Mariners News: M’s Sign Wilhelmsen, Acquire LeBlanc


The Mariners acquired Wade LeBlanc from the Blue Jays and signed Tom Wilhelmsen this morning in an effort to get the pitching back on track.

In an attempt to get things turned around, Jerry Dipoto has made a pair of moves, bringing in Wade LeBlanc from Toronto for a PTBNL or cash, and signing Tom Wilhelmsen to return to the bullpen. According to Greg Johns of, LeBlanc is expected to start on Friday in Taijuan Walker’s place, and Wilhelmsen will join the team in Detroit today.

The corresponding roster moves to make room for the two new additions were to move Charlie Furbush to the 60-day DL and option Jonathan Aro to AAA Tacoma.

LeBlanc has spent all of 2016 in AAA where he is 7-2 with an ERA of 1.71 in 14 starts. Over those starts, the lefty has thrown 89.2 innings, striking out 85 and walking 21 while allowing only 3 homeruns.

Since making his MLB debut in 2008 with the Padres, LeBlanc has made 71 starts and is a career 21-33 with an ERA of 4.47. He isn’t going to be a top starting pitcher, but he can certainly handle the role he will be put into as a 4 or 5 starter. And who knows, hopefully his strong start in AAA carries over to his first couple starts with the Mariners.

Tom Wilhelmsen, or ‘The Bartender’ as many of us in Seattle know him as, was awful with Texas this season. In 21 games, Wilhelmsen had an ERA of 10.55 over 21.1 innings while allowing 25 runs on 38 hits. Opposing batters have hit a whopping .392 against him and he has allowed 7 homeruns and 9 walks.

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Hopefully a change in scenery will do Wilhelmsen some good, and coming back to his comfort zone can help him find his groove. I’m sure I speak for many when I say, welcome back Bartender!

During the Mariners current 4-game losing streak, the pitching has been abysmal. Giving up lead after lead, the team is falling fast as they now sit at 36-35, 9.5 games back of first place Texas after blowing last night‘s 2-run lead.

Over their last 10 games, the M’s are 2-8. This is directly due to their pitching. The Mariners have scored first in each of their last 6 games, and they have lost 4 times. That is unacceptable for a club in a pennant race.

Next: M's Drop to 1 Game Over .500 After Loss to Tigers

The pitching staff, both the starters and the bullpen arms, are struggling right now after losing Felix, Miley, and Walker to injury. Things desperately need to be turned around, and quickly, if this season is to be salvaged. And maybe, just maybe, the moves made today will get the Mariners back on track.