TORONTO — Left-hander Wade Miley just might have pitched himself into and out of the Mariners’ rotation by delivering a quality start Tuesday in a loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Scouts from several contending clubs are expected to attend Sunday’s game at the Rogers Centre in order to get a closer look at Miley as a possible acquisition target in what is generally viewed as thin market for starting pitchers.
The non-waiver trade deadline is Aug. 1.
"There’s not much out there," one opposing scout said, "if you’re looking for a starting pitcher. Miley has struggled this season, but he has a track record. That’s more than you can say about a lot of other guys."
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In effect, Miley’s start on Sunday serves as a showcase for a possible trade. The Mariners, according to officials with rival clubs, appear willing to deal Miley, who is under club through 2018 with a club option.
The Mariners have two replacements on hand for Miley if a trade occurs in lefty Wade LeBlanc and right-hander Nathan Karns.
Miley, 29, is 6-7 with a 5.36 ERA and has lost his last five starts but, in his last outing, he held the White Sox to three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He and the Mariners each noted improvement.
"I made a few adjustments," Miley said. "I slowed myself down to get into more of a rhythm. I was on top of the rubber, and I was able to stay behind the ball. It was a lot more comfortable."
Before Tuesday, Miley had been a candidate for demotion to Triple-A Tacoma.
His outing against the White Sox prompted a reassessment and, when a Wednesday trade sent Mike Montgomery to the Cubs, manager Scott Servais tapped Miley to replace Montgomery for Sunday’s start against the Blue Jays.
"I felt Wade threw the ball much better the last time out," Servais said. "I hope he carries it into this outing…I just think that how he fits, and how his stuff works and how his mind works, he’d be better off staying in the rotation."
But for how long?
Lefty reliever David Rollins’ yo-yo ride between Mariners and Triple-A Tacoma continued Saturday when he was recalled from the Rainiers. It marked his fourth recall since July 23.
Rollins, 26, returns this time after not even appearing in a game for Tacoma after being optioned to the Rainiers after last Tuesday’s game to clear space on the roster for Felix Hernandez’s return from the disabled list.
The Mariners could recall Rollins without the usual 10-day wait because he is replacing a player placed on the disabled list — shortstop Ketel Marte, who was diagnosed Friday as suffering from mononucleosis.
Marte, 22, was officially placed on the disabled list Saturday, although he did not accompany the Mariners to Toronto on Wednesday after their victory over the Chicago White Sox.
The Mariners backdated Marte’s DL time to July 20, which means he is eligible to return Aug. 4, although Servais said the club has no timetable on Marte’s return.
Rollins is 1-0 with a 4.05 ERA this season in eight big-league appearances. His victory came Monday when the Mariners rallied for a 4-3 victory over the White Sox. He compiled a 2.05 ERA in 24 games at Tacoma.
Three right-handed Tacoma relievers who spent time earlier this season in the big leagues are battling potential season-ending forearm injuries. Tacoma’s regular-season schedule ends Sept. 5.
***Mayckol Guaipe, 25, is almost certainly done for the season because of an ulnar collateral ligament injury. He has opted against surgery and is trying to recover through rest and rehab.
Guaipe hasn’t pitched since May 31. He had a 2.84 ERA in 10 games for Tacoma, and a 4.91 ERA in five appearances for the Mariners from April 27 to May 14.
***Jonathan Aro, 25, could return, but he hasn’t pitched since June 30 because of a strained forearm. He was 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 24 games for the Rainiers and made one appearance, June 20, for the Mariners.
The Mariners acquired Aro from Boston with left-hander Wade Miley in a Dec. 7 for reliever Carson Smith and lefty starter Roenis Elias.
***Steve Johnson, 28, has an injury similar to Aro. He hasn’t pitched since July 1 but could return before the season ends. He is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in 11 games at Rainier and was 1-0 with a 4.32 in 16 big-league outings from May 3 to June 14.
SURGERY LIKELY FOR COOK
The news is even worse for right-hander Ryan Cook, whom the Mariners signed in January as a free agent. He is likely headed for reconstructive elbow surgery — commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
Cook, 29, suffered a torn back muscle in spring training but recovered well enough to make an encouraging July 10 rehab start for Peoria in the Arizona Rookie League. He hit the mid-90s with his fastball in a one-two-three inning.
Shortly thereafter, Cook suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Cook was 13-12 with a 3.43 ERA in 217 relief appearances 2011-15 with Arizona, Oakland and Boston.
Lo-A Clinton became the first franchise in the Midwest League to win 4,000 games Friday by winning 7-3 at Lansing (Blue Jays). The LumberKings improved this season to 60-38, including 21-7 in the second half of the season.
Lefty Luiz Gohara, 19, gave up three runs for the first time in four starts since his June 30 promotion from Short-A Everett, but he still achieved a quality start over six inning and improved to 3-0.
Gohara is 5-0 overall with a 2.13 ERA in seven starts at Clinton and Everett.
It was five years ago Sunday — July 24, 2011 — that the Mariners set a franchise record by losing their 15th straight game when the fell in a 12-8 slugfest at Boston.
The previous club record was 14 straight losses in 1992.
The 2011 streak would reach 17 games by losing two more games at New York before the Mariners beat the Yankees 9-2 on July 27 behind Felix Hernandez.
The Mariners and Blue Jays conclude their three-game series at 10:07 a.m. Sunday at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Left-hander Wade Miley (6-7 with a 5.36 ERA) will seek to break a personal five-game losing streak when he faces former Mariners lefty J.A. Happ (12-3, 3.43).
The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners