When LHP Roenis Elías was announced as Sunday’s starter after Christian Bergman was forced into wretched service Friday night, a roster move was expected Sunday morning. After an extra innings tilt last night, that became a double-dip.
.@Mariners recall RHP Chasen Bradford from Triple-A Tacoma; reinstate LHP Roenis Elias from 10-day DL; option INF Gordon Beckham, LHP James Pazos to Triple-A.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) August 19, 2018
Elías returns from the 10-day DL, technically, having been sent there with maybe-triceps-issues-maybe-just-needed-a-break. In his three rehab appearances in Tacoma, he’s gone 1.0, 0.2, and 1.0 innings, so it would be unendorsably optimistic to expect more than five innings at most from Elías today. RHP Chasen Bradford and his groundball style will likely be asked to help cover an inning or two today as coverage, so it’s really difficult to see today’s game as encouraging.
On the back end, we have INF Gordon Beckham returning once again to his kingdom of Tacoma, having accrued one at-bat at the back end of Friday night’s blowout. Hopefully the next roster move will be the return of OF/1B Ben Gamel before his second option year is used up on Tuesday, but it remains to be seen. For now, the Mariners return to 13 pitchers, albeit only seven relievers.
And on the subject of relievers, James Pazos, who was a dominant stopper early this year, has struggled mechanically and seen his velocity slip since the start of this season. Sometimes this is a sign of injury, but as we’ve seen with James Paxton, velocity can slip or shoot up with mechanical improvements at times as well. The demotion also signals the first ever trip to the minor leagues for Pazos as part of the Mariners organization.
Through June 28th’s appearance in Baltimore, Pazos had been averaging 94.6 mph on his fastball. Since then, he’s averaged just 92.5 mph. With a two-pitch mix and less-than-precision command, that can’t continue. His release point has changed as well:
It’s not a bad thing that Pazos was possibly making an effort to align his slider and his fastball, but the result may have been a loss of his heater’s potential. If it’s a health-related issue, that too would be an explanation, but apparently that’s what they aim to sort out in Tacoma.
The #Mariners will have Pazos on a program focused on his mechanics while he is in Tacoma. Most of the work will be done behind the scenes. Games will not be a priority for him. The idea is to get him right.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) August 19, 2018
The sooner the better, as Seattle’s already-snakebitten bullpen can’t handle many more subtractions.