Early on Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners PR announced that Casey Sadler was returning from the Paternity List. In a corresponding move, Keynan Middleton was optioned to AAA Tacoma. Middleton has posted a 7.88 ERA in eight innings and has appeared in 9 games since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on June 24.
Unfortunately, those appearances have been quite memorable for the wrong reasons. His opening effort against the Colorado Rockies resulted in 5 runs in the opening frame. More recently, in his outing against the Astros, he gave up an earned run and loaded the bases in the 11th inning before being replaced by Yohan Ramirez.
To summarize, Middleton went to the Minors, Ramirez is still here, and Sadler is back for the Mariners.
Speaking of Yohan Ramirez, he has typically been the player who has been shuttled back and forth from AAA Tacoma this year whenever relief pitchers go to the IL or are off the roster for any number of reasons.
This time Ramirez was kept on the roster, mainly due to his recent run of successful appearances. According to Fangraphs, in his last 3 outings, Ramirez has pitched 4.2 innings and has given up 2 earned runs while striking out 8 batters, earning his first major league save, and surrendering 0 walks. Now that is a beneficial arm to have in the bullpen.
Having fresh and healthy bullpen arms has been proven to contribute to the Mariners overall success. With the season heading into the home stretch, the Mariners are needing their relief pitchers to continue their run of success. As long as the starters can give 5+ innings, turning it over to the bullpen should not be much of an issue. Hopefully, the Mariners continue to keep things close and play the entertaining brand of baseball that we’ve become accustomed to. Go M’s!