Tom Wilhelmsen has been activated off the 15-day disabled list and Dominic Leone was optioned down to Tacoma, the Mariners announced on Friday.
#Mariners activate Tom Wilhelmsen from 15-day DL. RH Dominic Leone optioned to AAA Tacoma yesterday.— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) May 8, 2015
It was a bit of a surprise, not so much that Leone was on his way out. As Michael Barr pointed out hours ago, Leone is emblematic of the Mariners' bullpen struggles this season. Wilhelmsen went on the disabled list with a hyperextended elbow in mid-April, but Leone's struggles forced the Mariners hands a bit to call him up sooner than later.
Interesting M's move. Tom Wilhelmsen activated from DL w/o a rehab assignment, Mariners option Dom Leone to Tacoma.— Mike Curto (@CurtoWorld) May 8, 2015
Hopefully, Wilhelmsen can provide a bit more stability for a bullpen that has struggled for consistency. It isn't much of a surprise that Leone was sent down, considering he hadn't pitched in nearly a week and has struggled with his control on the season, giving up five walks (and one intentional walk) in 8.1 innings this year.
On the other side of the coin, Wilhelmsen hasn't pitched since April 10, and is going straight into the fire without much of a rehabilitation session. The original plan previously was that Wilhelmsen would have one or two tuneup appearances. Although, for what it is worth, Bob Dutton called the date on his timetable rather perfectly.
The projected rehab schedule suggests Wilhelmsen won’t return to active duty for another two weeks — or roughly May 8, when the Mariners open a nine-game homestand with the first of three games against the A’s.