The Mariners shuffled veterans on their roster this morning, placing RHP Carl Edwards Jr. on the 10-day IL with a right forearm strain. In a corresponding move, Seattle promoted RHP Bryan Shaw back from their alternate site in Tacoma. The move is obviously bad news for Edwards, who was hoping to reignite his career and reputation as an impact long reliever in 2020 with a healthy season. Edwards had only made five appearances in 4.2 innings, but he’d looked every bit the part thus far, perhaps benefitting from the extra few months of rehabilitation and looking sharper despite still-diminished velocity. He’d run a 1.93/1.04 ERA/FIP with a cherry 35.3%/5.9% K%/BB%, but the always ominous forearm strain for pitchers threatens to waylay him beyond the 10 day minimum. Moreover, with MLB’s trade deadline approaching at August 31, the Mariners will have a slimmer chance to flip Edwards for a modest return.
Shaw’s return won’t be cause for celebration for many in Northwest Green. His first foray in Seattle was a combination of still-diminished velocity and ill-fated location. Over a walk an inning and a dinger in every pot is not the most glamorous campaign slogan, but the M’s expressed a belief that there were tweaks Shaw could make to return to the excellence he showed earlier in his career. Here’s hoping the past week has given him a chance to make those adjustments.
Additionally, Seattle has shaken up their taxi squad a bit. With Zac Grotz and José Marmolejos optioned recently, Seattle can only bring up certain players immediately without moving someone to the IL, though notable early taxi squad staple Sam Haggerty has not made the trip to Texas. The new list includes Donavan Walton, Ljay Newsome, and Art Warren.
UPDATE: 12:01 PM PT
The Mariners have made another couple moves, claiming designating 1B/3B/LF Patrick Wisdom for assignment and claiming RHP Brady Lail off waivers from the Chicago White Sox. Wisdom signed on a split deal
38 years ago last November, giving Seattle the right to option him to the minors but granting him a 40-man roster spot. You may or may not have cared at the time about that, but if you did care you probably weren’t over the moon. Now, Wisdom will have to clear waivers before Seattle has the option to retain him in their system as a 100% minor leaguer, though he’ll simply remain at the Tacoma alternate site in the meantime.
Lail, meanwhile, is a 27 year old righty with a somewhat kitchen sink-ey repertoire. His most prevalent pitch is a slider (Baseball Savant calls it a cutter, FanGraphs/Brooks Baseball classify it as a cutter) that sits mid-80s, with a tight bit of horizontal break and some late dive aided by above-average spin.
His fastball sits 88-92, but it is a four-seamer unlike many relievers with underwhelming velocity who turn to sinkers or two-seamers to compensate with movement. Like the slider, his four-seamer has exceptional spin relative to its velocity, though in just 4.0 career innings in the bigs it’s hard to say if it is enough to flummox big leaguers.
His curveball is his third prominent pitch, with a near-true 12-6 break in the low-80s and upper-70s.
He’ll occasionally mix in a mid-to-upper-80s changeup, for a repertoire that is majority off-speed, leaving the fastball as more of a change-of-pace. Lail was drafted by the Yankees in the 18th round of the 2012 draft and debuted in pinstripes in 2019 before electing free agency this winter and signing a minor league deal with the ChiSox. Lail made a single appearance with Chicago before being designated for assignment Saturday. He’s spent parts of each year since 2015 as high as AAA, but became a reliever in the 2018 season after repeatedly struggling to miss enough bats at the top levels. Since transitioning to the bullpen, Lail has gone from a barrel misser to a bat misser, though his dominance in AA in 2019 was not echoed as much in a brief AAA foray once again. Lail should provide length in his bullpen profile, or perhaps merely provide a capable arm for live work with hitters in Tacoma