SEATTLE — Four reinforcements, as expected, joined the Mariners on Tuesday from Triple-A Tacoma, and the list is notable for whom it doesn’t include.
The Mariners opted not to recall catcher Mike Zunino, shortstop Chris Taylor or left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery.
Instead, the club chose to add Steve Baron as its third catcher for the stretch run while recalling first baseman/designated hitter Jesus Montero, outfielder James Jones and adding reliever J.C. Ramirez.
"James Jones can steal bases," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We sent Montero down just to get some at-bats. The reports on (Ramirez) is he’s a power arm who is throwing close to 100 miles an hour."
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Baron and Ramirez had to be added to the 40-man roster. The moves came one day after Tacoma ended its season with a 5-0 victory at Las Vegas.
The Mariners also transferred lefty reliever Charlie Furbush to the 60-day disabled list. He hasn’t pitched since July 7 because of what was eventually diagnosed as a small tear in his rotator cuff.
McClendon said the club promoted Baron after determining Zunino would gain greater long-term benefit by heading to the Instructional League, which begins later this month, to correct hitting flaws.
"Mike is still very much (a part of) our future. Going into spring training next year, I would consider him my everyday catcher. We thought this was the best path, moving forward, for his career.
"Taylor will go to the Instructional League as well. Similar thing. Work on his swing."
Montgomery struggled in recent weeks and is nearing his projected innings limit for the season. He is already at 155 1/3 innings, a high in his eight-year pro career, after pitching hist 126 in 2014.
"I think it was a combination of both," McClendon said, "but more than anything, it was the innings. They were starting to build up."
Montero, 25, returns after going 10-for-18 with two homers and 10 RBIs in a five-game remedial assignment following the Sept. 1 move to option him to the Rainiers.
He batted .200 with two homers and nine RBIs in 25 big-league games but was mired in a 2-for-36 slump when sent to Tacoma.
Jones, 26, spent much of last season with the Mariners before getting squeezed off the roster this year following several veteran additions. He batted .272 in 72 games at Tacoma with 24 steals in 28 attempts.
Jones missed six weeks after suffering a broken toe in mid-July but batted .350 in 11 games after rejoining the Rainiers.
Baron, 24, has never played in the big leagues. He batted a career-high .265 this season in 88 games, including .277 in 53 games at Tacoma following his June 4 promotion from Double-A Jackson.
"I was obviously shocked," Baron said. "I think my body is still numb, kind of. It’s been a long road for me, but I’m just happy to be here, and I hope I can contribute."
The Mariners selected Baron with the 33rd overall pick in the 2011 draft.
Ramirez, 27, returned to the Mariners from Arizona in a July 27 cash transaction and compiled a 3.73 ERA in 26 games at Tacoma. A native Nicaraguan, he signed with the Mariners in 2005 as a 16-year-old.
The Mariners traded Ramirez in December 2009 to Philadelphia with outfielder Tyson Gilles and pitcher Phillippe Aumont for pitcher Cliff Lee.
WILSON JOINS STAFF
Former catcher Dan Wilson will join the big-league coaching staff for the remainder of the season. The rules permit clubs to add one full-time coach to their staff from Sept. 1 through the end of the season.
Wilson, 46, concluded a 16-year in 2005 and was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 2012. He currently serves as the organization’s minor-league catching coordinator.