The Mariners swapped out long relievers, again.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Mariners made another switch in their bullpen in a move that’s become pretty common this season. Seattle recalled right-hander Casey Lawrence from Class AAA Tacoma to work in the long relief role in the bullpen. To make room for Lawrence, right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan, who was serving in that role, was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma after Sunday’s game in which he pitched four scoreless innings and struck out five in a 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays.
“Emilio did a great job yesterday,” manager Scott Servais said. “I think he’s proving to hismself and he’s certainly proven to me that he can pitch in this league and hold his own and even more than that. He came in yesterday and the place was packed and threw strikes and got his secondary pitches over the plate. He really shut them down for four innings.”
Lawrence, 29, had made five previous appearances with the Mariners before being optioned to Tacoma on June 2, posting a 3.29 ERA. His last outing was his best when he pitched five innings and struck out nine batters in relief on June 1. He made two relief appearances with the Rainiers before being recalled.
“We’ve been very fortunate with the guys we’ve brought up in that long role,” Servais said. “Casey Lawrence did a great job. Pagan has done a really good job. (Sam) Gaviglio did a really good job in that role before we moved him. They’ve all done really well to keep this thing together. It’s been very valuable.”
In his last three big league appearances over three different call ups, Pagan has allowed two runs in 10 1/3 innings pitched with 11 strikeouts and two walks. With Edwin Diaz, Dan Altavilla, Gaviglio and James Pazos already in the big leagues, Pagan gives the Mariners another young, controllable reliever for the future.
“It’s big,” Servais said. “This is a do good league. We talk about it all the time. And they’ve done pretty good. It’s helps them personally and it helps us as an organization in planning for our future.”