Just hours after dealing RHP Steve Cishek to Tampa Bay in exchange for RHP Erasmo Ramirez, the Mariners made another move involving a group of right-handed pitchers, headlined by the optioning of No. 4 prospect Andrew Moore back to Triple-A Tacoma.
After registering a quality start in each of his first three outings to start his big league career, Moore stumbled a bit—he allowed 14 runs in 15.2 IP spanning his next three starts—although in his most recent outing, he held his own against Chris Sale and Boston Red Sox, allowing just seven base runners over 6.2 innings.
Lawrence and Martin have both been bounced between the bullpen and the starting rotation in Tacoma, but expect to see them both used exclusively as relief options for the M’s going forward. Lawrence was having an excellent July for the Rainiers, compiling 24 innings of four run baseball before being touched up for six runs of five innings in his last outing just three days ago. Martin, you may remember, was doing his best to make a case for himself as a rotation option out of camp back in the spring by striking out 13 batters in just 9.2 innings before a disastrous showing in his final act, following which he was placed assigned to Triple-A Tacoma and placed on the disabled list. Since his return at the beginning of June, Martin has continued to demonstrate a newfound ability to miss bats, posting a mark of 11.8 K/9 over his 28.1 innings in Tacoma this year.
Lawrence and Martin are both though to find themselves back in Tacoma eventually, but don’t be shocked if one hangs around through at least Tuesday, when Erasmo Ramirez is scheduled to re-make his Mariners debut.
Servais confirms Ramirez will replace Moore in the rotation and start Tuesday at Texas.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) July 28, 2017
Ramirez hasn’t thrown more than one inning in a game since July 18th, and hasn’t thrown more than three innings in a game since June 21st, so piggybacking him with either Lawrence or Martin, who can both give you multiple innings out of the pen, will likely be necessary.
In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Cody Martin, IF Tyler Smith was designated for assignment. Smith, who managed to rack up 0.1 fWAR in 10 games with the Mariners despite posting a wRC+ of 42, wasn’t having much better luck getting the bat going in Tacoma. Already stuck behind Taylor Motter and Shawn O’Malley (barring any setbacks in his rehab assignment), the path to the bigs got even murkier for the Oregon State product with the acquisition of IF Danny Espinosa, which bumped Motter to a now crowded Rainiers’ middle infield. Best of luck to you Tyler, although I hope you don’t turn into the next Chris Taylor (unless you go unclaimed and stay in our system that is).