The Mariners acquired right-handed reliever Evan Marshall in a waiver claim Tuesday from Arizona and immediately assigned him to Triple-A Tacoma, which begins its season Thursday at Sacramento (Giants).
"He provides further depth and still has an option," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "He was quietly a solid under-the-radar setup guy in Arizona back in ’14 but has struggled to regain that form."
The Mariners cleared space for Marshall on their 40-man roster by shifting left-hander Drew Smyly to the 60-day disabled list. Smyly is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks while recovering from a flexor strain in his elbow.
Marshall, 26, is a seven-year professional who split last season between Triple-A Reno (1-1 with a 4.59 ERA in 33 games) and the Diamondbacks (0-1, 8.80 in 15 games).
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"He’s healthy," Dipoto said, "not quite 27, still bumps 96 (mph) with a heavy sinking fastball while still producing high ground-ball rates. We’ll see if a change of scenery helps him."
Marshall was a fourth-round pick by Arizona in the 2011 MLB Draft who compiled a 2.74 ERA in 57 appearances as a rookie in 2014. He is 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA overall in 85 big-league games over parts of three seasons.
While pitching for Reno on Aug. 4, 2015, Marshall was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of El Paso’s Jason Haggerty. The ball was traveling an estimated 105 mph when it struck Marshall.
"I never saw the ball, but I knew it was coming," Marshall recounted a few weeks later after recovering. "Damage was being done with the pressure that was building in the skull.
“They got me opened up and they relieved the pressure really fast and stopped the damage from being done. The speed of which they did everything is what prevented the damage from being done. I was minutes away from not making it."
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners