Altavilla unleashes 'electric stuff' in MLB debut

'It was an unbelievable feeling,' reliever says of retiring side in 8th

Altavilla unleashes 'electric stuff' in MLB debut

CHICAGO -- Mariners manager Scott Servais said before Dan Altavilla's Major League debut that it wasn't fair to draw any comparisons to rookie closer Edwin Diaz in spite of their similar path to the big leagues this season, but it was hard not to see the same kind of sizzle in the rookie right-hander's impressive opening act in Saturday's 9-3 loss to the White Sox.

The hard-throwing 24-year-old touched 100 mph on the radar gun and unleashed a couple of nasty sliders in a 1-2-3 eighth inning in which he zipped through the heart of the White Sox order, getting easy grounders from Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu and then striking out Todd Frazier.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miranda, Nuno struggle in loss to White Sox

Miranda, Nuno struggle in loss to White Sox

CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana continued his outstanding season with 7 2/3 strong innings on Saturday, and this time he got some help from his friends as the White Sox rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field.

The 27-year-old southpaw allowed just five hits and two runs (one earned) as he improved to 11-9 with a 2.77 ERA. Quintana had the second-lowest run support of any American League starter coming into the game, but the White Sox clubbed four home runs in a 15-hit night.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners promote Altavilla, Venditte to bolster bullpen

Lee recalled, Wilhelmsen placed on DL, Aoki and Freeman optioned

Mariners promote Altavilla, Venditte to bolster bullpen

CHICAGO -- A Mariners team that has already used a franchise-record 29 pitchers this season added two new arms to the mix on Saturday as general manager Jerry Dipoto called up right-hander Dan Altavilla from Double-A Jackson and recently-acquired switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Tacoma to bolster the bullpen.

The club also recalled first baseman Dae-Ho Lee from Tacoma to take the place of reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back issue. Outfielder Norichika Aoki and infielder Mike Freeman were optioned to Tacoma to make room for Altavilla and Venditte.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker, Rodon duel to wrap series in Chicago

Walker, Rodon duel to wrap series in Chicago

Seattle's Taijuan Walker and the White Sox Carlos Rodon get the call for Sunday afternoon's finale of this four-game set and the final game of a nine-game homestand for the White Sox.

Both young pitchers have immense talent but have struggled through periods of inconsistency this season.

Continue Reading

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Long list of heroes secure crucial Mariners win

Gutierrez's slump-busting HR, O'Malley's defense back Felix in duel with Sale

Long list of heroes secure crucial Mariners win

CHICAGO -- Some days it takes a village, especially when you're facing an ace like Chris sale, and the Mariners got help from many fronts on Friday to pull out a 3-1 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

There was Franklin Gutierrez, breaking out of an 0-for-15 slump to hit a home run off Sale. There was Adam Lind, the platoon first baseman who's not supposed to face southpaws, ripping an RBI double off one of the game's premier lefties.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aoki optioned as Mariners bolster bullpen

Altavilla, Venditte expected to be added before Saturday's game

Aoki optioned as Mariners bolster bullpen

CHICAGO -- While his teammates celebrated Friday's 3-1 victory over the White Sox on Friday night, veteran left fielder Norichika Aoki quietly dealt with Mariners officials and then made some phone calls after being informed he was being optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma.

Aoki will be one of several roster moves announced by the Mariners on Saturday as they look to shore up a bullpen that was already running a man short and now is dealing with a sore back by Tom Wilhelmsen as well.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton settles in, feels good in return from DL

After shaky first, Mariners lefty twirls four scoreless

Paxton settles in, feels good in return from DL

CHICAGO -- James Paxton's return from the disabled list didn't go exactly as planned Thursday, but the lanky lefty overcame a rocky start and had the Mariners in position to win until the White Sox rallied late for a 7-6 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

Despite allowing a trio of runs in the first, Paxton turned a 6-3 lead over to the bullpen in the sixth in a 90-pitch outing as he returned from an 18-day absence due to a bruised elbow.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Powerful heart of the order has Mariners contending

Cruz, Cano, Seager help put Seattle in Wild Card hunt

Powerful heart of the order has Mariners contending

CHICAGO -- Pop quiz time.

