Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners sign lefty reliever Tyler Johnson

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik continues to stockpile arms for spring training. The Mairners signed left-handed pitcher Tyler Johnson to a minor league contract on Thursday, and extended an invite to major league spring training.

"Tyler is an experienced, left-handed reliever that gives us another option to look at for our bullpen," Zduriencik said. "He's had success at the Major League level, especially against left-handed hitters. Over the past several weeks, we've had Duane Shaffer watching him throw, and the reports have been very positive."

Johnson basically missed all of last season after being placed on the Cardinals 60-day disabled list March 31 with bursitis in his left shoulder. Johnson had shoulder surgery in 2007 and just never could get healthy.

In 2007, pitching with St. Louis, Johnson appeared in 55 games, and held opposing hitters to a .217 (31-for-143) batting average against. He had appeared in 56 games with the Cardinals in 2006, and limited left-handed hitters to a .221 (17-for-77) batting average against. He led all St. Louis pitchers with 10 appearances and 4 holds during the 2006 post-season, striking out 12 in 7.1 innings pitched.

Johnson is 3-5, 4.32 in 116 Major League games with the Cardinals (2005-2008), all in relief. He has tossed 77.0 innings, and allowed just 67 hits while striking out 65.

The Mariners now have 60 players reporting to Major League Spring Training (40 players on 40-man roster, 20 non-roster invitees). Pitchers and Catchers will hold their first workout February 14 in Peoria, Ariz., and the first full-squad workout will be held Feb. 18.

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