The Mariners made an early Friday afternoon news dump today in the form of releasing reliever Sam Tuivailala. The move comes as a bit of a surprise given that Tuivailala had made his way back to the major league roster last season after a long rehab of his Achilles tendon injury. However, Tui has recently been dealing with a shoulder impingement according to Greg Johns, which is why he didn’t pitch during the abbreviated Cactus League games. Here are all the relevant tweets:
Tuivailala had been dealing with a shoulder impingement this spring and hadn't been able to pitch in any Cactus League games, so that most likely played into this. https://t.co/wnjDjB4bUM— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) March 20, 2020
#Mariners place right-handed pitcher Sam Tuivailala on unconditional release waivers.— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) March 20, 2020
Tuivailala did not appear in a 2020 Cactus League game prior to the suspension of Spring Training.
Read: https://t.co/WQItmVMUL3 pic.twitter.com/JWfYcK6mIi
Seattle Major League, 40-man, roster is now at 38 players.— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) March 20, 2020
The #Mariners Spring Training roster is now at 44 players (plus one 60-day IL player): 31 roster players, 13 non-roster invitees and 1 player on the 60-day IL.
It should also be noted that it’s possible that Tuivailala requested his release.
Upon his return to the majors in 2019, Tui’s velocity was about 2 mph lower than his career averages according to LL Deputy Manager John Trupin. So, perhaps the writing was on the wall. Nonetheless, I am sad to see Sam go. For us Extremely Online Mariners fans, Sam’s relentless positivity and nonstop pumping up of his teammates on social media was always a refreshing thing to witness. Happy trails and good luck, Sam.
Thank you for everything Seattle. I’ll miss the city, the fans, and most importantly my teammates! #NextChapter— Sam Tuivailala (@Stuivailala) March 20, 2020
UPDATE, 2:07 PM
Additional information from Ryan Divish: