We have a few roster moves this afternoon, and none of them are shockers!
Jean Segura is back. So is OF Ben Gamel. #Mariners recall Gamel from Triple-A Tacoma, option Guillermo Heredia, RHP Matt Festa.— TJ Cotterill (@TJCotterill) August 20, 2018
While missing Jean Segura’s bat for the Dodgers series was a bummer, paternity leave is as good as a reason as ever, and LOOK AT THIS CUTIE
Segura should slot right back into his newfound home in the third spot of the lineup, and his return signals the end of Dee Gordon: Shortstop, at least for now. May Jean stay healthy and productive through the stretch run.
After three weeks of laying waste to PCL pitching to the tune of a 150 wRC+, Ben Gamel has returned to the big club. With the Mariners facing a rash of right-handed pitchers over the next week, Gamel’s lefty bat should see plenty of playing time, and it’s not like he wasn’t hitting decently before he was sent down. While I never want to see him in center field again, it’ll be nice to see another solid bat in a stretch where seemingly every Seattle hitter has forgotten how to hit. The M’s had until tomorrow to call Gamel back up before he spent twenty days in the minors - which would burn his final option year - and assuming he doesn’t get sent down again, he’ll enter 2019 with that option intact.
Of course, every roster addition must have a roster subtraction, and Guillermo Heredia and Matt Festa were the victims today. After getting off to a blazing start in April and May (doesn’t that feel like a completely different season at this point?), Guillermo has struggled mightily at the plate, putting up just a 26 wRC+ in 182 plate appearances since June 1st. Though I’m skeptical of defensive metrics being as down on his defense in center field as they are, that level of hitting is just not going to cut it. Because he spent a week or so in Tacoma back in April, it’s likely that the second of his three options will be burned before rosters expand in September. Heredia is still a useful player, but something hasn’t been right with his bat for months now, and hopefully some time in Tacoma will help him re-adjust.
After making his big league debut on July 14th, Festa made an appearance in yesterday’s blowout, soaking up two innings of work. This move was about as obvious as could be - the main reason Festa was up with the big club in the first place was to be a warm body in place of Christian Bergman. He’s having an excellent year in Double-A, putting up a K/BB ratio of nearly 6:1, and while he’s still searching for that first big-league strikeout, there isn’t much doubt he should be back up for September. The jump from Double-A to the bigs is not uncommon for relievers - Edwin Díaz, Dan Altavilla, and Keone Kela are a few examples - and Festa could challenge for a more permanent spot in the bullpen in 2019.