The Seattle Mariners made several more roster moves Tuesday morning, including placing infielders Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy to the 10-day injured list, reactivating rookie utility player Dylan Moore from the IL, recalling left-hander Tommy Milone and infielder Shed Long from Triple-A Tacoma, and optioning right-hander Parker Markel to the Rainiers.
Later in the afternoon, the club also announced the signing of right-handed reliever Anthony Bass, who was granted release from the Reds on Monday. Right-hander Ryon Garton was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.
Neither Gordon’s nor Healy’s injuries seem to be severe enough that they’ll miss significant playing time, but Mariners manager Scott Servais told reporters in Arlington the club had to make moves to replenish the roster.
“The way our roster is set up, we can’t just give guys four or five days to figure it out,” he said. “Oftentimes you’ve got to make a move. Certainly with both of them going down at the same time, we had to get some players in here.”
Gordon moves to the IL with a right wrist contusion. The Mariners’ regular second baseman was hit in the wrist by a J.A. Happ pitch during Seattle’s New York series nearly two weeks ago, and missed three games following the injury on May 9, but was not originally placed on the IL. He has hit 3-for-22 (.136) in the seven games he’s appeared in since, with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.
“He hasn’t quite felt 100 percent after being hit by the pitch over in New York,” Servais said. “I don’t think it bothered him at all the first couple days he came back, but he made a comment in (Monday) night’s game he thought it was affecting him a little bit. If it’s affecting his performance and doesn’t feel good, we’ve got to figure it out.”
Healy, the club’s former starting first baseman who has played the majority of the season at third base in place of injured veteran Kyle Seager (hand), left Monday night’s game against the Rangers in the sixth inning with lower back inflammation. With Seager expected to return this weekend from a rehab stint with Tacoma — he’s eligible Saturday — Healy’s injury somewhat clears up another logjam at first base, where Edwin Encarnacion, Jay Bruce and Daniel Vogelbach have been splitting time.
Servais told reporters he wasn’t sure of the severity of Healy’s injury, but he mentioned his back was sore and stiff during Monday night’s game, and was pulled from the lineup.
In corresponding moves, the Mariners reactivated Moore from the 10-day IL, and again promoted Long from Triple-A Tacoma.
Moore was placed on the IL on May 10 with a right wrist contusion, after also being hit by a pitch in the New York series. He went 3-for-13 (.231) in three rehab games with the Rainiers. In 28 games with the Mariners this season, Moore has hit .229 and appeared at five different defensive positions.
Long was called up earlier this month to help fill in for Gordon and Moore during the Boston series, and made his MLB debut there, but went a hitless 0-for-9 with two walks in three games with the Mariners. After returning to Triple-A Tacoma, he went 9-for-24 (.375) in five games.
Servais said Long will primarily play second base, but could move around, as could Moore.
“Shed’s going to get a chance to play, and hopefully he takes it and runs with it,” Servais said. “He’s happy to be back. I knew he’d be back. I didn’t know it would be this quick, but we’ll give him a chance.
“It’s an opportunity for us to continue to coach him up and grow with these guys. We knew that this was going to be that type of season. Injuries happen. These guys get opportunity and hopefully they can establish themselves a little bit.”
As expected, the Mariners also recalled Milone, who is scheduled to start Tuesday night’s game against Texas, from Tacoma. The 32-year-old lefty will start in place of rookie right-hander Erik Swanson, who was optioned to Tacoma last week, and, at least during this cycle, replace regular fifth starter Felix Hernandez, who is out four to six weeks with a lat strain.
Milone is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA in nine games (eight starts) with the Rainiers this season, and has struck out 43 while walking 12. He last pitched in the majors on Aug. 19, appearing in relief with the Washington Nationals.
Markel was optioned after compiling a 14.73 ERA across four relief appearances with the Mariners in the past two weeks, allowing six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. He made his MLB debut during Seattle’s series in Boston.
Less than two hours after the Mariners made their initial set of swaps, they announced the signing of 31-year-old reliever Bass, who was 1-1 with a 2.21 ERA and nine saves in 19 outings with Triple-A Louisville. He was released by Cincinnati at his request.
Bass spent less than two months with the Mariners during the 2015-16 offseason after being acquired in a five-player trade with the Rangers. He was eventually granted release to pitch in Japan. He has pitched in parts of seven MLB seasons, compiling a 5-9 record and 4.51 ERA with 202 strikeouts and 110 walks in nearly 300 innings across 147 games. He’s made eight starts in his major league career.
Bass, who is available for Tuesday night’s game in Texas, could become the 23rd relief pitcher the Mariners have used this season, which would be tied for the most relievers used by a team in the majors this season with the Baltimore Orioles.
To make room on the 40-man roster, which remains full, the Mariners opted to DFA Garton, who piled up a 12.00 ERA in three innings across two appearances with Seattle in the past week after being recalled from Tacoma. He was originally acquired by the club in 2017 in a deal with Tampa Bay.
Servais said both Bass and left-hander Jesse Biddle, who was acquired in a trade with Atlanta on Monday, will mix into Seattle’s ever-evolving bullpen, which has yet to sort out defined roles.
“I’ve explained that to them,” Servais said. “That’s just where we’re at. We aren’t the only team. There’s some other teams that are kind of in a similar situation with their roster. They’re trying to figure it out and create some stability, and the only way to do that is you have to go through a few growing pains to get there. We will. We’ll get there.”