Mariners send Franklin, Ramirez to minors

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners made three anticipated roster moves on Thursday’s day off, returning Nick Franklin to Class AAA Tacoma, optioning struggling starter Erasmo Ramirez to Class A High Desert and selecting the contract of outfielder Cole Gillespie from the Rainiers.

This leaves the Mariners’ current active roster at 24, which means another move is coming before today’s series opener against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field. The club’s 40-man roster is full after adding Gillespie.

The decision not to fill the 25th spot immediately points to a likely move to recall left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge, who appeared in two big-league games prior to his April 15 return to Tacoma.

Players optioned to the minors can’t be recalled for 10 days unless they replace a player placed on the disabled list. Luetge will be eligible today for a recall.

The Mariners are skipping Ramirez’s spot in the rotation which is why he was sent to High Desert in order to start Sunday on his regular day. That Sunday slot for the Rainiers will be filled by Hisashi Iwakuma, who is making a rehab appearance in Las Vegas. Should all go well, Iwakuma is expected to rejoin the Mariners for a May 2 start at Texas.

Plans call for Ramirez to be transferred to Tacoma for a May 2 start, which would keep him in line for a recall to start in a May 7 doubleheader at Oakland when the team will need an extra pitcher.

Gillespie, 29, was batting .362 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 16 games with the Rainiers. The Portland native has appeared in 78 career major-league games with the Diamondbacks (2010-2011), Giants (2013) and Cubs (2013). He was originally selected by the Brewers out of Oregon State. He was the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year leading the Beavers to the College World Series title.

Franklin, 23, appeared in seven games for the Mariners after being recalled from Tacoma on April 16. He went 2-for-16 (.125) with a triple. He made four starts at four different positions.

Ramirez, 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts, has slumped after earning the win in the Mariners’ second game of the season. Since then, Ramirez is 0-3 with a 8.47 ERA.

More in Sports

Pac-12 North title on the line for WSU in Apple Cup

The Cougars need a win over the Huskies in Seattle to advance to the Pac-12 title game.

Peyton Brown receives a pass during practice at Arlington High in Arlington on November 16, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Basketball is in the blood of this Arlington senior

Eagles leader Peyton Brown has been hanging around the Arlington gym since she was 5.

Jordan ‘grateful’ for opportunity with Seahawks

The DE has come back from failed drug tests, knee surgeries and being out of the NFL for nearly 3 years.

Five storylines for 2017-18 prep girls basketball

Related: Basketball is in the blood of Arlington senior Peyton Brown Five… Continue reading

POLL RESULTS: It’s a split decision on the Apple Cup

Responders give Washington a narrow advantage over Washington State for Saturday’s game.

Five storylines for 2017-18 prep boys basketball season

Five storylines to watch from the local boys basketball scene this winter:… Continue reading

Monroe’s Kyle ‘a complete big man’

The senior can dominate on both ends of the floor.

‘Voice of the Huskies’ gearing up for final Apple Cup

Bob Rondeau set to retire after calling University of Washington sports for 37 years.

After poor trip east, Huskies return in search of victory

In need of a win, Washington is set to face crosstown-rival Seattle University on Friday.

Most Read