Which team has three of the 25 most productive hitters in Major League Baseball?
A: The Chicago Cubs
B: The Toronto Blue Jays
C: The Boston Red Sox
D: The Baltimore Orioles
E: None of the above

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix, Mariners survive Sale to gain in WC chase

Felix, Mariners survive Sale to gain in WC chase

CHICAGO -- Felix Hernandez is starting to look more like, well, Felix Hernandez these days. And it couldn't come at a better time for the Mariners as they rode their ace to a 3-1 victory over Chris Sale and the White Sox in a battle of two of the American League's top hurlers on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Hernandez allowed just a solo home run by Todd Frazier in the seventh over 7 1/3 innings, scattering eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. The 30-year-old is 5-0 with a 3.46 ERA in eight starts since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list with a strained calf.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners let White Sox rally, then walk off

Mariners let White Sox rally, then walk off

CHICAGO -- As far as the Mariners are concerned, they can't change the name of U.S. Cellular Field soon enough. A day after the White Sox announced they'll be renaming the facility Guaranteed Rate Field for next season, Seattle's struggles on the South Side continued as Todd Frazier singled in Adam Eaton for a 7-6 walk-off win on Thursday night.

Frazier delivered his third RBI of the game with one out in the ninth inning off reliever Nick Vincent as the White Sox rallied from a 6-3 deficit over the final three frames.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kuma's quality start guarantees club option

Starter allows three runs on six hits in six innings in loss to Yankees

Kuma's quality start guarantees club option

SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakuma has a knack for turning in good outings even when he's not at his sharpest. He did so again in Wednesday's game, turning a two-run deficit after two innings into a quality start.

"Sometimes you have your stuff, and sometimes you don't have your stuff," Iwakuma said through his translator Antony Suzuki. "When you don't have your stuff, it's about executing when you need to, making pitches when you have to."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz better after exiting with back spasms

Cruz better after exiting with back spasms

SEATTLE -- Designated hitter Nelson Cruz left the Mariners' 5-0 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon in the eighth inning with back spasms. After treatment and an adjustment to his pelvis, he said he feels better.

Cruz's back started bothering him Tuesday night when he had four at-bats.

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners silenced at plate, drop finale to Yanks

Mariners silenced at plate, drop finale to Yanks

SEATTLE -- Masahiro Tanaka threw seven shutout innings and Gary Sanchez homered yet again in the Yankees' 5-0 victory over the Mariners Wednesday afternoon to close the series in Seattle. With its second consecutive win, New York took the three-game set.

"They pitched us well all series," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We haven't been shut down like that in quite some time, and if you don't score, it's going to be tough to win."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller among top prospect performers Wednesday

Red Sox flamethrower notches 10 K's with career-high seven frames

Miller among top prospect performers Wednesday

Michael Kopech may be the hottest pitcher in all of Minor League Baseball these days as he continues to shut down opposing lineups with a plethora of strikeouts.

The 20-year-old was on fire once again Wednesday, leading Class A Advanced Salem to a 9-1 win over Potomac.

Continue Reading

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker battles in return but Mariners fall short vs. Yanks

Walker battles in return but Mariners fall short vs. Yanks

SEATTLE -- CC Sabathia got back on track and Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run home run to open up a close game en route to a 5-1 Yankees win over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. The Yankees evened the three-game series at a game apiece and knocked the Mariners back to two games out of the second American League Wild Card spot.

