Right-hander Matt Brash’s rapid rise through the Mariners’ farm system took another leap Friday evening — a move that could portend yet another major promotion in just a few days.
The Mariners announced Brash’s promotion to Class AAA Tacoma just before the start of the Mariners’ game Friday evening in Anaheim.
There has been much debate about whether the Mariners would allow the struggling Yusei Kikuchi to make his next scheduled start Tuesday, and president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said this week that he would consider all options to potentially fill that spot in the rotation.
Brash, it appears, is that answer.
A largely unheralded prospect coming into the year, Brash, 23, had a breakthrough season in the minors, debuting at No. 99 in Baseball American’s most recent Top 100 rankings.
Brash, from Ontario, Canada, was acquired from the Padres at the trade deadline in 2020 for right-hander Taylor Williams.
He began the season in Class High-A Everett, posting a 3-2 record with a save and 2.55 ERA in 10 games.
He was promoted to Arkansas in mid-July. In 10 starts with the Travelers, he had a 3-2 record with a 2.13 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 23 walks in 55 innings. Opponents had a .162/.249/.237 slash line against him.
He started and threw six shutout innings in a combined no-hitter for Arkansas on Sept. 2. He faced one over the minimum in his six innings, striking out 11. Relievers Nate Fisher and Dayeison Arias finished off the no-hitter.
“During COVID last year, I worked really hard to gain weight and strength,” Brash told MLB.com this month. “I came back this year with definitely plus stuff, plus (velocity), and it just made all my off-speed pitches better. I think just as the year has gone on, I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with my arsenal. Now it’s just kind of all going together.”
Brash’s last start was Sept. 16 in Arkansas. The Mariners sent him home to Canada, but he has been throwing on his own over the past week.
If he throws with a strict pitch count for Tacoma on Saturday, he would have two full days rest before potentially starting for the Mariners against Oakland at T-Mobile Park.
— Times reporter Ryan Divish contributed to this report.