Prior to Saturday’s game, there were a series of moves made by Scott Servais and the Seattle Mariners. Among these moves, George Kirby was sent to Triple-A Tacoma.
Kirby has been incredibly impressive in his rookie year, posting a 3.78 ERA in his 12 starts so far. He has shown the ability to bounce back from rough innings and rough starts in general.
With that in mind, this move to send Kirby to Tacoma may appear puzzling. No need to worry though, as this has been planned and there is a very valid reason behind this move. So don’t worry about sUper 2 status or service time manipulation. It’s about making sure that he keeps pitching, but giving him a bit of a break while doing so.
It all really just comes down to Kirby’s health. While he hasn’t necessarily been a Cy-Young contender, the rookie has proven that he can be a solid piece of the Mariners rotation for years to come. Because of this, Seattle would like to take every precaution possible to preserve his arm’s health.
Managing rookies’ innings has long been a topic of conversation as young pitchers burst onto the big stage. So, to take the best approach possible, Kirby has been sent down to take on fewer innings in less high-leverage situations, but he can continue to keep his arm fresh and be ready for a playoff push this fall if needed.
The Mariners have turned their season around completely these past few weeks, and their starting rotation has been a huge factor in that. When the Mariners push for their first playoff appearance in 20+ years this September, George Kirby will be a key contributor in that push. That being so, I believe this slight detour in AAA will be great for George Kirby, and will work in Seattle’s favor to help in their push to make the postseason.