By John Boyle
After another rough outing by rookie pitcher Brandon Maurer, Mariners manager Eric Wedge hinted at a possible demotion. That move happened Wednesday, with Maurer being optioned to Tacoma and infielder Alex Liddi being recalled.
Maurer, who gave up five earned runs in Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to San Diego, hadn’t won since April 25. Now he’ll get a chance to work things out in Triple-A, a level at which he did not pitch before making the jump to the Mariners’ rotation out of spring training.
“I don’t think he’s that far,” Wedge said after the game. “It’s just a matter of, what’s the best path for him to get to that consistently… We’ll sit down and talk about it, you weigh out everything and evaluate what he’s been doing in the time he’s been here and go from there.”
Liddi joins the team in San Diego to give the Mariners an extra bat with Michael Morse dealing with a quad strain and Justin Smoak still battling an oblique injury. Obviously the Mariners will have to make another decision before Maurer’s spot in the rotation comes back around, but for a few days, they can wait to see if either Morse or Smoak is ready to return before deciding on who to send down/place on the DL in order to make room for another starting pitcher.