Swanson pitches in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) AP

The Tacoma Rainiers begin the 2019 season on Thursday at the Sacramento River Cats, here’s a look at the Rainiers roster.

COACHING STAFF

Manager: Daren Brown. Pitching coach: Lance Painter. Hitting coach: Roy Howell.

STARTING PITCHERS

1 Erik Swanson (RHP)

2 Tommy Milone (LHP)

3 Tyler Danish (RHP)

4 Justus Sheffield (LHP)

5 Nabil Crismatt (RHP)

The skinny: Two-thirds of what Seattle got November’s trade that sent James Paxton to the Yankees occupy two spots in the Rainiers rotation. Erik Swanson gets the honors of pitching the season opener and Sheffield is slated to start the fourth game of the season on April 7. In the spring, Swanson pitched in three games and collected five strikeouts in three innings of work. Tommy Milone has spent the better part of seven seasons with four major league teams, most recently he was with the Washington Nationals in 2018. In five appearances Milone had a 5.18 ERA with the Nationals.

RELIEVERS

R.J. Alaniz (RHP)

Dan Altavilla (RHP)

Ryan Garton (RHP)

Robinson Leyer (RHP)

David McKay (RHP)

Nick Rumbelow (RHP)

Tayler Scott (RHP)

Matt Tenuta (LHP)

The skinny: Dan Altavilla spent most of 2018 with the Seattle Mariners, appearing in 22 games with a record of 3-2 and a 2.61 ERA. David McKay, who was 5-1 with Double-A Arkansas for part of 2018, joins the Rainiers after a brief stay in Seattle to start the season. The Rainiers bullpen will have the task of replacing Shawn Armstrong, who finished the 2018 season in the top five in the Pacific Coast League with 15 saves.

CATCHERS

David Freitas (R, R)

Jose Lobaton (S, R)

Austin Nola (R, R)

The skinny: David Freitas returns following his productive 2018 season in Tacoma. Freitas hit .349 in three separate stints with the team while hitting 12 doubles, a triple and four home runs. Both Lobaton and Nola signed as free agents in the offseason. Loboton hit .348 for the New York Mets Triple-A team in Las Vegas. Nola collected 63 hits while batting .279 for New Orleans, the Miami Marlins Triple-A team.

INFIELDERS

SS Orlando Calixte (R, R)

SS J.P. Crawford (L, R)

1B Joey Curletta (R, R)

2B Adam Law (R, R)

INF Shed Long (L, R)

2B Tim Lopes (R, R)

INF Kris Negron (R, R)

The skinny: After a spring training battle with Tim Beckham for the Mariners starting shortstop job, J.P. Crawford starts the 2019 season with the Rainiers. The former first-round pick was apart of the Dec. 3 trade that sent Juan Segura to Philadelphia. In parts of two seasons with the Phillies, Crawford has hit .214 in 72 games but carries a .267 career minor-league batting average in 562 games. It will be a batch of fresh faces playing multiple positions in the infield. First-baseman Joey Curletta and Adam Law both spent time with Double-A Arkansas in 2018. The Rainiers will begin the season without Orlando Calixte who is on the seven-day injured list with an undisclosed injury.

OUTFIELDERS

Braden Bishop (R, R)

Ian Miller (L, R)

Tito Polo (R, R)

Eric Young Jr. (S, R)

The skinny: This will be the speedy Miller’s third season with the Rainers. In 2018 he stole an organization-high 33 bases and hit .261 in 114 games. Braden Bishop, the former Washington Husky, has spent the better part of two seasons with Double-A Arkansas and was part of the Mariners’ expanded roster for the two games in Japan. In 115 games with the Travelers, Bishop got on base with 140 hits and hit nine home runs. Eric Young Jr., who has spent nine seasons in the big leagues, adds a veteran presence, having played with five teams over 10 major league seasons. In 2018, he played in 41 games with the Angels. For his career, Young has slashed .245/.312/.332 sigh 162 stolen bases in 651 games.

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