Mariners notebook: Noesi designated for assignment; Leone promoted

Staff writerApril 4, 2014 

Hector Noesi, who gave up the winning run to A's in the Mariners' 3-2 loss Thursday in Oakland, was designated for assignment Friday by Seattle.

KELLEY L COX — USA Today Sports

It was one pitch too far Thursday night for Mariners right-hander Hector Noesi when he served up a walk-off homer to Coco Crisp in the 12th inning of a 3-2 loss to the Oakland A’s.

The Mariners designated Noesi for assignment prior to Friday’s game and replaced him by promoting right-hander Dominic Leone from Triple-A Tacoma.

“Not a good pitch,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I saw better command (in spring training from Noesi). The last couple of outings, it just wasn’t there.”

Leone, 22, arrived around 4 p.m. at the O.co Coliseum.

“It was an early morning,” he said, “but I didn’t mind getting the phone call. It was all good. It was about 8:30 when I woke up and saw that (farm director) Chris Gwynn had called me.

“I thought, ‘Hmm, what’s he calling for? Oh, boy, did I do something wrong? Did I leave something in spring training?’ But when I talked to him, he was all congratulatory.”

Leone posted a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings over nine spring appearances. He was the Mariners’ 16th-round pick in 2012, and he arrives after going 4-3 with a 1.95 ERA in 67 relief appearances over two seasons.

“We liked Leone in spring training,” McClendon said. “He came real close to making our club. … I can tell you this, I will not be afraid to put him in impactful situations. He’s that good, and we feel that good about him.”

The Mariners now have 10 days to trade or release Noesi, who is out of options. He could also be outrighted to the minors if he clears waivers.

Noesi, 27, struggled in his two appearances this season after making the roster as the bullpen’s long reliever. He gave up two runs Wednesday in one inning to the Angels in closing out an 8-2 victory before Thursday’s loss.

The Mariners acquired Noesi from the Yankees in the Jan. 23, 2012 trade that also netted now-first baseman Jesus Montero for right-handed pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos.

Noesi often drew raves for his potential but rarely performed to that level. He was 2-14 with a 6.36 ERA in 36 games, including 19 starts, after joining the Mariners.

IWAKUMA UPDATE

Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma could throw from a mound by the middle of next week if he remains problem-free in his recovery from a strained tendon in his middle finger.

Iwakuma threw Friday from flat ground and is scheduled for a similar session prior to Sunday’s series finale against the A’s.

WALKER ON MOUND

Rigth-hander Taijuan Walker allowed one earned run in 4 1/3 innings in a rehab assignment Friday for Class-A High Desert against visiting Inland Empire (Angels) in Adelanto, Calif.

Walker yielded four hits and two runs while striking out seven and walking one. He made three spring starts in minor-league games after a one-week shutdown from throwing in early March because of bursitis in his shoulder.

INTERNATIONAL LOOK

Had Chris Young thrown a pitch on Friday, the Mariners would have become the sixth club in major-league history to open the season with five starting pitchers from different countries.

The five: Felix Hernandez (Venezuela), Erasmo Ramirez (Nicaragua), James Paxton (Canada), Roenis Elias (Cuba) and Young (Stars and Stripes).

The previous five clubs: 1998 Dodgers, 2003 Expos, 2005 Orioles, 2006 Orioles and 2013 Rockies.

MINOR DETAILS

Rehabbing reliever Stephen Pryor struggled Thursday at Double-A Jackson by surrendering three runs (on a homer by Chris O’Brien) in just two-thirds of an inning at Chattanooga (Dodgers).

The Generals built leads of 5-0 and 7-2, aided by a grand slam from Jabari Blash, but bullpen struggles (by Pryor and others) forced the game to extra innings. Jackson scored five runs in 11th for a 12-7 victory.

Pryor missed most of last season while recovering from a torn back muscle.

LOOKING BACK

It was 20 years ago Friday — April 4, 1994 — that lefty reliever Tim Davis started a Mariners-record streak of 13 consecutive scoreless appearances by a pitcher to start his career.

Davis worked 2/3 of an inning in a 4-3 loss at Cleveland and stretched his streak May 9, 1994, when he yielded three runs (one earned) in 1 1/3 innings in a 14-6 loss at Chicago.

Davis spent his entire big-league career with the Mariners, going 6-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 89 appearances over parts of four seasons (1994-97). He also pitched in Tacoma in 1995-97.

ON TAP

The Mariners and A’s continue their four-game weekend series at 1:05 p.m. Saturday at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland. Scheduled starting pitchers: Right-hander Felix Hernandez (1-0 and a 3.00 ERA) will make his second start of the season and face A’s righty Dan Straily (10-8, 3.96 in 2013). The game will be shown on Root Sports.

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