With Tacoma’s season ending in a pile of rubble on Saturday, today the Mariners called up utility man Mike Freeman, RHP Cody Martin, and first baseman/DH/chamois wielder at the family carwash Dan Vogelbach.
Freeman, the 29-year-old acquired in late July after the Diamondbacks DFA’d him, we’ve seen before, when he played all of two games as Ketel Marte worked his way back from injury. He also came up in late August when Kyle Seager was dealing with a bruised foot, although he didn’t get into any games. Freeman brings the ability to spell a tired infield, and slashed .305/.378/.448 at Tacoma.
Cody Martin, brave little toaster, has yo-yoed between the Mariners and Tacoma this year, first coming up in June for a cup of coffee, then returning at the end of July into the first week of August, and then being recalled one more time in mid-August before being sent down again when the club recalled Taijuan Walker. Martin struggled in his time with the big club, with a 5.44 FIP and just a 14% K percentage, but he didn’t give up many walks, something he also didn’t do at the AAA level. Under the tutelage of pitching coach Lance Painter, Martin was effective in AAA this year, at one point putting up a string of 20 scoreless innings. His 24.3% K rate was his best since 2013. Martin will offer the club effective long relief and the ability to make a spot start if James Paxton steps on a rake or Ariel Miranda gets his hand slammed in a waffle maker at the team hotel or whatever else befalls this rotation.
The most exciting part of today’s transaction is the calling up of Dan Vogelbach, Jerry’s Large Adult Son. Fans have been anxious to get a look at the 23-year-old lefty batter since he was acquired from the Cubs for [anguished wailing sound]. In 44 games at Tacoma, Vogelbach slashed .240/.404/.422, a slight downtick from the .318/.425/.548 he hit in 89 games with the Iowa Cubs. But in about half as many games, he took almost as many walks (42) as he did in Iowa (54). Much like Tyler O’Neill at AA, Vogelbach really had nothing left to prove at the AAA level, but by declining to promote Vogelbach until Tacoma’s season was over, JerryCo has shown the premium placed on developing championship mindsets and winning teams, not just winning players. When I saw Vogelbach in Tacoma, he was DHing, but he spent every inning on the top rail of the dugout, cheering for his teammates and offering high fives to every player. Blocked in Chicago, then given a crash course in becoming one of Jerry’sKids®, Vogelbach has had to wait for his MLB debut; hopefully it will be something worth waiting for.