Erasmo 2.0 launches Tuesday night at Texas when the Mariners continue their three-game series against the Rangers at 5:05 p.m. Pacific time at Globe Life Park.
The question is how far can he go?
Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez had been working as a long reliever recently at Tampa Bay when the Mariners reacquired him in a July 30 trade for veteran reliever Steve Cishek.
Ramirez hasn’t pitched longer than three innings since June 21.
"I’ve been in a situation in Tampa where I would go (up to) four innings," Ramirez said. "They limited me to 65-to-70 pitches, but everything depends on how the game goes. I could go up to 75 or 80."
Manager Scott Servais said Tuesday’s game might develop into a "piggyback situation" in which Ramirez is paired with another pitcher, likely Casey Lawrence, in an effort to bridge the gap to the bullpen.
"We’ve got to build (Ramirez) up," Servais said. "What is the actual number (of pitches)? I would say anywhere from 60 to 80. I don't think you’ll see more than 75-80 pitches out of him.
"It’s kind how he’s doing. How many stressful pitches are included in those early innings? It could be three innings. It could be four. It could be five. We’ll just have to wait and see."
That same step-at-a-time approach also applies to Ramirez’s time in the rotation because the Mariners see his primary value as being versatility (in addition to club control through the 2019 season).
Ramirez seems certain to shift, at some point, to the bullpen.
General manager Jerry Dipoto said lefty Marco Gonzales, currently at Triple-A Tacoma, will join the rotation at some point. The Mariners obtained Gonzales from St, Louis in a July 21 trade for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, 25, won both of his starts since joining the Rainiers. A first-round pick in 2013, he logged parts of three seasons in the big leagues before missing last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his elbow.
"He’s throwing particularly well in Triple-A," Dipoto said. "Eventually we’ll see him here in 2017. It’s just a matter of whether that is in August or September."
Club officials are also hoping right-hander Andrew Moore recovers his form after a recent demotion to Tacoma. After making his big-league debut with two quality starts, Moore permitted 14 runs in 15 2/3 innings over his next three starts.
It’s possible that Ramirez keeps Gonzalez and Moore in Tacoma by pitching well as a starting pitcher. Point to note, though: Ramirez had a 6.05 ERA this season in eight starts at Tampa Bay but a 3.23 ERA in 18 relief appearances.
***The Rangers plan to start lefty Nick Martinez on Tuesday after dealing right-hander Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday prior to the non-waiver trade deadline. Texas recalled Martinez from Triple-A Round Rock.
***Martinez was 3-3 with a 4.56 ERA in 14 games, including 11 starts, prior to his demotion last month. He was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts at Round Rock.
***Ramirez is 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in 14 career games, including five starts, against the Rangers. He made three appearances, including one start, earlier this year against Texas and allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings.
***Martinez is 0-2 with a 3.63 ERA in five career games, including three starts, against the Mariners. He hasn’t started against them since 2014.
***Adrian Beltre is 6-for-15 in his career against Ramirez. Elvis Andrus is 4-for-18, and Mike Napoli is 2-for-9. No other Texas player has more than seven career at-bats against Ramirez.
***Kyle Seager is 7-for-11 with two doubles and a homer in his career against Martinez. Nelson Cruz is 3-for-8, but Robinson Cano is 2-for-9, and Mike Zunino is hitless in six at-bats.
***Ben Gamel’s career-long hitting streak ended at 16 games Monday when he went 0-for-4 with a walk. He had a 15-game run earlier in the season and is only the fifth player in franchise history to have multiple streaks of at least 15 games in the same season. The others are Beltre (2006), Joey Cora (1998), Seager (2013) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001, 2004, 2006-08). ***The Mariners enter the game at 54-53. With a victory, they can move two games above .500 for only the second time this season. They were 39-37 after a June 23 victory over Houston.
***Jarrod Dyson needs one more stolen base to reach 200 for his career. His career success rate of 85.0 percent (199-for-234) is the second-highest in MLB history for a player with at least 225 attempts. Houston’s Carlos Beltran is the all-time leader at 86.4 percent (312-for-361).
***Edwin Diaz got his 20th save in Monday’s victory. He is the 13th different pitcher in franchise history to reach that mark. It has been done 20 times in all.
***Beltre got his 3,0001st career hit Monday in the series opener, but he also committed an error at third base for a third straight game. His defensive skid comes after a career-best streak of 62 errorless games.
***Seager’s 22 career doubles at Globe Life Park are the most of any active opposing player. Suzuki has 20. The all-time leader among opponents is former Angels outfielder Garret Anderson with 25.
***The Rangers’ four errors Monday were a season high. The last time they had four errors was June 4, 2015 against the White Sox.
***The Mariners hold a 7-3 edge in the season series with nine games remaining. They won the season series against Texas only once in the last nine years (12-7 in 2015).
***Updated odds from www.Bovada.lv, an online gaming site, following the trade deadline, show the Mariners remain a 66/1 shot to win the World Series. That’s unchanged from July 4.
It was 21 years ago Tuesday — Aug. 1, 1996 — that left-hander Jamie Moyer made his debut with the Mariners by giving up two runs in seven innings in a 9-2 victory at Milwaukee.
Moyer, now 54, spent 11 years with the Mariners and went 145-87 with a 3.97 ERA in 324 games. He was inducted into the franchise’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners