Mariners shake up roster with eight moves

Mariners shake up roster with eight moves

Mariners shake up roster with eight moves
SEATTLE -- Outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Casper Wells and pitchers Erasmo Ramirez and Steve Delabar were recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday as the Mariners made a series of roster moves.

Left fielder Mike Carp and reliever Stephen Pryor were placed on the 15-day disabled list, while pitcher Blake Beavan and infielder Alex Liddi were optioned to Tacoma.

The Mariners had some outfield problems in recent days and will be much stronger defensively with a trio of Michael Saunders, Gutierrez and Ichiro Suzuki on most days, but manager Eric Wedge said that isn't why Gutierrez was called up on Wednesday about a week before his full 20-day rehab stint could have played out.

"I'm excited to think about Saunders, Guti and Ichiro out there," said Wedge. "That's fantastic. But if we didn't feel he was ready, he wouldn't be up here, especially after all this time."

Gutierrez has spent the past three months recovering from a partially torn pectoral muscle suffered early in Spring Training, then a plantar fasciitis problem in his heel that limited his running for several weeks.

The 29-year-old played 10 rehab games in Tacoma, batting .211 (8-for-38) with three doubles and one RBI. Gutierrez wasn't in Wednesday night's lineup, but Wedge said he'd start on Thursday, with Saunders moving to left when Gutierrez plays.

Ramirez, 22, will take Beavan's spot in the rotation and will start Thursday. Ramirez began the season in the Mariners bullpen and posted a 2.45 ERA in nine games. But the Mariners wanted him to stretch out as a starting candidate and sent him to Tacoma in early May, where he went 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA in seven starts.

Wells, 27, was sent to Tacoma after hitting .213 in 25 games for Seattle while playing sparingly over the first two months of the season. He's batted .224 with one home run, one triple, seven doubles and 10 RBIs in 16 games with the Rainiers. Combined with 15 walks, he's posted a healthy .469 on-base percentage and .869 OPS.

"I was working on some stuff with [hitting coach Jeff] Pentland down there," Wells said. "Just getting my rhythm because I hadn't been playing. You're always learning in this game of baseball. I got some things that allowed me to be a little more free and comfortable at the plate. I feel good. The best way to learn is to go out there and play."

Delabar, 28, also returns after a brief stint in Triple-A in which he didn't allow a run in five innings over four appearances, with one hit, two walks and three strikeouts. Delabar was 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA in 25 appearances for the Mariners earlier in the year. Opponents hit just .200 against him and he had 31 strikeouts and seven walks in 24 1/3 innings, but seven of his 18 hits allowed were home runs.

Delabar takes the bullpen spot vacated by Pryor, who injured a groin muscle covering first base in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Padres. Since getting called up on June 1, Pryor had flashed an upper-90s fastball while posting a 1-0 mark and 1.69 ERA in 5 1/3 innings.

Carp, 25, has struggled this season after spraining his right shoulder in the Opening Day game in Tokyo. He spent 23 games on the DL before being activated on April 30, but after a strong rookie campaign he's hit just .157 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 83 at-bats this year.

"His shoulder has been giving him some problems," Wedge said. "He just has some irritation with both his labrum and rotator cuff. We'll give him some time to strengthen it and let it calm down in there a little and go from there."

Beavan, 23, has been in the Mariners rotation since midseason of last year. But the 6-foot-7 right-hander was hit hard his last two starts as his record dropped to 3-6 with a 5.92 ERA in 12 outings this season.

"Blake needed to go down and pitch in Triple-A," Wedge said. "He has some things he needs to work on, and it was the the right time to send him out. I think he learned a great deal here, but he needs to really finish himself off down there. We've seen what he's capable of doing with his fastball command. He's pretty good when he's on with that. But the secondary stuff needs to continue to come and be something he can draw from on a regular basis."

Liddi, 23, showed some power potential early when used as a right-handed platoon option, but has seen limited time recently after struggling in a brief tryout in left field. He hit .231 with three home runs and 10 RBIs, with 42 strikeouts in 104 at-bats.

"We want him to play every day and get more comfortable in left field," said Wedge. "I didn't think it was fair to him to keep throwing him out there up here and learning on the job. He'll play first, third and left as well. He has some things he needs to work on and not playing up here was not helping him. He needed to go down and play."

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.