SEATTLE — The Mariners added a ninth arm to their bullpen prior to Wednesday's game against Minnesota by recalling right-hander Stephen Pryor from Triple-A Tacoma after optioning right-handed starter Taijuan Walker to the Rainiers in a corresponding move.
Pryor is expected to be in uniform for Wednesday's game against the Twins at Safeco Field. The move is designed to keep Walker on his regular pitching schedule as the Mariners prepare for a four-day break next week for the All-Star Game. Walker, 21, missed much of this season while recovering from a sore shoulder.
The move also suggests — but only suggests — the Mariners are planning to use a bullpen relay for Thursday's series finale against the Twins after opting to give staff ace Felix Hernandez an extra day of rest in order to have him pitch Friday against division-leading Oakland.
Pryor, 24, is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 21 games at Tacoma after opening the season on the disabled while concluding his recovery from surgery on Aug. 9, 2013 to repair a torn back muscle — specifically, the right latissimus dorsi muscle.
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After rehab appearances at Double-A Jackson and Tacoma, he was activated April 17 and optioned to the Rainiers.
Pryor compiled a 2.97 ERA in 33 big-league games in 2012-13, while striking out 34 in 30 1/3 innings, prior to his back injury. He pitched just 7 1/3 innings last season, in seven outings, before the injury forced him to the disabled list and effectively ended his season.
Walker was a 1-1 in two starts following his June 30 recall from Tacoma. He is generally regarded as the organization's top prospect.