Here in Everett, the AquaSox have a very special relationship with the parent club, the Mariners. Being located just 20 miles north on I-5 from Safeco Field has its advantages, as this allows the parent club to keep a closer bond with the team and its players. Scouts have an easier time viewing the future Mariners on the AquaSox roster and this also leads to rehab assignments for major league players at Everett.
Last homestand, Wade Miley made a start for the Sox, throwing 4 perfect innings and striking out 7 Boise Hawks. It was an impressive start for the MLB veteran and one that showed he was back in his groove, feeling no pain and making his pitches.
In 2015, the AquaSox were host to Hisashi Iwakuma for a start, watching him work his way through almost 4 innings of work, finding his spots and getting his arm in shape.
It’s a common theme through the past with the AquaSox, having some truly great Mariners make stopovers for a few nights in an Everett uniform. Seattle Mariners stars such as Chris Bosio, Jay Buhner, Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson and Kazuhiro Sasaki have all made starts over the years in Everett. Current Mariners starter James Paxton had a stopover in Everett in 2014, and both Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero had stays as well in the past. Some had rocky outings in Everett, but the goal with any rehab outing isn’t necessarily dominating performance, but rather to prove fitness and return to full strength.
That’s what is exciting about seeing veterans make these starts in Everett. While their talents have been honed and they are facing the younger less experienced players in the Northwest League, it’s a great opportunity for everyone. For the player himself, he gets a chance to relax and experience baseball again without all the pressures of Safeco Field. For the opposing team, they get an opportunity to face some higher level pitching/hitting that they won’t see for a few years yet. For the players of the AquaSox, it’s a great mentoring opportunity to meet and learn from an existing MLB player who knows what they’re going through. Finally, it’s a wonderful opportunity for fans such as yourselves to get to see these players up close and personal.
While we hope not to have any further injuries within the organization, there’s no telling who may make a stop in Everett later this year. Keep an eye on the AquaSox website along with Twitter and Facebook for any updates and spot rehab starts by Mariner players, and come out to see the future Mariners already playing every day!
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