Austin Adams hasn’t been with the Mariners organization that long — nine days to be exact — but he’s been around long enough to repeat the main mantra of “Control the Zone” more than once following his call-up from Class AAA Tacoma on Monday.
“I have a shirt and everything, so I’m trying to live by that,” Adams joked.
The 28-year-old right-hander is the latest relieving reclamation project to get an audition for a bullpen that is full of opportunities and short on consistent performance.
To make room for Adams, right-hander Dan Altavilla was optioned back to Class AA Arkansas following the Mariners’ 11- 2 defeat Sunday in Boston. Altavilla pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on a hit and four walks.
“We are going to keep giving guys opportunities and see if they can take advantage of it and see where it goes,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
The Mariners acquired Adams in a trade with the Nationals on May 4 after he had been designated for assignment. Adams was called up from Class AAA Fresno by the Nationals and appeared in one game before being optioned back to Fresno and later designated. The Mariners immediately assigned Adams to Class AAA Tacoma where he made two appearances, allowing one hit with four strikeouts in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
“The last month and a half was absolutely crazy,” Adams said. “I’ve been everywhere and traveling a lot. My frequent flyer miles are through the roof.”
So what’s the scouting report on him?
“He’s got a good arm and he’s got a really good breaking ball,” Servais said. “He’s got wipeout stuff. When he does control the zone, he gets very good results. But if he was a totally finished product and killing it, he probably wouldn’t be here. There was the opportunity for us to acquire him and we did.”
Servais has a level of familiarity with Adams. He was working for general manager Jerry Dipoto as the assistant general manager in charge of scouting and player development when the Angels selected Adams in the eighth round of the 2012 draft out of the University of South Florida. Adams pitched four seasons in the Angels organization before being traded to the Nationals for infielder Danny Espinosa before the 2016 season.
Adams made his major-league debut with the Nationals on July 15, 2017 at Cincinnati. He has nine MLB appearances over three seasons, posting a 3.86 ERA.
*** Kyle Seager (hand surgery) flew to Las Vegas to join Class AAA Tacoma to begin a rehab assignment. He was scheduled to take batting practice Monday and then begin playing in games Tuesday.
“We’ll get him ramped up and hopefully get him back here when he’s eligible to come back on the 25th,” Servais said. “We’ll progress him and build him up. Kyle is older and wiser. He gets it now. Knowing Kyle, on the 25th, he’ll be ready.”
*** Dee Gordon (wrist contusion) was out taking ground balls before the game Monday. He also took swings in the cage before batting practice. Servais said he could possibly play Tuesday. And if not, he’d be ready Thursday after the off day.
*** The Mariners still are waiting to slot out their starts for the upcoming series with the Twins, which begins Thursday. Some of that will be contingent on how Wade LeBlanc’s rehab start goes Monday night with the Rainiers.