The Mariners announced their expected roster move on Wednesday afternoon before batting practice. Infielder Luis Sardinas was recalled from Class AAA Tacoma, while infielder Chris Taylor was sent back to Tacoma after just three games with the team.
Taylor was officially optioned after Tuesday night’s 6-5 win over the A’s after a meeting with manager Scott Servais.
Why the change?
“What I’m looking at is for the group – the 25-man roster – and what’s best for our team,” manager Scott Servais said. “Talking it through with Jerry (Dipoto), we thought we’d go ahead and get Luis back.”
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Sardinas wasn’t eligible to come back till Wednesday. There is a minimum of a 10-days on a minor league assignment before a player can return to the big league club. But that minimum can be waived if a player is called up to replace a player on the disabled list.
Why didn’t the Mariners just call up Sardinas initially when Marte got injured in Cincinnati?
Well, they were dealing with a limited time frame. The injury occurred on early Saturday evening and they had a day game on that Sunday. The decision and logistics of getting a player to Cincinnati to be available had to be made while the Mariners were still playing. But the bigger factor was the limited time to diagnose the extent of Marte’s injury. After X-rays were negative, the determination of how long we would be out was key. Every team hopes to avoid putting a player on the disabled list and the Mariners wanted to re-evaluate Marte on Sunday to see how the injured thumb looked. The only way Sardinas could be called up was if Marte was placed on the DL. If Marte might have only missed five or six games, but avoided a DL stint, Seattle could have optioned Shawn O’Malley out and used Taylor in the interim or just until Sardinas became eligible to return.
“That certainly played into it,” Servais said of the short time frame. “We were right in the middle of the game and you’ve got to flip things around because you are playing a Sunday day game. So Jerry and the guys on the minor league side thought it was just best to go with Chris at the time. There was a lot of stuff that plays in those decisions.”
Taylor started just one game and committed two costly errors in a four-run inning of a 5-0 loss. At a glance, it would seem like the two errors forced the decision.
“I don’t know,” Servais said. “I think the biggest thing is that we had Luis ahead of Chris, even in spring training and he’s playing very well. Let’s go with the guy that we originally thought fit there.”
Sardinas was hitting .406 (13-for-32) with a double and four RBI in eight games with the Rainiers. He was optioned to Tacoma on May 14 to get some playing time.
“When you play every day, you gain confidence,” Sardinas said. “My first game was hard because I don’t play every day up here. The second game felt pretty good. And third game was better.”
With Ketel Marte playing at such a level, Sardinas’ playing time had dwindled. He was sent to get at-bats and also see some time in the outfield, something that O’Malley excelled at.
“When we left spring training, we didn’t quite know what we would get out of Marte defensively,” Servais said. “Obviously, Ketel has been great and played outstanding. When we sent Luis down, we wanted to get him playing time. He hadn’t played He was just sitting here and he was 23 years old.”
For Taylor, it was another failed attempt to find comfort at the big league level. An opposing scout at Monday’s game and who watched Taylor in both Triple A and MLB the past few seasons could see the difference in him, wondering if Taylor ever find a way to not play so tight and mechanical in the big leagues.
“In getting to know Chris, I’ve had multiple meetings with him to try to get him in a good spot, a comfort zone where we could get the best out of his ability,” Servais said. “We just haven’t seen that yet. I hate to pull the plug on a guy after one game. But we have do what’s best for our team and what’s best for Chris. He needs to get over the hump at the big league level. The only way to do that is at the big league level. I also get that. But with where we are right now, we’ve got a good club, we are in first place and I just thought it was best to go with Luis.”
Servais said that Sardinas won’t be the every day shortstop. O’Malley may see a game or two there, but could also be needed at other positions.
As for Marte, the Mariners still believe he’ll be ready to play when he’s eligible to return from the disabled list on June 6.
“It’s progressing in the right direction,” Servais said. “Full range of motion is back in the thumb. The swelling is out. We are even hoping maybe that sometime this weekend to get a bat in his hand and start swinging off the tee and getting that going.”
Tony Zych is on a long-toss program – throwing three days in a row and then taking a day off.
“I’ve been throwing at 90 to 100 feet the last few times,” Zych said. “It’s been positive. Most days have been good. No pain, just a couple of days I’ve been sore. I’m just battling through and building it up.”
There is no target date for Zych to get on the mound yet.
“My whole mentality is go, go, go,” he said. “It’s hard for me to step back.
Charlie Furbush missed a few days in his routine because of soreness in the shoulder. But the Mariners expect him to be fine.
“With Charlie’s situation, it kind of gets going and then he has a little setback,” Servais said. “We’ll get it going again. It’s going to take a little while for him just like we said all along because he hasn’t had spring training. We have to get to the point where we can get him in a game. And he’s not there yet.”
Furbush is still expected to go to Arizona for additional work.
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*** Nomar Mazara hit a tape measure homer and the Rangers beat the Angels, 15-9, on Wednesday afternoon.
*** Jed Lowrie was activated from the DL and he’ll be batting fifth against the Mariners tonight.
*** Reliever Will Harris has been outstanding for the Astros.
On this day in Mariners’ history
- 1989 – The Mariners acquire pitchers Randy Johnson, Brian Holman and Gene Harris from the Expos for pitchers Mark Langston and a PTBNL(Mike Campbell).
- 1991 – Ken Griffey Jr. makes one of his career best catches of a drive off the bat of Ruben Sierra at the Kingdome. Ranging to right-center he back-hands the line drive at full speed before crashing feet first into the wall.
- 1999 – Edgar Martinez gets his 3rd career GSHR at Minnesota.
- 2001 – John Olerud went 4×5 in a 13-3 win at Kansas City. The win put the Mariners 25-games over .500 for the first time in club history.
- 2002 – Rookie Rafael Soriano makes his first career start in a 3-2 loss vs. Baltimore. He tossed 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits.
- 2002 – Outfielder Chris Snelling makes his Major League debut in left field vs. Baltimore.
- 2005 – In a game against the Orioles, the Mariners battery consists of a pair of 42-year olds as Jamie Moyer throws to backstop Pat Borders. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time in major league history that two players 42 years or older have been the starting pitcher and catcher for a team.
- 2008 – Mariners play final game at historic Yankee Stadium.
- 2011 – Erik Bedard threw 6.0 shutout innings as the Mariners shut out the Twins 3-0 to complete a 5-1 road trip. Franklin Gutierrez hit his first home run of the season and Brendan Ryan went 2-for-3 with a triple.
- 2012 – Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of the 35th Anniversary celebration. The Mariners held a 4-0 lead in the game vs. the Angels, but Albert Pujols hit a 3-run home run in the 6th inning, and closer Brandon League gave up 3 runs in the 9th in the 6-4 loss.
- 2015 – Roenis Elias tossed his 5th straight quality start, allowing 1 run on 6 hits over 6.0 IP to pace the Mariners to a 4-1 win at Toronto.