The Mariners recalled right-handers Cody Martin and Casey Lawrence to work out of the bullpen.
A change is coming to the Mariners starting rotation.
On Friday, the team optioned rookie right-hander Andrew Moore back to Class AAA Tacoma and called up right-handed relievers Casey Lawrence and Cody Martin.
After the morning’s trade with the Rays that will bring back right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who is expected to report sometime this weekend, in exchange for Steve Cishek, the Mariners had an open spot in their bullpen. With Moore’s turn in the rotation not coming until Tuesday in Texas, they called up another reliever to fill his spot until then.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Martin, infielder Tyler Smith was designated for assignment.
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Manager Scott Servais said Ramirez will slot into Moore’s spot in the rotation, Tuesday against the Rangers.
“We’re going to go ahead and slide him into the rotation,” Servais said. “He’ll make a start over in Texas.”
Ramirez hasn’t started a game since June 21 so he isn’t quite as stretched out as the other option to take Moore’s spot, Marco Gonzales, who started for the Rainiers on Monday and pitched six innings in his first start in the organization since Seattle dealt Tyler O’Neill for him.
The hope is that Ramirez can go 80-85 pitches in the outing. But don’t label him just a starter. The Mariners won’t limit his role going forward. It will adjust to their needs.
“He’s versatile,” Servais said. “He can step in and start for you. He can pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen. I don’t know him personally; obviously a lot of people here to do. He was here before I was here. But listening to what everyone is saying, he should fit in very well with our club and take innings and compete his tail off and give us a chance in the days he’s out there.”
Moore, 23, pitched well early in his call up to the big leagues, but struggled of late, particularly with the home run ball and command of his pitches. In six starts, he had posted a 1-3 record with a 5.65 ERA. In his last three starts, he’d allowed 14 runs on 21 hits, including six homers in 15 1/3 innings pitched.
What does Moore need to work on?
“Command,” Servais said. “I think we saw him when he first came to us, the first couple outings, it was really, really good. I think the one outing against Detroit it was like 18 of 18 first-pitch strikes, and that is so key to him. When he gets behind 2-0, 2-1 or 3-1, it’s been a challenge. He’s made some mistakes. It happens with young pitchers. I’m certainly not down on him at all. I said it at the beginning: I think he’s going to win a lot of games as a Mariner, and I still believe that today. But where we’re at in the playoff situation, trying to chase a wild card, it will be best to let him regroup in Tacoma, go with the guy whose been in the league a little bit more and see where that takes us.”
This will be Lawrence’s third stint with the Mariners since being claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays. In six appearances, he posted a 5.71 ERA.
Martin returns to the big leagues for the first time this season. He started the season on the disabled list and returned to make three starts and five relief appearances for the Rainiers, posting a 3.81 ERA with a save. Last season, he made two starts and seven relief appearances for the Mariners, posting a 1-2 record with a 3.86 ERA.