As the Tacoma Rainiers closed the book on their season last night, two of their members got the call to return to the big league club. 2B/UTIL Shed Long and RP Zac Grotz will join the Mariners in Chicago for the second half of their two-game series. Depending on travel times they may not arrive in time to play and have to head instead to Houston for Thursday’s series, but the more we can see of Long in particular the better.
The Mariners have added two more players in advance of today's game against the Cubs:— Corey Brock (@CoreyBrockMLB) September 3, 2019
RHP Zac Grotz
INF Shed Long
Roster is currently at 32 active players.
Shed’s return should be accompanied by nearly everyday reps as the club looks to both help him make up for the time he missed to injury. After a lengthy rehab that included a shoulder and toe injury, he’s back at last and, if his first swing in Tacoma was any evidence, feeling fine.
Shed Long leadoff HR. pic.twitter.com/GxvvCcQ7LE— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) September 1, 2019
Grotz will help lengthen a bullpen that at this point is deep enough to handle any issues. Despite mostly low-leverage work, he’s been effective with a 3.52/3.35 ERA/FIP in his first 7.2 big league innings. His fastball/cutter/split-change combo is an interesting one, and helped the 26-year-old minor league castoff from the Astros, Dodgers, and Mets find success with the Mariners. He skipped High-A and jumped straight into the Arkansas bullpen, and will likely work a long relief role once again.
The Rainiers season is over, meaning the players called up today could be all that we’ll see from Tacoma’s roster, barring some curious machinations. We could still see 40-man members Matt Festa, Gerson Bautista, and Matt Carasiti recalled, but since they haven’t been yet it’s unclear if they’ll be returned at all. Non-40-man options include any of the starting pitchers (Andrew Moore, Anthony Misiewicz, Mike Wright, Darren McCaughan, and Nabil Crismatt), though it’s hard to say if they’ve set themselves apart or not thanks to the PCL’s madness this season. Eric Filia, John Andreoli, and Jaycob Brugman all had impressive seasons at the plate even with the moon ball, but none appear slated for a recall as Seattle’s outfield is plenty deep already.