"It comes down to location for CC, and avoiding some of the bad breaks that he gets," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And tonight we got him some runs, too. That always helps, too. I know what his ERA is, but I'm going to tell you, he's pitched a lot better than that ERA, I really believe."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Mariners on Tuesday.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Yankees on Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners add righties Zych, Walker

Mariners add righties Zych, Walker

SEATTLE -- The Mariners activated right-handed reliever Tony Zych from the 60-day disabled list Tuesday to fill the hole in their bullpen, and they optioned infielder/outfielder Stefen Romero to Triple-A Tacoma.

The move was in addition to recalling Taijuan Walker from Tacoma to make Tuesday's start vs. the Yankees. Cody Martin was optioned to Tacoma to make room for Walker.

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cishek regains form following stint on DL

Cishek regains form following stint on DL

SEATTLE -- Safeco Field's lights don't dim and music doesn't blast every time Steve Cishek enters the game anymore. The win isn't on the line every time he jogs out from the bullpen. But since the former closer came off the 15-day disabled list, he has looked as good as ever.

"It's just nice to have some power in my legs," Cishek said. "That's the biggest difference, is being able to get my foot down and drive the ball."

Continue Reading

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Mariners on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners make homers count to topple Yankees

Mariners make homers count to topple Yankees

SEATTLE -- Not even a pair of home runs apiece by the Yankees' Gary Sanchez and Starlin Castro could derail the Mariners on Monday night at Safeco Field as Seattle rode a pair of three-run blasts by Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino to a 7-5 series-opening win.

"This team is picking one another up," Zunino said. "We had a tough loss [Sunday], but we know we're not going to be perfect through this stretch here. I think guys did a good job coming to the park with energy today, and to get a win like this, coming from behind, is huge."

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Yankees on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zunino's confidence soars with sustained success

Zunino's confidence soars with sustained success

SEATTLE -- Oh, what a difference a year has made for Mike Zunino.

The Mariners catcher was sent down to Triple-A last season on Aug. 28, his big league season done after posting a .174/.230/.300 line with 11 homers in 112 games. As Seattle was winding up its year, the 2012 first-round Draft pick was left searching for answers in Tacoma.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diaz regroups, runs saves streak to 10 games

Diaz regroups, runs saves streak to 10 games

SEATTLE -- It wasn't a perfect save for Edwin Diaz, but the hard-throwing rookie is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities for the Mariners, and that's plenty good enough for a club contending for a playoff berth as the stretch run approaches.

Diaz set a Mariners record by converting his 10th straight save to start his career, breaking the record of Byron McLaughlin in 1979. And he did so Monday after putting runners on second and third with one out before slamming the door in a 7-5 victory over the Yankees at Safeco Field.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Neither walls nor excited fans could stop O'Malley

|
Neither walls nor excited fans could stop O'Malley

As has been proven on numerous occasions this season, players tumbling over the wall while trying to make a great grab can lead to some cheesy situationsstunned fan reactions and other noteworthy circumstances. After all, it's probably pretty weird to see a big, tall baseball player suddenly running at you, full speed.

Mariners outfielder Shawn O'Malley (who has actually played more shortstop than outfield this season, impressively) is the latest player to act out this phenomenon, and his effort in Monday's 7-5 win over the Yankees at Safeco Field was worth a shoutout due to its level of difficulty. Notice how O'Malley barely gives that cursory, "How far am I from the wall?" look outfielders do when they're in this situation. Notice how absolutely dedicated he is to the play, no matter what.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Nelson Cruz's bat broke and he still hit a homer

|
Nelson Cruz's bat broke and he still hit a homer

Nelson Cruz is a strong man. He's proven that time and time again throughout his career, making cavernous stadiums look like Little League fields with his home run heroics. 

