Taylor called up from Tacoma, starts at shortstop for Mariners

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Chris Taylor and veteran lefty reliever Joe Beimel, as expected, joined the Mariners prior to Monday’s game against the Angels.

Both were promoted from Triple-A Tacoma after the Mariners cleared space following Sunday’s loss at Houston by optioning relievers Yoervis Medina and Tyler Olson to the Rainiers.

Manager Lloyd McClendon was guarded when asked how Taylor’s promotion will affect Brad Miller, who started 23 of the first 25 games at shortstop. Taylor started Monday’s series opener against the Angels.

Regarding Taylor, McClendon said: “He’s a shortstop … He’ll play some shortstop.” That was it: “some” shortstop.

McClendon acknowledged it’s “a possibility” that Miller could spend time at other positions but offered no specifics.

“He’s a shortstop, too,” McClendon said. “He’s played our first 25 games at shortstop. He’s not the forgotten man. He’s certainly not the culprit in all of this, either.”

McClendon summed up Taylor’s promotion by saying: “Anytime you’ve played the way we’ve played to this point, I think there are changes that need to be made on several different fronts.

“We felt he would give us a shot in the arm.”

Taylor, 24, compiled a .313/.385/.475 slash in 21 games at Tacoma after recovering from a broken right wrist that derailed his chance to make the big-league roster in spring training.

“There haven’t been any issues since probably a couple of games into my rehab assignment,” Taylor said. “That was like three weeks ago. I haven’t felt anything since then. I’m 100 percent.”

He batted .287 last season for the Mariners in 47 games.

Beimel, 38, rejoined the organization by signing a minor-league deal on April 2 after departing as a free agent following last season. He made three scoreless appearances, covering 32⁄3 innings, for the Rainiers.

“I feel like I’m right where I need to be,” he said. “It was kind of a weird off-season and a weird spring for me. It was nice to go to extended (spring training) and get that time there to make sure I’m where I need to be.”

A year ago, Beimel served as a lefty specialist in the Mariners’ relief corps and compiled a 2.20 ERA in 45 innings over 56 outings.

Technically, the Mariners recalled Taylor, who was already on the 40-man roster, and selected Beimel’s contract from Tacoma.

“That’s why, as soon as I got released (by Texas),” Beimel said, “I wanted to come back here, pretty much at all costs. I was comfortable here last year, and I had probably the best year I’ve had in the big leagues.

The club cleared space for Beimel on its 40-man roster by designating left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham for assignment. Kickham, 26, was 0-2 with a 7.29 ERA in five starts at Tacoma.

Jackson to DL, Lowe promoted

It turns out that center fielder Austin Jackson was overly optimistic Sunday in assessing his likelihood of avoiding the disabled list after suffering a sprained right ankle while running out a grounder at Houston.

The Mariners placed Jackson on the 15-day disabled list prior to Monday’s game following a day-after evaluation.

The Mariners replaced Jackson by promoting right-hander Mark Lowe, another veteran reliever, from Tacoma. He allowed one run and seven hits in nine innings over seven outings for the Rainiers.

To add Lowe to the 40-man roster, the Mariners placed Tacoma outfielder Julio Morban on the restricted list. Morban, 23, left the Rainiers after Saturday’s game for personal reasons.

Franchise Four

Online balloting to determine the Mariners’ version of Mount Rushmore saw support increase for outfielder Ichiro Suzuki in the latest update from Major League Baseball.

Suzuki pulled into the fourth place — the final spot in what MLB is calling the Franchise Four for each franchise. Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson dropped from third to out of the top four.

Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and designated hitter Edgar Martinez held their spots at first and second, while pitcher Felix Hernandez moved from fourth to third.

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