Mariners Insider Blog

Watchpoints: Now it’s Gaviglio who makes his pitch

Sam Gaviglio’s spot in the Mariners’ rotation is at risk due to the expected return this week of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma from the disabled list.
Sam Gaviglio’s spot in the Mariners’ rotation is at risk due to the expected return this week of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma from the disabled list. AP

As was the case Sunday for Christian Bergman in Texas, rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio makes his pitch Monday to stay in the Mariners’ rotation when he starts against Detroit at Safeco Field.

Gaviglio, 27, is 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA in seven games, including six starts, since his May 10 promotion from Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners, at that point, had four starting pitchers on the disabled list.

That situation is changing. James Paxton returned to active duty in late May, while Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are each expected to be activated in time for this weekend’s three-game series against Houston.

Where that leaves Gaviglio (and Bergman) is uncertain, particularly since the Mariners promoted right-hander Max Povse on Sunday from Double-A Arkansas to serve as their long reliever.

Bergman or Gaviglio each previously loomed as candidates to fill that long-relief role once Hernandez and Iwakuma rejoin the active roster.

That now seems less likely.

Summoning Povse meant clearing space on the 40-man roster, which suggests the Mariners’ expect to keep him around for a while. (Clubs rarely add a player to their 40-man if they intend to option him to the minors within a few days.)

Gaviglio and Bergman have options, which means they can be sent to the minors at the Mariners’ discretion without having to clear waivers.

Other watchpoints:

***The Mariners open a four-game series against Detroit at 7:10 p.m. Monday at Safeco Field. The seven-game homestand concludes this weekend with three games against Houston. All games can be seen on Root Sports Northwest.

***Detroit recalled veteran right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 9.00) on Sunday from Triple-A Toledo with the intention of having him start Monday against the Mariners.

***Sanchez, 33, is a 12-year veteran whose performance nosedived last season. He opened this season in the Tigers’ bullpen before asking for a demotion to Toledo in order to build endurance in hopes of regaining a spot in the rotation. He was 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA in four starts for the Mud Hens.

***Sanchez is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA in six career games against the Mariners, including 1-0 and 2.92 in two starts at Safeco Field.

***Nelson Cruz is 5-for-12 with one double, four homers and nine RBIs in his career against Sanchez, but most of the Mariners haven’t fared well. Robinson Cano is 4-for-19, Carlos Ruiz is 6-for-25 and Jarrod Dyson is 5-for-30.

***Former Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon (2014-15) is the Tigers’ hitting coach, a position he held for seven seasons before becoming the Mariners’ manager.

***Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has a .325 career average (38-for-117) in 28 games at Safeco Field with seven homers and 22 RBIs.

***Left fielder Ben Gamel has a 10-game hitting streak, and his .346 average would lead the American League if he had 12 more plate appearances.

***Cruz has 53 RBIs, which is tied with New York outfielder Aaron Judge for the AL lead.

***The Tigers and Mariners rank fourth and fifth among AL clubs in runs per game at 4.85 and 4.76. The league average is 4.69.

***The Tigers and Mariners rank 11th and 12th among AL clubs in ERA at 4.74 and 4.76. The league average is 4.31.

***The Mariners won two of three when the clubs played April 25-27 in Detroit. The Tigers hold a 214-186 edge in the all-time series, but the Mariners lead 103-92 in Seattle and 37-30 at Safeco Field.

TIME CAPSULE

It was five years ago Monday — June 19, 2012 — that Ichiro Suzuki got his 2,500th career hit with a first-inning single against Daniel Hudson at Arizona.

Suzuki reached the milestone in his 1,817th game. Only three players reached it quicker: Al Simmons (1,784 games), Ty Cobb (1,790 games) and George Sisler (1,808 games). All three are in the Hall of Fame.

The Mariners won the game 12-9 in 10 innings.

Suzuki, now 43 and playing for Miami, entered Monday with 3,049 career hits.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners

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