Right-hander Tony Zych becomes the latest reliever placed on the disabled list for the Mariners. Zych has tendinitis in his rotator cuff. To replace him in the bullpen, right-hander Steve Johnson had his minor league contract selected from Class AAA Tacoma.
The Mariners made a roster move before Tuesday’s game, placing right-hander Tony Zych on the 15-day disabled list with rotator cuff tendinitis. Zych last pitched on May 1. He is the fifth Mariners’ reliever to go on the disabled list this season, joining Joaquin Benoit, Charlie Furbush, Evan Scribner and Ryan Cook.
“He’s had some nagging soreness in his shoulder for the last week to 10 days,” manager Scott Servais said. “That’s why he hasn’t been in there consistently. I’ve been trying to give him some down time. Although the threw the ball outstanding on Sunday, he came in yesterday and was real sore. So we thought it was best to get him checked out.”
Zych flew back to Seattle to meet with the Mariners’ team doctors for further examination of the shoulder.
In the corresponding roster move, the Mariners selected the contract of right-hander Steve Johnson from Class AAA Tacoma and added him to the 40-man and active roster. Seattle signed Johnson to a minor league deal in spring training on March 16 after being released by the Rangers on March 14. He did not receive an invite to the Mariners’ major league spring training and reported directly to minor league camp. He’s made seven appearances with the Rainiers this season and has a 2.25 ERA. He has 20 strikeouts and just two walks in 16 innings pitched with Tacoma.
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“It’s obviously awesome to get called up,” he said. “It’s my first time with a different organization. When I’m healthy and throwing strikes, I know I can be really effective. I’m in a groove right now and hoping to continue it while I’m here.”
Johnson,28, has some big league experience with the Orioles. He’s made 27 MLB appearances, including five starts. He has a 4.25 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 36 walks in 59 1/3 innings pitched.
“I got a chance to talk to him today,” Servais said. “He’s real professional about going about his business. He attacks the strikezone. I don’t think he has overpowering stuff, but the reports in Triple A have been very, very good. He’s a guy that can go multiple innings.”
Every one of Johnson’s outings have been multiple innings with Tacoma. He’s a former starter so it isn’t quite an issue.
“It’s not as hard as you think,” he said. “I’ve gotten used to it.”
Talking with Rainiers manager Pat Listach last week, he mentioned that Johnson had been one of their better relievers. He’s not overpowering with a sinking fastball that might touch 93 mph. Most times it sits around 90-91 mph, but Listach says it has late life and hitters have a hard time picking it up.
“I’ve got a deceptive fastball, a slow curve that I kind of change speed with and a slider that I use to keep them off the fastball,” Johnson said said. “It’s pretty simple stuff. But I have a sneaky fastball that I can get by guys.”
He isn’t sure why it’s that way.
“No idea,” he said. “I haven’t wanted to figure it out because I don’t want to know why I do it and I don’t want to do anything to change it. I’ve just always kind of had that in my back pocket.”
Johnson’s father, Dave, pitched in the big leagues from 1987 to 1993 and is now works as analyst on Orioles broadcasts.
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On this day in Mariners history
- 1990 – Ken Griffey Jr. is named A.L. player of the Month for April. Griffey hit .388 with five HR and 17 RBI for the month for the month.
- 1992 – Edgar Martinez ties the Seattle club record with a pair of triples, but it is not enough as Baltimore wins 8-6 in their new ballpark
- 1998 – Dan Wilson hits an inside-the-park grand slam in a 10-6 win vs. Detroit. It is the 171st grand slam of its kind in ML history. Wilson completes a cycle over two games, after hitting a single, double and triple in his last three at bats the previous day.
- 2001 – Jamie Moyer improves his record to 5-0 with a win over the Red Sox. The start is Moyer’s best ever of his career.
- 2001 – Edgar Martinez draws his 1,000th career walk.
- 2009 – The Mariners beat Oakland, 8-7 in a 15 inning, 5 hour 2 minute game.
- 2015 – The Mariners fought back from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game in the 7th, but a solo home run in the 8th lifted Houston to a 7-6 win…the home run came off Carson Smith, who allowed a run for the first time in 21 career appearances.
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