SEATTLE -- Raul Ibanez has been raking at the plate this season and now the 41-year-old has a chance to rake in some hardware. The Seattle outfielder has been nominated for the Branch Rickey Award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player, manager, coach or executive for "contributions to the community or their status as a role model."
Ibanez has no shortage of contributions that solidify his status as a community leader. He has co-chaired the Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament six times, raising over $1.76 million to combat the illness. He has also served as the spokesperson for the Mariners Refuse to Abuse program, which seeks to curb domestic violence.
Ibanez credits mentors from his early days playing for the Mariners with showing him the importance of giving back and being active in the community.
"Jay [Buhner] used to do the Cystic Fibrosis golf tournament, so when they asked me to do it I was honored and humbled because I knew that Jay did it and Randy [Johnson] had done it," Ibanez said. "I knew that it was a big deal and provided a lot of funding for what's a disease that we're getting closer to a cure for."
Ibanez has also supported local charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program, Boys and Girls Clubs and others.
The Rotary Club of Denver and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association sponsor the award to benefit Denver Kids, Inc., an organization that provides Denver public school students with mentors.
With all the accolades he's received, Ibanez says that it is his turn to now impart the importance of charity to younger players, as his role models once did to him.
"I like to talk to them about it, but to their credit they ask," Ibanez said. "And they want to listen and they want to talk about it. I learn a lot from them, too."
The honor is named for the late Branch "Mr. Baseball" Dickey, the man who broke the MLB color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson in 1945. Branch also founded the "Knot Hole Gang," which allowed underprivileged children to attend Major League games.
Jamie Moyer won the award while with the Mariners in 2004.
The 2013 Branch A. Dickey Award will be presented in Denver on Nov. 16.
Franklin sits again with sore right knee
SEATTLE -- Nick Franklin was out of the Mariners lineup for the second consecutive night on Friday, nursing a sore right knee. Manager Eric Wedge said that the situation wasn't serious, and that the rookie second baseman could be used in a pinch-hit situation.
"As long as pregame goes OK, he'll be available today," Wedge said. "And we'll hopefully get him back in here in a couple days before the break."
The 22-year old has been a revelation for the Mariners, recording a hit in 26 of 28 starts since getting his big league callup on May 27. Franklin was named to Baseball America's Midseason All-Rookie Team for hitting .275 with six home runs and 10 doubles.
Franklin left Wednesday's game against Boston when he felt soreness in his knee. It was originally bruised on July 5 against Cincinnati.
LaFromboise, Noesi recalled from Triple-A Tacoma
SEATTLE -- Looking to bolster their bullpen after a rough series against the Red Sox, the Mariners recalled relievers Bobby LaFromboise and Hector Noesi from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday.
Erasmo Ramirez, who made his first start for Seattle in Thursday's 8-7 loss, was optioned to Class A Everett and long reliever Blake Beavan was optioned to Tacoma.
With the All-Star break coming next week, Ramirez would have sat for 12 days before making his next scheduled start if he'd stayed as the fifth man in the rotation. This move allows Ramirez to pitch on his normal rest next week, then be recalled in time to make his next start for the Mariners.
"Just keep him going and make sure he'd stay in his routine for the most part," manager Eric Wedge said. "We'll get him back here after the break."
Beavan will be moved back into the starting rotation for Tacoma, which could give the Mariners another option down the road.
Players who are optioned to the Minors must stay down for a minimum of 10 days unless a player goes on the disabled list on the 25-man Major League roster to create an opening.
"We wanted to get him back there and have him start," Wedge said. "Noesi's shown himself to be a bit more durable in the 'pen. We need help today with all the workload of everybody in the last couple days."
LaFromboise and Noesi will be available out of the bullpen for Friday night's series opener against the Angels at Safeco Field. Seattle's relievers pitched 15 1/13 innings over the previous three games against Boston.
LaFromboise, 26, appeared in three games with Seattle earlier this season and allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He was 4-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 29 games with Tacoma.
"It feels a little different," LaFromboise said. "Obviously, being here before I'm not as nervous. I'm still nervous, I wasn't here very long, so I still have to tiptoe around and test the waters a little bit. But I'm glad to be back and hopefully stick around for a little while."
Noesi, 26, will be in his third stint with the Mariners this season. He's gone 0-1 with a 4.74 ERA in 19 innings in seven games and can be used as a long reliever. The right-hander was nonplussed about his return to the big leagues.
"It's exciting, but at the same time, I'm used to it," Noesi said. "Down, up, down, up, a few too many times. It's kind of the same for me."
Beavan, 24, was 0-2 with a 6.13 ERA in 12 games with Seattle. This will be his second time joining Tacoma this season.
Ramirez, 23, gave up six hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first Major League start of the season Thursday after missing the first three months of the year with an elbow injury.
• The Mariners have scored 30 runs over the past four games, but have gone 1-3 in that span.
• With 103 hits this season, Kyle Seager is just the 12th player in franchise history to break the century mark before the All-Star break. He is the first Mariner to accomplish the feat since Ichiro Suzuki in 2010.
• Seattle is third in the American League with 103 home runs.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.