Taijuan Walker, Justin Smoak Head List Of Callups For Mariners
By Dan Hughes
Taijuan Walker and Justin Smoak were among the list of seven players called up to the Seattle Mariners on Monday, the first day of expanded rosters across Major League Baseball.
Corey Hart was recalled from his rehab assignment. Outfielder Stefen Romero and LHP Lucas Luetge were recalled as well.
Catcher Humberto Quintero and RHP Carson Smith were selected and added to the 40-man roster. To make room, the Mariners transferred Willie Bloomquist from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list and transferred Jesus Montero to the suspended list.
James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez are both expected to be recalled from Tacoma as well, but must wait until tomorrow, as Tacoma plays their final game Monday. Both players were recently optioned down and must wait either 10 days or until the end of the season to be recalled.
Walker went 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts for the Mariners this season, but he had spent most of the year with Tacoma after starting the season on the DL. He posted a 6-4 record with a 4.81 ERA in 14 starts with Tacoma after rehabbing his shoulder.
Smoak has hit .447 with six doubles, one home run and 18 RBI over his past 21 games for the Rainiers. Smoak was sent down by the Mariners after losing his starting job at first base to Logan Morrison. He will more than likely be used primarily as a pinch-hitter and late-inning defensive substitution, unless LoMo begins to struggle.
However, Smoak is actually getting the start in Monday’s game at Oakland.
Hart hit .273 with three home runs and five RBI in nine rehab starts while returning from a bruised right knee. Hart has been trying to get healthy all season after missing all of 2013 with two microfracture knee surgeries. He’s hit .203 with five homers and 20 RBI in 58 games for Seattle.
Romero, like Smoak, has benefited from the playing time down on the farm. Romero hit .390 with 21 runs, nine home runs and 27 RBI in 25 games since being optioned to Tacoma on Aug. 1.
Quintero is a veteran catcher who hit .290 in 73 games with Tacoma this season and gives Seattle some extra depth behind Mike Zunino. Jesus Sucre is also with the club to keep Zunino fresh.
Smith earned his first trip to the majors after posting a 2.93 ERA with 10 saves in 39 appearances for Tacoma this season.