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Tom Wilhelmsen to the DL, Dominic Leone recalled

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Wilhelmsen gets shelved by a hyperextended elbow, Leone returns.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Dominic Leone certainly didn't last long in Tacoma. Tom Wilhelmsen has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with what's being called a hyperextended elbow, retroactive to April 11th. It's reported that Wilhelmsen injured it in pre-game warmups this weekend, and the team likely gave him a day to see if it improved without a DL stint. Clearly, that's not the case. At this point, there's no clarity to the severity, though this particular injury occurs in the back of the elbow -- not anywhere near the UCL/Tommy John area. An MRI should provide more details of recovery time shortly.

Wilhelmsen's peripherals have looked ok in a tiny sample, though he did get shelled from a results standpoint after coming in for Taijuan Walker's free-runs-bonanza last Friday. Wilhelmsen's usage in that game dictated where he stands in McClendon's mind early in the season -- mop-up duty and long man. It's more a testament to just how deep this bullpen is than it is Wilhelmsen himself, though Wilhelmsen's average velocity has been down 1.5 mph to 93.4 mph in this limited sample. Make of that what you will.

So it's Dominic Leone back in the fold, shortly after being demoted to AAA to regain his command, which Lloyd McClendon was dissatisfied with in the spring. Leone was nothing short of fantastic for the Mariners in 2014, posting matching 3.07 FIP/xFIP to go along with his sparkling 2.17 ERA and 9.5 K/9, and it was a genuine shock to see him not break the opening day lineup -- though he was given the "almost definitely in" tag back in our March bullpen preview.

This is why having depth is such a tremendous luxury. The Mariners shouldn't see any real hit from this injury, and even though it's a bummer to see Wilhelmsen get hurt, Leone is a theoretical top-three reliever for the majority of ballclubs in baseball. That is, if his command is where it should be, and we haven't seen enough meaningful sample one way or another to prove that. So let's pretend it is.

Leone will likely step into the role Wilhelmsen was occupying, which will be mop-up or long relief when the bullpen is rested, and medium-leverage when it is not.  Welcome back, Dom.