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SEATTLE (AP) — Throughout the offseason Eric Sogard Jersey , the decisions made about the future of the .Whether it’s a “step-back” or a “rebuild” or a “reimagining” of Seattle’s current situation and its future hopes, the reality is for the first time in quite a while there appears to be a plan in place to perhaps get the franchise out of the purgatory of mediocrity.There’s optimism about what Seattle’s future could be, but it might result in a difficult 2019 season.“We don’t think this year is a punt,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “We feel like we went from being stuck in the middle of the American League to being stuck in the middle of the American League with a future in front of us. That’s a better place to be.”Seattle begins the season Wednesday in Tokyo with a pair of games against the Oakland Athletics, featuring a roster that is overhauled from the one that finished 2018 with 89 wins and yet again missed out on the postseason. The Mariners extended the longest playoff drought in the major pro sports.Seattle made nine trades in the offseason, shedding itself of heavy salaries and burdensome contracts. In exchange, the club targeted 2021 as a time when it could be more than just a team stuck in the middle of the American League. Seattle acquired a number of key prospects that could be ready to contribute in two years. It kept a handful of core players — Mitch Haniger, Marco Gonzales among them — who will be in their prime. And, they freed up the potential to have a significant amount of money available to spend in free agency.It makes sense. It’s also a risky proposition. If those prospects don’t hit, Seattle could find itself set back longer in its hope of again being a contender.“That gives us the opportunity to look at the world in a different way than we could before. That excites us, and I think that excited ownership,” Dipoto said. “While we can’t sit here and stick a flag in the top of the mountain saying we are the world champs in 2021 http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-orlando-arcia-jersey , that is a more realistic goal for us now than it has been in the past.”Here’s what else to watch with the 2019 Mariners:IN ROTATION: The top of Seattle’s rotation should be solid with Gonzales, Mike Leake, Wade LeBlanc and newcomer Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi’s arrival will be closely followed as Seattle tries to limit his total innings in his first season in the majors. Gonzales slumped late last season but had a stretch last summer where he was one of the best lefties in the AL.FAREWELL FELIX: It’s clear this will be the final season Felix Hernandez wears a Seattle uniform. He’s going to be Seattle’s No. 5 starter in the rotation, coming off a career worst 5.55 ERA in 2018, and is unhappy about his place. The bigger question is whether Hernandez has anything left to be attractive to another team, either at the trade deadline or for next season, because his time in Seattle seems to be at an end.TRADE BAIT: Part of the reason Seattle acquired Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion during the offseason was to have a lineup that could still be serviceable. How long they’ll be around is another story. Seattle would like both to have a big first-half so they could be trade options by midseason and potentially land the Mariners a couple of more prospects in their rebuild plans. For now, Bruce will split time between first base and outfield, while Encarnacion will be the primary designated hitter.WAIT AND SEE: Two key starters will miss the opening series with third baseman Kyle Seager out for at least a month after hand surgery and Mallex Smith slowed by a shoulder issue. Smith could be ready when the team returns from Japan, while Seager’s injury clears up a logjam at first base for the moment with Ryon Healy moving to third base.ON THE FARM: While the major league club will get plenty of attention, there will be more focus on the minors than previous years. Plenty of attention will be on prospects Evan White, Braden Bishop Zach Davies Jersey , Justin Dunn, Shed Long, Jared Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez to name a few. At the Triple-A level, pitcher Justus Sheffield and shortstop J.P. Crawford are likely to be up with the major league club by the end of the season.“Truly connected I think is the best word you can use for that and is what is going on,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “From my seat, I’ll pay more attention to it than I ever have here.” ATLANTA (AP) — Ryan Braun’s spectacular catch in left field was just what the Milwaukee Brewers needed with another potential loss looming.With a runner on second base and the Brewers down one run to the Braves with two outs in the seventh inning, Braun ran hard to his right and dove to rob pinch-hitter Ender Inciarte of extra bases.Milwaukee followed up Braun’s play with a three-run eighth and got a 4-2 win over Atlanta on Saturday night that will help its NL playoff chances.“I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say it felt like a season saver,” Braun said. “We’re well aware of where we’re at and how things have gone. Sometimes those things can snowball a little bit.”Mike Moustakas hit a two-run double in the eighth inning and Josh Hader recorded a two-inning save to close out the Brewers’ rally.The Braves began the game leading the NL East by one percentage point over the Philadelphia Phillies and had won nine of 12. Milwaukee snapped a two-game skid and pulled within two games of the NL Central lead.The Brewers’ offense came to life in the eighth. Reliever Jesse Biddle (3-1) let the first batter, Christian Yelich, reach on an error when he dropped the ball at the bag after catching first baseman Freddie Freeman’s underhand toss. Lorenzo Cain singled, and both runners scored on Moustakas’ double.Biddle faced two more batters and gave way to Dan Winkler, who walked his first batter and gave up Erik Kratz’s run-scoring infield single.It was the first time the Atlanta bullpen had blown a save opportunity since June 27 against Cincinnati. Before the eighth http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-orlando-arcia-jersey , Biddle had a 1.87 ERA in 29 appearances since May 19.“It was one of those days where, shoot, he came out, he threw strikes, and they hit it,” Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki said. “You’ve got to tip your hat sometimes. Biddle’s been great.”Moustakas, in his 14th game since coming to Milwaukee in a trade with Kansas City, is hitting .285 with eight RBIs in 49 at-bats. But he said Braun’s big grab was the difference.“That catch definitely turned the game for us,” Moustakas said. “It got us going. It got us a little momentum. Seeing him going out and laying out like that and saving the game for the most part, that’s huge. We were able to rally the next inning and let our bullpen do the job.”Hader hadn’t pitched in three days and was plenty rested to make his 16th two-inning appearance and earn his sixth save in such situations this year. He retired all six batter he faced, striking out three to pick up his ninth save in 12 chances overall.Corbin Burnes (3-0) earned the win after facing four batters in the seventh.The Brewers went ahead in the first on Braun’s RBI single to shallow center. Ronald Acuna Jr. tied it by leading off the bottom of the first with his 14th homer, and the Braves made it 2-1 in the fourth when Freeman reached on a double and slid his left leg safely onto the plate to beat a tag attempt on Nick Markakis’ single.Braves starter Julio Teheran allowed one run Boone Logan Jersey , two hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out six, improving from a rough three-start stretch in which he gave up 15 runs — 13 earned — over 15 innings.Brewers starter Wade Miley gave up six hits, two runs and one walk with no strikeouts in six innings.STILL HOTBraun went 2 for 3 and is batting .375 with eight RBIs over his last 14 games. … Freeman went 1 for 3 and is batting .360 during a 13-game hitting streak.TRAINER’S ROOMBraves manager Brian Snitker confirmed that RHP Anibal Sanchez will start Tuesday at home against Miami despite getting hit by a liner in his last start and leaving a no-decision at Washington after facing seven batters.LONG SKIDSAtlanta SS Dansby Swanson singled in the seventh, but he’s 3 for 26 this month and his average has dropped 36 points since June 5 to .238. … Milwaukee INF Jonathan Schoop grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and is 5 for 35 since arriving in a trade from Baltimore.UP NEXTBrewers: RHP Chase Anderson (7-7, 3.81) will pitch for the first time in Atlanta as he makes his fourth career start against the Braves. Anderson received no-decision in his last start, Tuesday against San Diego, allowing four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (10-5, 3.15 ERA) carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning of his last home start, a 4-1 win over the Dodgers two weeks ago. He is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in his last three starts but lost the last time he faced the Brewers, giving up five runs, five hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings July 8 at Milwaukee.
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