Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners' move of the day: RHP Max Povse promoted from Arkansas

Max Povse
Max Povse

The carousel never stops in the Mariners’ bullpen and, on Sunday, they opted to go big.

The Mariners promoted 6-foot-8 right-hander Max Povse from Double-A Arkansas prior to their series finale against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.

"He’s big, and he’s in the house," manager Scott Servais said. "We were very impressed with what we saw in spring training.

"His last few outings have been a little shorter, and the thought is he might be that guy that we could use in multiple innings out of the bullpen. His stuff has spiked up in the shorter outings."

Povse, 23, was 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in nine games, including eight starts, for the Travelers but recently missed three-plus weeks because of a strained hamstring. He returned June 14 and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Now he’s in the big leagues for the first time.

"It’s what you dream about," he said. "Ever since getting the news (Saturday) night, it’s been a whirlwind. When (Arkansas manager Daren Brown) gave me the news, I think I blacked out, honestly. It was an unbelievable feeling."

Povse said he has no lingering problems with his hamstring.

The Mariners cleared space for Povse on their 25-man roster by optioning right-hander Rob Whalen to Arkansas. Whalen pitched two scoreless innings Saturday, which makes him unavailable for the next day or two.

To add Povse to the 40-man organizational roster, the Mariners designated Triple-A Tacoma lefty Dillon Overton for assignment. They now have seven days to trade, release or send Overton through waivers.

If Overton, 25, clears waivers, he could be sent to a minor-league club on an outright assignment. He was 1-2 with a 9.33 ERA in seven games at Tacoma, and allowed 15 runs over 18 1/3 innings in nine big-league appearances.

The decision to send Whalen to Arkansas and designate Overton reflects a likelihood that Tacoma will soon get reinforcements when Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma return to the big-league club from the disabled list.

The Mariners acquired Povse and Whalen from Atlanta in a Nov. 28, 2016 trade for outfielder Alex Jackson and pitcher Tyler Pike.

Povse was a third-round pick by the Braves in 2014 and spent his career as a starting pitcher prior to his recent conversion to bullpen duty.

"It’s a little bit different mindset," he said, "but once you get out on the mound, it’s still the same game. I did it in spring training a little bit. I’m excited for it. I think its going to be a fun challenge. I’m ready for it."

Even so, he disputed the suggestion that his velocity increases as a reliever.

"I don’t know," he said. "I just think I’m back healthy. That that’s what it was. Whenever I’m healthy, I think I have good stuff."

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners

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