Andrew Albers, 31, will start on Tuesday in place of James Paxton, his former college teammate at Kentucky.
The Mariners traded for veteran pitcher Andrew Albers last week, and on Tuesday, Albers will become the 16th pitcher to start for the Mariners this season.
Albers, 31, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since last season, but the Mariners are desperate for starters after injuries have wiped out most of their rotation, including ace James Paxton.
In a strange twist, Albers was actually the person who showed Paxton around on Paxton’s visit to Kentucky. Albers is a couple years older than Paxton, but they were teammates and are fellow Canadians.
“He’s certainly a guy that I can go to and get some advice about what to do up here,” Albers said. “Now the roles are kind of reversed than what they were in college. That’s kind of neat to come full circle like that.”
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“One of those A-plus character guys,” Paxton said. “He really competes, plays hard. He’s going to be a great addition to our team here. I think he’ll be able to provide some leadership for the pitchers also. He’s just that kind of guy.”
Albers has made 12 career starts with three different major-league teams and has a 4.41 career ERA. Manager Scott Servais mentioned another in-season veteran addition, Wade LeBlanc, who had a 4.50 ERA and made eight starts for the Mariners a year ago, when talking about what Albers could bring.
“A similar type of acquisition,” Servais said. “Again, I don’t want to put too much pressure on him; Wade LeBlanc was really good. But just come in, do his thing, hopefully keeps us in games and gives us a chance.”
Albers has pitched in 26 minor-league games this season, including 17 starts, and has a 2.61 ERA.
“It’s hard to put into words right now,” Albers said. “You never know when these opportunities are going to come up or how many of them you’re going to get.”
Paxton update: Paxton, who is out with a strained pectoral, said he was scheduled to meet with doctors on Tuesday.
“Hopefully I’ll get some good news and hopefully get back to throwing,” Paxton said. “It’s feeling pretty good. We haven’t done too much to test it strength-wise. But range of motion-wise, it feels really good. I haven’t had any soreness or anything. We’ll find out a lot more (Tuesday).”
The Mariners initially said Paxton would miss around three weeks with the injury.