I’ve been working with (infield coach Chris Woodward) quite a bit. Just because all the backups I’ve ever had, that’s the guy they go to if you are ever in a bind. And we were in a bind. I put in the work with Woody and Skip has watched it and felt comfortable to go with me. —Mariners catcher John Buck
You see something new at the ballpark every day.
In Taylorsville native John Buck's case, he played first base for the first time in his major league career Sunday because his Mariners teammate, Logan Morrison, hit the wall of Seattle's dugout with his bat and a piece broke off and hit him in the head. He left the game with a laceration to his forehead.
Seattle Times beat writer Ryan Divish reported the injury was severe enough that Morrison received five stitches.
Buck played two innings in the field without any issues. He also singled in his lone at-bat before being lifted for a pinch runner in Seattle's 5-1 win over Texas.
Though Buck had not played first base in his 10-year career, he told Divish he played first base in the minors before and had been practicing with the Mariners coaching staff if the situation ever arose.
“I’ve been working with (infield coach Chris Woodward) quite a bit,” Buck told Divish after the game. “Just because all the backups I’ve ever had, that’s the guy they go to if you are ever in a bind. And we were in a bind. I put in the work with Woody and Skip has watched it and felt comfortable to go with me.”
Morrison was called up by the Mariners on Wednesday after the team's primary first baseman Justin Smoak was placed on the disabled list earlier in the week.
Buck, who entered the week with just 15 appearances in games this season, played in four games during the week for the Mariners. He's batting .271 on the season.
In other baseball news, former BYU pitcher Taylor Cole started the Florida State League (Single-A) All-Star Game Saturday for the North squad. Cole, representing the Dunedin Blue Jays, pitched a scoreless frame in one inning of work.
Cole led the FSL with 95 strikeouts in the first half of the year. The former Cougar is also 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in 13 games this season.
Former Utah pitcher Tyler Wagner joined Cole on the North team, though representing the Brevard County Manatees. Wagner pitched a scoreless fifth inning, allowing one walk and striking out a batter. The North team went on to win the game 6-4.
Former BYU pitcher Jeremy Guthrie also snapped his 11-game winless streak on Friday. The righty allowed just two runs in 5 2/3 innings as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-2.
Guthrie also struck out a season-best nine batters in the win. He entered the start without a win since April 9.
Finally, Utah resident Eddy Alvarez, a member of the U.S. Olympic speedskating team and a former Salt Lake Community College baseball member, signed with the White Sox organization over the week.
"Playing pro baseball has definitely been a goal of mine," Alvarez told People Magazine in February. "There were times when I thought of dropping skating completely and just focusing on baseball."
John Buck (Taylorsville H.S.), Seattle Mariners: Four hits, one RBI and two runs scored in 10 at-bats over the week. Buck started two games, pinch hit in another and came in as a defensive replacement briefly Sunday after Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison left with an injury.
Buck has seen more playing time in recent weeks. He appeared in four games this week, despite only playing in 15 games heading into the week. The catcher is batting .271, with one home run and five RBIs in 59 at-bats this year.
C.J. Cron (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Zero hits in seven at-bats this week. Cron sat most of Los Angeles' series at Atlanta without the designated hitter available.
The former Ute is batting .275 in the majors, with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
Jeremy Guthrie (BYU), Kansas City Royals: Allowed six hits, four walks and two runs while striking out a season-high nine batters to pick up his first win since April 9, as Kansas City beat the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Friday.
Guthrie is now 3-6 on the year, with a 4.04 ERA. He entered his start Friday on an 11-game winless streak after winning his first two starts of the season.
Matt Carson (BYU), Columbus (Cleveland Indians): Remains on the 7-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain suffered on May 24. Carson is batting .273 on the season, with seven doubles, five home runs, 17 RBIs and 26 runs scored in 41 games with the Clippers.
Stephen Fife (Utah), Albuquerque (Los Angeles Dodgers): Remains on the 7-day disabled list with right forearm tightness. The former Ute is 1-2 on the season, with a 6.94 ERA for the Isotopes, but has not pitched since May 10.
Tyson Brummett (Spanish Fork H.S.), Chattanooga (Los Angeles Dodgers): Did not pitch this past week.
Brummett is 4-5 on the year, with a 2.63 ERA. He is expected to participate in the Southern League All-Star Game in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Tuesday.
Parker Morin (Utah), Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City Royals): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. The catcher has not played since May 12. He’s batting .211 on the year, with three doubles and six RBIs with the Naturals.
Braeden Schlehuber (Viewmont H.S.), Mississippi (Atlanta Braves): Zero hits in 12 at-bats during the week. The catcher is batting .202 on the year, with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 36 games.
Matt Spring (Dixie State), Portland (Boston Red Sox): One hit in four at-bats during the week. Spring is batting .250 in 21 games this season, with two home runs and 14 RBIs.
Jaycob Brugman (BYU), Beloit (Oakland Athletics): Seven hits, five doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored in 28 at-bats throughout the week. The outfielder is batting .275 on the year, with 21 extra base hits, 28 RBIs and a .823 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 54 games.
Chris Capper (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. Has yet to appear in a game with the Silver Hawks this season.
Taylor Cole (BYU), Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays): Allowed four hits, two walks and two runs in 5 2/3 innings, picking up a win over Lakeland on Monday. Cole also added seven strikeouts to pad his Florida State League-leading strikeout total to 95 at the All-Star break.
Cole also started the FSL All-Star Game for the North All-Stars on Saturday, allowing two hits in one inning, but leaving without allowing a run.
Jake Hannemann (BYU), Kane County (Chicago Cubs): Six hits, two doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored in 26 games. Most of the former BYU standout’s production came on Saturday, when Hannemann went 4-for-6 at the plate, with two RBIs and two runs scored at Beloit.
Adam Law (BYU), Rancho Cucamonga (Los Angeles Dodgers): One hit in 16 at-bats during the week. Law finished the first half of the season batting .304 for the Quakes, with 11 extra base hits, 19 RBIs and 27 runs scored in 42 games.
Brady Lail (Bingham H.S.), Charleston (New York Yankees): Allowed three hits and one walk, while striking out six in six shutout innings, in a no-decision against Lexington on Thursday. The Bingham High School product is also expected to participate in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Marcus Littlewood (Pine View H.S.), Clinton (Seattle Mariners): Four hits, three RBIs and one run scored in 20 at-bats throughout the week. The catcher drove in three runs for Clinton on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough for the LumberKings, as they fell to Peoria 6-5.
Littlewood ends the first half of the season batting .270, with four home runs, 28 RBIs and 25 runs scored in 43 games. He is slated to start in the Midwest League All-Star Game in Comstock Park, Michigan, on Tuesday.
Adam Miller (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. The BYU alum last pitched on May 15. He is 3-0 this season, with a 2.80 ERA.
Tyler Wagner (Utah), Brevard County (Milwaukee Brewers): Allowed four hits and one walk in seven shutout frames on Monday, picking up a 3-0 win over Tampa. Wagner finished the first half of the year with a 5-4 record and a 2.09 ERA in 13 starts.
The former Ute also pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the North All-Stars in the FSL All-Star Game on Saturday.
Keenyn Walker (Judge Memorial H.S.), Winston-Salem (Chicago White Sox): Five hits, three RBIs and two runs scored in 19 at-bats during the week. Walker also stole a pair of bases during the week. The Salt Lake City native is batting .194 in 13 games since being sent down to Winston-Salem.