Reliever Drew Steckenrider, who led the Mariners in saves last season with 14, was designated for assignment Saturday to make room for first baseman/third baseman Kevin Padlo, who was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

The Mariners have seven days to either trade Steckenrider or place him on irrevocable outright waivers. If he were to clear waivers, the Mariners could retain him.

Steckenrider was one of the Mariners’ most pleasant surprises last season. He appeared in 62 games and had a 2.00 earned-run average and 1.02 WHIP over 67 2/3 innings.

But Steckenrider, 31, struggled this season, with a 5.65 ERA and 1.81 WHIP in 14 1/3 innings and was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma on May 26. He allowed three runs and eight base runners in four innings with the Rainiers.

“Steck had a heck of a last year, but is struggling to get things going in the right direction this year,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “I am hopeful that Steck stays in our organization, but who knows. He could get claimed.

“But I do trust him, because when he is going right he has a certain demeanor that he can pitch late in games. He showed us what he could do there, but he’s got to get right as far as throwing the ball where it needs to be thrown and getting his secondary pitches going.”


Servais said Steckenrider was “probably the best of anyone in our bullpen of getting strike one.”

“But he wasn’t doing that this year to this point. That, along with (getting) a quality secondary pitch, whether it’s a changeup or a breaking ball, and finding something he can lean on consistently. You can’t just get them out with one pitch (his fastball) and that’s kind of where he was at.”

The Mariners claimed Padlo, 25, less than two months after trading him to the Giants for cash considerations. He will report to Class AAA Tacoma.

The Mariners claimed Padlo off waivers from Tampa Bay in August last year. He appeared in one game — getting one at-bat — with the Mariners last season.

Padlo began this season with Tacoma before being traded to the Giants on April 26. He played in four games with San Francisco, at first and third base, and had two hits in 12 at-bats.

“You’re looking at ways to create depth if you have injuries or things like that, and I’m sure that’s where Padlo fits in,” Servais said.


Murphy making progress

Of the Mariners’ three injured offensive starters — catcher Tom Murphy (dislocated shoulder), outfielder Mitch Haniger (ankle) and outfielder/DH Kyle Lewis — Servais said Murphy is making the most progress.

“Tom Murphy is doing much better, but he’s not doing any real heavy baseball activity yet,” Servais said. “He’s a few weeks away for sure (from returning) and no definite date there.”

Lewis had concussion symptoms return when he picked up his physical activity and was slowed down because of that.

“Hopefully in the next day or two we can get him back on the bike and get his heart rate up,” Servais said. “That’s kind of the first hurdle you have to overcome. When you get your heart rate up and get a sweat going, how does it affect you?”


Boston pitcher Garrett Whitlock, who was scheduled to start Sunday’s game against Seattle, was put on the injured list Friday. Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters Saturday he had a pitching plan for Sunday, but would not disclose it.