Despite his wheeler-dealer reputation, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto isn’t pressing to make a deal to find help for the club’s injury-depleted rotation.
"We've had our share of tough breaks with early-season injuries," he said. "There is no simple answer for losing 80 percent of your starting rotation, particularly considering we’ve not yet reached Memorial Day.
"It’s a tough time of year to find external help. Our most realistic and best options remain those in house."
That doesn’t mean the Mariners won’t continue to tweak their organizational depth by making low-profile moves such as Thursday’s waiver claim that acquired right-hander Casey Lawrence from Toronto.
Such moves have become the organization’s DNA under Dipoto and provided the Mariners with the depth they’ve employed once the injuries began mounting in their rotation.
Ariel Miranda (who starts Sunday), Chase De Jong, Christian Bergman and Ryan Weber have each started this season after not being part of the original rotation. All were acquired from other organizations over the last year in minor deals.
"You always try to be prepared for the worst-case scenario," Dipoto said, "but this has set a new bar."
That bar figures to remain in place for at least another week to 10 days.
Lefty James Paxton is throwing again in his recovery from a strained forearm muscle but isn't expected back until after the upcoming seven-game homestand against Oakland and the Chicago White Sox.
Right-hander Felix Hernandez’s recovery from bursitis in his shoulder hit a small snag last week but, barring further setbacks, could be ready by early June.
But right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after being diagnosed last week with shoulder inflammation, and lefty Drew Smyly’s best-case scenario is a late June return from an elbow injury.
***The Mariners recalled right-handed reliever Dan Altavilla from Triple-A Tacoma prior to Sunday’s game after placing right-hander Ryan Weber on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained biceps muscle.
***The Mariners have already lost three in a row on five occasions this season but have yet to lose four in a row.
***Second baseman Robinson Cano is likely to miss a fourth-straight game because of a strained right quadriceps muscle. That’s subject to change once he takes batting practice.
***Toronto is expected to start right-hander Aaron Sanchez (0-1 with a 4.05 ERA) after activating him from the disabled list. He is is 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in five career games against the Mariners, including two starts.
***Shortstop Jean Segura has a 12-game hitting streak and leads the American League with a .366 average. He is hitting .411 (23-for-56) in his 12-game run.
***Left-hander Ariel Miranda (3-2 with a 5.20 ERA) has never faced the Blue Jays. The Mariners are 5-2 this season in his starts and 10-3 dating back to last season.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners