HOUSTON — Can Matt Andriese become another success story, like Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider or JT Chargois?
That’s the Mariners’ hope in signing the veteran right-handed reliever to a contract Sunday, adding him to the active roster and optioning right-hander Robert Dugger back to Class AAA Tacoma.
The Mariners’ success in finding veteran relievers with MLB experience, offering input to their pitching plan and providing opportunities to work, has been a major reason why their bullpen is one of the best in baseball, the team has a 67-58 record and is still in the race for the wild card.
Sewald and Steckenrider both pitched valuable innings in the victory Sunday. Andriese, who was in uniform, didn’t pitch in Seattle’s 6-3 victory in 11 innings. The Mariners are hoping to give him a bit of a soft landing because he hasn’t pitched since Aug. 14 for the Red Sox’s Class AAA affiliate on his rehab assignment.
“He has not pitched a lot here recently,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said before the game Sunday. “So I would like to give him at least one low leverage inning if we can, but you never know how a game is going to work out.”
Andriese, 31, appeared in 26 games for the Red Sox in 2021, going 2-3 with a 6.03 ERA. In 37 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 25 earned runs with 11 walks and 38 strikeouts.
Hamstring tendinitis had kept him on the injured list the past six weeks and he’d recently made three rehab appearances before being designated for assignment Aug. 17.
He posted a 1.42 ERA over nine appearances and 12 2/3 innings in April, but struggled since then, with a 8.39 ERA in 17 appearances and 24 2/3 innings.
“We’ve seen him at different stops along the way,” Servais said. “He does have experience. He’s been a starter and been a reliever. He’ll fit in our bullpen. He’s a guy that has a really good changeup. That’s kind of been his pitch. And he’ll work off that. He has done a number of different roles in the bullpen. He was dealing with a little bit of a hamstring injury and was trying to work his way back from that when Boston decided to let him go.”
Andriese has pitched in part of seven MLB seasons with Tampa Bay (2015-18), Arizona (2018-19), Los Angeles Angels (2020) and Boston (2021).
Overall, he is 28-37 with a 4.68 ERA with 145 walks and 462 strikeouts in 209 major-league appearances (50 starts).
“I think it’s a really good pickup for us,” Servais said. “The fact that he does have experience and he’s pitched in multiple roles in the past will really help us going forward.”
M’s hopeful about Castillo
After Diego Castillo was placed on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, the results from his MRI were encouraging.
The Mariners are hopeful he won’t be out for an extended time.
“It came back probably a little bit better than we were maybe expecting,” Servais said of the MRI. “He does have some fatigue in his right shoulder, so he’s getting treatment on that and he’ll take some anti-inflammatories, get the strength back in the shoulder. I’m staying optimistic on this and that he’s not going to be out too long. Of course, he’s on a 10-day IL, so you won’t see him before then. But hopefully it’s not too much more than that.”
The Mariners noticed that Castillo’s velocity was down 1-2 mph on most pitches while his command wasn’t as expected. He tried to pitch through the issues and fatigue, but the Mariners finally decided that a stint on the IL might get back some of the crispness to his pitches.
“We’ll see how he responds to it,” Servais said. “He’s in here early today getting treatment as we speak right now. So he’s doing everything he can to get back out there as soon as he can.”
- The plan is for Justus Sheffield (left forearm/oblique strain) to make one more rehab start with Tacoma and push his pitch count up in the 80s and then be activated from the injured list if he comes out of it healthy. Sheffield struck out seven batters in his previous rehab outing.
“We’ll see where that goes,” Servais said. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction. He had a really good breaking ball and really got after it after giving up a home run to the second batter he faced. It was a good sign.”