Big bullpen shakeups are starting to become a monthly thing for Jerry Dipoto.
Sunday morning, the annual ritual continued as the Mariners called up two relievers, sent down one, DFA’d one, and transferred one to the 60-day Injured List. This laundry list of moves are headlined by Jesse Biddle, who was DFA’d to make room on the 40-man roster for the two call-ups.
Acquired from Atlanta in the Anthony Swarzak deal, Biddle struggled in his 11 appearances over his month-long stint with the Mariners. His last two appearances saw him surrender two runs each to Kansas City and Baltimore, helping balloon his ERA to 7.54 on the season.
As for those two call-ups, the Mariners have selected the contracts of both Matt Carasiti and Mike Wright. On June 7, Seattle picked up Carasiti on a minor league contract—the same day he was released by the Cubs.
In 32.2 innings pitched between Triple-A Iowa and Triple-A Tacoma this year, Carasiti posted a 2.76 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 12 walks. He’s below-average on the swing-and-miss game, but keeps the ball on the ground and generates soft contact.
For Wright, this will be his second stint with Seattle’s big league team this year. Wright brought his struggles from Baltimore with him, and thus was DFA’d by the Mariners after just seven appearances. There was, however, no interest in him on the waiver wire; therefore, Wright reverted back to the M’s and into the bullpen of the Tacoma Rainiers.
In Tacoma, Wright started in four of his six appearances and fared well. He allowed six runs in 20.1 innings pitched (18.1 of those as a starter), striking out 16 batters and walking four along the way. With the Mariners currently going heavy into using openers, Wright appears to be the ideal candidate for a few of those upcoming opportunities.
To make room for Wright’s return on the 40-man roster, the Mariners transferred Chasen Bradford to the 60-day Injured List. Bradford was placed on the 10-day IL with a Grade 1 flexor muscle strain on June 3, and will now be sidelined until August.
The fifth and final move of the day involved Gerson Bautista, who was optioned back to Tacoma. Bautista came as advertised in his short time with the M’s, showcasing plus velocity and horrendous control. Using him as an opener on more than one occasion was certainly a bold strategy, but one that definitely didn’t pay off, Cotton.
There’s still reason to be hopeful on Bautista, though. He’s only 24, recently coming off an injury that kept him out since Spring Training, and command and control issues are fairly easy to fix. It’s going to take time for him, and sending him down to Tacoma will afford him that time to work on things.