Consider his arrival to Seattle's Safeco Field, largely considered a "pitcher's park." In his first season wtih the M's in 2015, Cruz clubbed 44 homers (17 of them at Safeco), and had amassed 31 this season leading heading into Monday night's hard-fought 7-5 win over the Yankees.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Mariners bring back Heredia, put Storen on DL

Mariners bring back Heredia, put Storen on DL

SEATTLE -- After seeing a fly ball to left field drop in for a base hit to drive in the go-ahead ninth-inning run in Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Brewers, the Mariners moved to shore up their outfield defense by recalling Guillermo Heredia from Triple-A Tacoma on Monday while placing reliever Drew Storen on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

Heredia hit .280 with a home run and three RBIs in 12 games in a previous stint with Seattle before being optioned back to Tacoma on Aug. 10. He proved to be a capable defender who added some athleticism to the Mariners bench during that time, and he'll resume a similar role now that he's back with the club.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners build lead, but fall after Brewers' rally

Mariners build lead, but fall after Brewers' rally

SEATTLE -- With rookie closer Edwin Diaz not available after a 34-pitch save in his last outing Friday, the Mariners saw relievers Tom Wilhelmsen and Vidal Nuno surrender four runs on six hits in the ninth inning as the Brewers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-6 comeback win at Safeco Field on Sunday.

"This whole week we've been grinding out ABs, grinding out games, and it just hasn't really worked out for us," said Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton. "Today we kept battling with the same mindset. Just go in there and get a win and battle hard. And we came out with a 'W' there."

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners disappointed but not down after loss

Seattle falls to Brewers after entering ninth inning with 3-run lead

Mariners disappointed but not down after loss

SEATTLE -- Obviously manager Scott Servais would love to go to flame-throwing rookie closer Edwin Diaz in every save situation. But there are times when a skipper needs to save his rookie closer, and Sunday appeared to be one of those opportunities, with the Mariners taking a three-run lead into the ninth inning against the scuffling Brewers and veteran Tom Wilhelmsen waiting in the wings.

Though Diaz hadn't thrown Saturday, the 22-year-old needed 27 and 34 pitches in his last two wobbly saves, and Servais knows he needs to protect the youngster for the long haul. So in came Wilhelmsen and out went the win when Milwaukee rallied for four runs with a pair of long balls and a misplayed single -- off Vidal Nuno -- that drove in the go-ahead run in the Mariners' 7-6 loss.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Vogelbach on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Vogelbach on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The Yankees have gotten both younger and better in the past month. They traded their best hitter (Carlos Beltran) and two best relievers (Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller), then installed three rookies in their lineup and two more in their rotation. After playing .500 ball through July, New York is in the midst of its best month (11-8) of the season and has climbed within four games of a Wild Card berth.

Continue Reading

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reinforcements in wings for Mariners' rotation

Paxton due to be recalled this week; Walker return also possible

Reinforcements in wings for Mariners' rotation

SEATTLE -- With just under a quarter of the season remaining and their team fighting for a playoff spot, reinforcements are on the way for the Mariners' rotation as James Paxton will rejoin the club this coming week, with Taijuan Walker as a possibility as well.

"It has been all over the place," manager Scott Servais said of the recent rotation run. "That's the goal here, to try to get it lined up and get some consistency. We've got Felix [Hernandez] going the right direction. Paxton was throwing great before he went down, [Wade] LeBlanc has given us a chance and [Ariel] Miranda has thrown the ball well since he's been here. We'd like eventually, hopefully, fingers crossed we can get Walker going in the right direction and get him back in there, too. We'll see."

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zunino contributing after starting year in Minors

Catcher's offensive game maturing after struggling through first 3 seasons

Zunino contributing after starting year in Minors

SEATTLE -- After struggling offensively in his first three seasons in the Majors, the Mariners had Mike Zunino start 2016 with Triple-A Tacoma in order to find his confidence and his hitting stroke. The move seems to have paid huge dividends, as the 2012 first-round Draft pick has been a difference maker in his first month back in the big leagues.

Entering Sunday's game vs. the Brewers, Zunino, 25, has put up a .282/.402/.690 line with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 25 games, a huge jump from the .193/.252/.353 production in 295 games over his first three years in the Majors.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.