The Seattle Mariners’ roster changes include optioning Roenis Elias to Class AAA Tacoma and starting Hisashi Iwakuma against the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
OAKLAND — The roster moves won’t become official until the players have arrived in the Bay Area on Saturday morning. But manager Lloyd McClendon announced postgame a series of roster moves, with a series of corresponding moves yet to come.
Hisashi Iwakuma has been slotted to start on Monday at Safeco Field against the Detroit Tigers. He will take the rotation spot of Roenis Elias, who was optioned back to Class AAA Tacoma.
Elias had struggled some of late, going 1-3 with an 8.74 ERA in his last four outings. But this was about the roster numbers. With Taijuan Walker and Mike Montgomery pitching so well, and J.A. Happ not having minor-league options, Elias was the logical choice.
“Elias has thrown the ball extremely well and probably didn’t deserve to be going down,” McClendon said. “But you can only carry so many guys on the roster, and he’s got options. Those things are tough sometimes, but that’s the way it goes.”
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With Iwakuma not needing to be activated from the disabled list until Monday, the Mariners will likely call up an extra position player or an extra reliever for the two remaining games in the series with the A’s. McClendon wouldn’t say which it would be.
Before Friday’s game, McClendon confirmed that left-hander Mike Montgomery will make his scheduled start Sunday in the series finale against the A’s. There had been some discussion internally to start Iwakuma on Sunday and push Montgomery back to Monday.
Instead, Iwakuma will pitch on Monday and Walker will be bumped back a day to Tuesday.
The Mariners also made some changes to their bullpen. Left-hander David Rollins’ 80-game suspension for testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol ends Saturday, forcing the Mariners to recall him from Class AAA Tacoma or send him back to the Houston Astros per Rule 5 draft regulations. Rollins will replace fellow lefty Vidal Nuno in the bullpen. Nuno, who was acquired in the trade that also brought Mark Trumbo to the Mariners, will go to Tacoma.
The Mariners also sent struggling long reliever Tom Wilhelmsen back to Tacoma to address his command issues.
With the 40-man roster full, the Mariners will have to recall a right-handed reliever. It will likely be youngster Mayckol Guaipe or veteran Danny Farquhar. Guaipe is 0-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 26 appearances with five saves and had a brief stint with the Mariners this season. Farquhar has made 10 appearances with the Rainiers and has a 1-1 record with a 5.28 ERA.
The Mariners went with a lineup heavy with left-handed-hitting A’s Friday night. However, Dustin Ackley was out of the lineup; the right-handed hitting Mark Trumbo took his place.
“We need to get Trumbo going,” McClendon said. “We’ve got to get him some consistent at-bats. He can put up big numbers in a hurry, and we’ve got to get him going.”
Trumbo is hitting just .145 with one extra-base hit and 22 strikeouts in 21 games since being traded to Seattle.