Veteran infielder Gordon Beckham returned to the big leagues Saturday when the Mariners promoted him from Triple-A Tacoma.
Beckham, 30, played eight big-league seasons from 2009-16 with four clubs before signing with the Mariners as a minor-league free agent on March 31 — eight days after he was released by San Francisco.
"Looking at our roster and where we’re at," manager Scott Servais said, "(Taylor) Motter is really our only true (backup) middle infielder. It allows us to do some other things. It just makes sure we have coverage in the middle."
The Mariners cleared space on their 40-man roster for Beckham by designating utilityman Shawn O’Malley for assignment. O’Malley, 29, spent much of the season on the disabled list because of various injuries.
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Beckham batted .262 in 83 games at Tacoma with nine homers and 45 RBIs. A first-round pick by the Chicago White Sox in 2008, he has a .240 average in 953 big-league games with 74 homers and 335 RBIs.
"I don’t know how much he is going to play," Servais said, "but he allows you to maneuver the rest of the guys without fear of running out of a shortstop or a second baseman."
O’Malley required an emergency appendectomy in March and suffered a shoulder injury during the recovery process. He recently missed 10 days because of a concussion before returning Thursday to the Rainiers.
The injuries limited O’Malley this season to 33 minor-league games at three different levels. He batted .205 in 20 games at Tacoma.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners