Mariners option Powell, De Jong to Triple-A

Gallardo happy with where he's at after making first start back from WBC 2017

Mariners option Powell, De Jong to Triple-A

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners made some roster cuts Friday, optioning outfielder Boog Powell and right-hander Chase De Jong to Triple-A Tacoma.

The moves left Seattle with 51 players in their Major League camp, including 35 roster players and 16 non-roster invitees.

Powell was one of the team's hottest hitters, batting .577 (15-for-26) in Cactus League play, including a three-hit game against Kansas City on Thursday.

Powell was suspended for 80 games last June 23 after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance, and that dropped him from No. 8 to No. 25 on the Mariners' prospect rankings at MLBPipeline.com. But he opened some eyes with his recent play.

"He's had a really good spring, and he has made some adjustments in his swing and how he's approaching it," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He's staying more aggressive."

De Jong, a starter the Mariners acquired in a trade with the Dodgers on March 1, went 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA with the Mariners this spring. He had his best Cactus League outing on Thursday, giving up two runs (one earned) in four innings against the Royals.

Gallardo goes 4 1/3 innings vs. D-backs
Yovani Gallardo returned to the mound on Friday after eight days off and a trip back from Mexico. He looked like he never left.

The veteran right-hander, who's slated to be a key part of the starting rotation for the Mariners in 2017, got back to work in the Cactus League and had what he described as an encouraging outing in a 9-5 win over the D-backs at Salt River Fields.

Gallardo pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on four hits while striking out two and walking three. He lowered his spring ERA from 9.00 to 6.48 in the process, and he also reached the significant milestone of 70 pitches. It was a natural progression from his World Baseball Classic start on March 8, when he went four innings and gave up four runs on four hits while striking out five against the team from Italy. Gallardo threw 57 pitches in that outing.

"I feel good," Gallardo said. "I'm happy where I'm at. I feel like the ball's coming out good out of my hand, and just having command, being able to make adjustments."

Gallardo added that he was able to lock back into a rhythm despite the time off, the travel and the lesser intensity.

"I was able to find that release point and command and throw to both sides of the plate, and I felt like I did that down at the Classic and again today -- attacking hitters," he said.

Worth noting
• Servais said right-hander Shae Simmons (strained forearm muscle) was "moving in the right direction" after being removed from a game on March 11 but that Simmons is not throwing yet and there was no timetable for when that might happen. This would seemingly make Simmons a long shot to be available for Opening Day.

"We will be very cautious with that one," the manager said.

• Outfielder Jarrod Dyson exited Friday afternoon's game against the D-backs in the first inning because of leg fatigue after leading off and scoring on Kyle Seager's double. Dyson had convinced Servais to start him, but the manager picked up on Dyson's tightness early and pulled him.

Seager's RBI double

"There are no heroes on March 17," Servais said.

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.