David Phelps said it's an exciting time to join the Mariners as they push toward the playoffs.
David Phelps, the Mariners’ new reliever, woke up Thursday morning with a text from an old teammate, Mariners’ reliever Steve Cishek.
“He was asking me how it was going, what was going on,” Phelps said.
Cishek had seen the trade rumors: The Marlins, Phelps’ team at the time, were said to be trading him, and the team on the other end of the deal was reportedly the Mariners.
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The Marlins were off on Thursday, so Phelps went to the pool with his wife and three young kids. And there’s where he was when he got the call. The Marlins were indeed trading him to the Mariners, who sought to bolster their bullpen with the 30-year-old Phelps.
“It was a little bit of a whirlwind (Thursday), getting as much packed up as I could and then flying 6 ½ hours,” Phelps said on Friday, his first day with the Mariners. “But I’m excited. I really am. It’s meaningful baseball again.”
Phelps, a righty, gives the Mariners’ bullpen depth. Mariners manager Scott Servais said Phelps can, if needed, pitch multiple innings. He also mentioned Phelps’ consistency against right-handed or left-handed hitters; righties are hitting .225 with a .639 OPS against Phelps while lefties are hitting .258 with a .750 OPS.
Phelps is a converted starter who has bought in to pitching out of the bullpen.
“I want to win,” he said. “I honestly do not care what role I pitch in. I got caught up in that early in my career. Coming into last year in spring training, I just said, ‘I’m going to just be the best version of myself I can be, regardless of my role.’”
*** The Mariners made a minor league trade, sending veteran relievers Mark Lowe and Jean Machi, who are pitching for Class AAA Tacoma, to the Chicago White Sox for cash. The move was courtesy deal to give both veterans a chance to get back to the big leagues with a White Sox team that is trading away pieces at a rapid rate.
Lowe was 3-4 with a 6.28 ERA in 32 appearances. Machi made five appearances for the Mariners, posting a 1-0 record and 1.17 ERA and 29 appearances with Tacoma with a 2-4 record and a 3.44 ERA.
*** Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder inflammation) has felt no pain or discomfort in his shoulder since receiving injections of cortisone and platelet rich plasma. Iwakuma returned to playing catch after a week long shutdown. He’s yet to start throwing out to 150 feet which would prepare him to throw off a mound.