The newest Mariners pitcher glanced down at his blue jersey, a contrast from the Orioles' black and orange he wore the day before, and what...
BALTIMORE — The newest Mariners pitcher glanced down at his blue jersey, a contrast from the Orioles’ black and orange he wore the day before, and what he had been expecting to wear Thursday.
“It’s kind of weird, but I like the shirt,” he said with a smile.
John Parrish’s life changed dramatically Thursday with a mid-day phone call from new Orioles president Andy MacPhail, informing the left-handed relief pitcher he had been traded from Baltimore to Seattle.
The Mariners sent minor-league outfielder Sebastien Boucher and a player to be named to Baltimore for Parrish, and optioned Mark Lowe to Tacoma.
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“We think John is going to be a good addition to our staff,” Mariners manager John McLaren said. “He has the ability to get right-handers out, too. He has a good track record there. Experience is a factor, too. It’s good to have another veteran in the bullpen.”
It was convenient — with the Mariners in town, all Parrish had to do was walk down the hall at Camden Yards to the visiting clubhouse — but jarring nonetheless. Parrish, 29, had spent his entire professional career with the Orioles since being drafted in 1996.
“I’m pretty excited, actually,” he said. “It’s nice moving up in the standings. I hated pitching against that lineup, so it’s good to be with them.”
Parrish gives the Mariners four lefties in the bullpen, which is unconventional but not unprecedented.
“The Orioles had four lefties in the bullpen yesterday,” Parrish pointed out.
With Baltimore, Parrish had appeared in 45 games, all in relief, going 2-2 with a 5.40 earned-run average. Lefties were hitting .270 off him, and righties .236. He has made 10 starts in the majors and battled through elbow problems that led to three surgeries. Two were serious, including Tommy John surgery in July 2005 that kept him sidelined in 2006.
“As far as my health, I’m there,” he said. “I’ve gone back and forth, but I’m in a groove now where I’m feeling pretty good.”
Lee Pelekoudas, the Mariners’ assistant general manager, said the move was made both to add veteran depth to the bullpen and to allow Lowe to pitch more regularly.
“We can get Mark down to Triple A to be used on a regular basis,” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to get him in better shape, and it gives us some better options to look at in September to reinforce the bullpen.
“At the same time, Parrish gives us a veteran pitcher who’s been through the wars, and he strengthens the bullpen now. He’s someone that can pitch on a more regular basis.”
Lowe understands move
Lowe, who missed the first half of the season following elbow surgery and was activated July 24, was understanding of the move.
“Right now, it’s better for me personally, and better for the team,” he said. “I can’t go back-to-back days, and that’s what they need. I’m kind of handcuffing them the day after I pitch.”
Lowe added he wasn’t upset.
“I’m lucky to be pitching, to be given the opportunity I’ve been given,” he said. “I wasn’t even supposed to pitch again, according to some people. This is a setback, but not really. It’s for the best. I understand where they’re coming from.”
The plan is for Lowe to pitch every two days for Tacoma. He had pitched just four times since being activated, logging 2-2/3 innings with a 6.75 ERA.
“We’re having problems building his arm where it should be,” McLaren said. “This gives him a chance to pitch 10 days, two weeks, whatever it is, to build his arm up.”
Wells not what M’s need
The Mariners don’t appear to be interested in veteran left-hander David Wells, cut by the San Diego Padres on Thursday. For his part, Wells reportedly has a strong preference to remain in the National League. But with a 5.54 ERA, he can’t be too choosy.
McLaren said that with four left-handers in the bullpen, the team has a need for a right-handed “innings eater.”
“We’re looking for one,” he said. “We’ve been on the waiver wire every day seeing if anything is out there.”
• McLaren talked earlier this week about recharging J.J. Putz‘s batteries by giving him a four-day break prior to the four-out save Wednesday. Here’s why: It was Putz’s 10th save of longer than an inning this season, the most in the American League. Mariano Rivera is second with seven. In his 10 “long saves,” Putz has thrown a total of 15 innings, allowing two hits, one run (0.60 ERA) and three walks while striking out 13. Opponents are hitting .050 (2 for 40) off him in those games.
• The White Sox changed their starting pitcher for the game Sunday with Seattle, replacing struggling Jose Contreras with John Danks (6-9, 4.96).
For the record
vs. AL West: 20-17
vs. L.A.: 4-8
vs. Oakland: 10-3
vs. Texas: 6-6
vs. AL East: 22-12
vs. AL Cent.: 12-11
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 22-8
vs. RHP: 41-41
Extra innings: 4-1