Mariners outright Vasquez to Triple-A

Mariners outright Vasquez to Triple-A

Mariners outright Vasquez to Triple-A
SEATTLE -- Left-handed pitcher Anthony Vasquez, who struggled in seven late-season starts with the Mariners, was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday.

The move creates another opening on the Mariners' 40-man roster, which now stands at 35.

Vasquez, 25, went 1-6 with an 8.90 ERA while the Mariners went to a six-man rotation in order to ease the innings load on rookie Michael Pineda and others in the final five weeks.

Vasquez pitched well at Triple-A Tacoma, but struggled in his first Major League stint, surrendering 13 home runs in 29 1/3 innings. He earned the victory in his Major League debut, a 12-7 victory at Cleveland in which he gave up nine hits and five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

But the Texas native lost his final six starts, including the Mariners' season finale when he was pulled after two innings after giving up the only runs in a 2-0 loss to the A's. His longest outing was a six-inning start against the Royals on Sept. 11, when he allowed two runs on seven hits in a 2-1 setback.

Unlike veterans David Aardsma and Luis Rodriguez, who requested free agency after being optioned earlier this week, Vasquez has no choice since he has less than three years of service time and has not been previously outrighted.

Vasquez, an 18th-round Draft pick of the Mariners out of USC in 2009, went 5-7 with a 3.77 ERA in 16 starts for Double-A Jackson this year and 4-3 with a 3.21 ERA in eight starts for Tacoma before getting his Major League promotion.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.