There have been a TON of moves this month, as the Mariners have tried to replace struggling players, have tried to overcome an over-worked bullpen, and have been dealing with a grip of injuries. So, where do I begin?
Triple-A short stop Chris Taylor was traded to the Dodgers for a similarly-disappointing prospect, in Triple-A starter Zach Lee. Lee went directly to Tacoma where he’s made one start so far, going 6 innings and giving up 5 runs in about what you’d expect the Mariners would get for someone like Chris Taylor. Taylor, on the other hand, just got called up to the Dodgers today, making his first start for them, going 1 for 4 with a triple and a run scored, because fuck me. Fuck us. Fuck every God damn one of us.
The Mariners made another trade last week, getting starting pitcher Wade LeBlanc from the Blue Jays for Cash or a Player To Be Named Later. LeBlanc had been in Triple-A for Toronto, putting up some pretty solid numbers, which leads me to believe that he’s better than everyone the Mariners have in Tacoma right now. That goes double since Adrian Sampson – who made one start for the M’s in Boston last week – injured his arm and is out for the year. So be it. At least LeBlanc looked good, shutting out the Cardinals over 6 innings last Friday.
I don’t know if he forces the hand of the Mariners, but right now – believe it or not – there’s actually a numbers crunch in the rotation! Count ’em out: Kuma, Paxton, Walker returns this week after getting skipped in the rotation to rest his leg, Miley returns this week after making a start in Everett, and Karns is still a thing that exists for now. That makes five, with LeBlanc possibly busting down the door. I don’t know if one quality start is enough to supplant someone like Karns, but this may be more of a case of a guy playing his way OUT of the rotation, rather than LeBlanc playing his way in.
Of course, there’s also the bullpen to think about, running an absurd 8-deep at this point (with Aoki trying to regain his stroke in Tacoma). The usual suspects are still hanging in there – Cishek, Benoit, Montgomery, Nuno, Vincent, Diaz – with Donn Roach and David Rollins currently rounding it out. Roach pitched twice over the weekend, once well, once not so. Rollins is more of a lefty specialist who has two scoreless appearances to his name so far.
Jonathan Aro got a call up for about a minute, making one scoreless appearance. Cody Martin got a call up at the beginning of the month, making two appearances and getting a win in that crazy comeback game in San Diego. Steve Johnson was DFA’d and I have no idea what he’s up to. Tony Zych was bumped to the 60-day DL to clear room on the 40-man (looking no closer to returning to action whatsoever). And … who’s that making his glorious return to Seattle?
WHO’S THAT WARMING UP IN THE BULLPEN?
OH MY GOD, IT’S TOM WILHELMSEN!!!
He of the 10.55 ERA with the Texas Rangers was released and refused an assignment with their Triple-A squad, so the Mariners snapped him up and yeah, even he made an appearance last week, pitching a scoreless inning before being sent down to Tacoma to work on his shit.
For what it’s worth, in what was once a multi-person (Wilhelmsen & Kivlehan have since returned to the Mariners’ organization for nothing) trade with the Rangers for Leonys Martin, it’s now turned into a straight up James Jones for Leonys Martin swap, which is a fucking STEAL for the Mariners rn.
Anyhoo, does everyone got it? Are all those transactions registering? Is your head swimming like mine? At this point, it’s WAY too early to make assumptions that any of these moves are going to work or not work. But, I think we can all agree this shitty month of June has made the Mariners as desperate as can be. It’d be nice if at least a COUPLE guys went right.