OAKLAND, Calif. — With a new city and a new series came some new roster moves for the Mariners.
Shortstop J.P. Crawford returned from his rehab assignment with High-A Modesto and was activated from the injured list. To make room for Crawford, infielder Shed Long was optioned back to Class AAA Tacoma. Crawford was in the starting lineup at shortstop and batting sixth or Friday night’s game.
The Mariners also placed right-handed reliever Brandon Brennan on the 10-day injured list with a strained right shoulder. Brennan has been dealing with some discomfort and spasms in the back of his shoulder and his upper back for the last few weeks. After struggling in an outing Thursday where he gave up four runs and never recorded an out, he underwent tests in Minnesota with a doctor which revealed the strain.
“He’s going to be OK,” Servais said. “It’s been bothering him more than he let on or led us to believe. I just think some down time — give him seven to 10 days down and build him up from there again. He’s a reliever. He’ll be back again.”
Brennan, a Rule 5 draft pick this offseason, is 2-6 with a 5.56 earned-run average in 30 relief appearances. He was outstanding early in the season, going 2-2 with a 2.05 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 12 walks in 21 appearances and limiting opposing hitters to a .176 batting. In his last nine games appearances, Brennan is 0-4, 17.61 with eight walks, six strikeouts and a .333 batting average against.
The Mariners recalled right-hander Matt Festa from Tacoma to take Brennan’s spot in the bullpen.
Crawford suffered a sprained left ankle on May 28 while running the bases. His return is quicker than expected, which manager Scott Servais credited to Crawford’s diligence in his rehab work with the training staff. He played in three rehab games for Modesto, going for 1 for 10 with a three-run homer and two walks in three games. Before going on the IL, he was hitting .279 with six doubles, a home run, five RBI and six walks in 17 games with the Mariners this season.
“No limitations,” Servais said. “He’s running fine, and he’s anxious to get back out there.”
Long will return to Tacoma and play the majority of his games at second base while making an occasional start at third base and left field. The Mariners believe versatility will get him to the big leagues, but they still believe he should have a primary position.
“You need to have that anchor position,” Servais said.
Despite never playing above the Class AA level until this season, Long played better than expected when forced to the big league level due to injuries to Dylan Moore and Dee Gordon.
Long, 23, hit .267 (16 for 60) with a .353 on-base percentage, seven doubles, a home run, five RBI, eight walks and three stolen bases in his second call-up this season, which totaled 16 games
“I like a lot of what Shed Long brings,” Servais said. “The important thing is that we get back in Tacoma playing regularly and playing second base. He’ll still move around. But he needs to continue his development at second base. He understands he has things to work on. I thought he took our instruction well.”
Festa, 26, is up with the Mariners for the fourth time this season. In nine relief appearances with the Mariners this season, he is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA (7 ER, 11.0 IP) while striking out nine and walking seven. He was just optioned back to Tacoma on June 11 and made two appearances. Because Brennan was placed on the injured list, Festa could be recalled without waiting the 10-day minimum.
- Edwin Encarnacion was out of the starting lineup Friday night because of minor lower-back stiffness. Servais said he was being cautious with Encarnacion, not wanting to make the injury worse.