By David Krueger Herald Writer
The Mariners recalled right-handed pitcher Shawn Kelley from Class AAA Tacoma before Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
Kelly was a member of the Mariners’ 28-man opening-day roster in Japan. He appeared in the M’s second game of the Tokyo series, taking the loss March 29 against Oakland. He was optioned to Tacoma on April 3 when the Mariners trimmed their roster to 25.
“Yeah, it feels good (to be back),” said Kelley, who learned of his call up Friday night. “That’s what you work for. (I) went down there and worked hard, just tried to do whatever I could do and hopefully get back.”
In nine games with Tacoma this season, Kelley was 1-0 with a 1.23 earned-run average and four saves. He struck out 19 batters and allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in 142/3 innings.
The reliever went to Tacoma to work on his velocity and “keep his slider sharp.” Kelley isn’t sure what his role will be with the Mariners, but said he’ll happily fill in where ever he’s needed.
“I’ll be ready whenever,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s multiple innings, one inning, one batter, whatever.”
To make room for Kelley on the 25-man roster Seattle optioned right-handed pitcher Erasmo Ramirez, 22, to Tacoma. Ramirez, a rookie who has a 0-0 record and a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings of relief this season, will head to Tacoma and work on making the transition from reliever to starting pitcher.
“We wanted to get Ramirez down there and get him starting and get him stretched back out in case we need him,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Wedge said Ramirez got some valuable experience in the big leagues, and that he’s going down to Tacoma so that he can pitch more often than he does in Seattle. The M’s manager said he has no doubt Ramirez will be able to adjust to his new role.
“I’m confident that he can start,” Wedge said.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager has hit 21 doubles over his past 56 games. That’s tied for the second-most in baseball over that span. Since Aug. 23, 2011, only Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (22) has more doubles than Seager.
The Mariners lead Major League Baseball in most blown leads that resulted in defeat. The Mariners have held a lead in 10 of their 18 losses, which puts them one loss ahead of Houston (nine). … In their past 11 games, the Mariners have hit 14 home runs, which ties them with Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Toronto for the most in the American League over that stretch. Going into Saturday’s game, Seattle had homered in eight of its past 11 games.
David Krueger, Herald Writer