Mariners add three as rosters expand

Mariners add three as rosters expand

Mariners add three as rosters expand
SEATTLE -- The Mariners added catcher Chris Gimenez and relievers Shawn Kelley and Cesar Jimenez to their Major League roster on Thursday as clubs were allowed to expand their rosters beyond 25.

Gimenez was recalled from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma and activated from the 60-day disabled list. He's been playing the past three weeks since recovering from a strained oblique muscle in his side.

Kelley pitched the past two years for Seattle, but is returning from elbow surgery and has been throwing well in recent weeks for the Rainiers. Jimenez, a left-hander, pitched 35 games with the Mariners in 2006 and '08.

Both Gimenez and Jimenez had to be added to the 40-man roster, which was at 39 following Wednesday's trade of Jack Wilson to Atlanta. To clear one more spot, the Mariners released infielder Matt Tuiasosopo from Tacoma.

Tuiasosopo was the team's third-round Draft pick in '04 and had limited stints with the Mariners the past three seasons, but hit just .176 in 193 at-bats. He was batting .226 with 14 home runs and 77 RBIs this season for Tacoma.

"I saw some things I thought were interesting this spring and had a good talk with him, because unlike years past, we wanted him to get an opportunity to go down and get everyday at-bats," manager Eric Wedge said. "We felt that was the best thing for him and his career, but he didn't take advantage of it. That's just it. Obviously there's been so much opportunity here this year, but for whatever reason he wasn't able to get himself going."

The Mariners will likely call up another player or two when Tacoma's season ends Monday. For now, they added three players with Major League experience who could help immediately.

"We wanted to get that third catcher up here and we needed a couple pieces in the bullpen," Wedge said. "We've been running with six guys and I'm happy we were able to get to September with the six."

Kelley, who posted a 1.84 ERA in 12 games with the Rainiers, said he's nearly fully recovered from his elbow surgery.

"I'm still a few miles per hour away on my velocity, but command and my slider are good," he said. "I've been able to be effective. I think my last outing I was around 92. I'd like to think any day now it'll jump back up, but I know where it's going pretty well right now and I'm feeling pretty good."

Kelley said getting the September call from Seattle is just a bonus at this point.

"It was so nice to just be back pitching on a routine and waiting for the bullpen phone to ring [in Tacoma]," he said. "I was just relieved to be healthy and able to pitch because after 2-3 setbacks, I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to pitch again. My season could have ended there and I'd have been happy I finished strong. This is just icing on the cake for me."

Gimenez hit .265 in 13 games for the Rainiers since getting healthy and is thrilled to be back in action as well.

"The DL is not really for me, let's put it that way," he said. "It's been very boring and tough because you can't do anything. But I've been playing for three weeks now and that was a good chance to get some at-bats and get the kinks out and get over the fear of doing it again. That was the biggest thing. The first couple days I was really hesitant with my swing, but after getting over that little bump it was pretty smooth sailing."