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Mariners make good news sandwich, hide bad news under the pickle

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How are you gonna DFA a brand-new father though?

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
get well soon Nicky Marge :(
Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

We knew there would have to be some roster moves before Thursday’s game to make room for Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic, but we weren’t anticipating quite this many:

Lots to unpack here, some of it good, a lot of it bad. The first two, yes, obviously, expected, and good. Jarred Kelenic’s call-up will dominate most of the national MLB news cycle today, putting much more attention than is warranted on a non-divisional game between a playoff-adjacent Cleveland team and a circling-the-drain Mariners team. It will most likely be the most exciting game the Mariners play all year, with national eyeballs trained on our corner of the US for at least as long as Logan Gilbert remains in the game. Side note, I actually feel a little bad for Logan Gilbert, who has to share his debut with the media frenzy over Kelenic. I mean, just look at MLB dot com’s homepage:

“JARRED IS HERE! Oh yeah, this other guy too.” Sheesh! Maybe the Mariners think that attaching Gilbert as a lanky caboose to the Kelenic hype train will draw him a bigger share of the spotlight than he’d normally get, but “Prospect Gilbert gets call, too” is the most afterthought-y seeming mention here.

On to the rest of the moves. Paul Sewald being summoned from Tacoma isn’t a surprise, especially as RHP Darren McCaughan was bumped from Arkansas to Tacoma on Monday, signaling he’d be there to take one of the starter’s place. I was surprised Sewald went to Tacoma in the first place as he was one of the more-experienced MLB arms the Mariners had in camp. Sewald dominated in his 4.1 innings in Tacoma, striking out 10, and should be stretched-out enough to add some meaningful length to Seattle’s fatigued pitching staff. Speaking of which, Marco Gonzales also posted video of him throwing at T-Mobile Park on Instagram the other day with the caption “SOON,” so with Gilbert, Sewald, and Marco’s impending return, this beaten and battered pitching staff should finally get a shot in the arm.

Of course, you can’t add without also subtracting, and there’s some expected and unexpected news on that front. Command-challenged relievers Wyatt Mills and Aaron Fletcher will climb back on the Tacoma Express to ply their particular brands of weird against unsuspecting Triple-A batters until summoned again, as they certainly will be.

Taylor Trammell also heads to Triple-A for the first time in his career to delight Tacoma fans and hopefully torture some Triple-A pitchers. There were a lot of positives to draw from TT’s first exposure to the bigs—he showed some power and a good knowledge of the strike zone, as well as his bringing his infectious personality and style of play to the team—and considering he was only up because any or all of the following are true: the Mariners were too cheap to sign an MLB-experienced OF in the off-season; he was a placeholder while they counted down time on Jarred Kelenic’s service time clock; Jake Fraley apparently fell down a well somewhere—we’re choosing to label Trammell’s time with the team a success, and hope to see him back soon.

Now it’s time for the bad news that was sandwiched between the fun of the Kelenic and Gilbert call-ups. Ljay Newsome moving to the 60-day with a UCL injury is grim but not entirely unexpected, at least not more unexpected than the injury itself. Ljay has been an Iron Man throughout his minor-league career, routinely hucking 130 innings in a year as he slowly but steadily climbed through the Mariners’ ranks, so it stinks that the first injury of his career comes during the MLB portion of it and is such a major one. Baseball is a real jerk sometimes.

Speaking of which, the bad news that was unexpected regards one Nick Margevicius. Maybe the fact that Marge was continually getting tested and there wasn’t any information about him should have tipped us off that there was something more than the typical UCL nastiness troubling him, but Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) remains a somewhat rare (and scary) diagnosis. The most recent high-profile pitcher to try to make a return from TOS surgery, Chris Archer, was sidelined with an elbow injury in spring training and will hopefully be making his season debut in the coming weeks, so those curious about what a return trajectory from TOS surgery looks like could look to Archer for an idea. We will miss Nick MoreCabbages/Nicky Marge/Large Marge in the meantime, and wish him well in his recovery.

Finally, the Mariners made the black-hearted move of DFA’ing Braden Bishop just days after the birth of his first child. That, along with transferring Ljay and Marge to the 60-day IL, makes room for this trio of call-ups, but also, the Mariners could have transferred reliever Sam Delaplane, who recently had TJ surgery, to the 60-day instead, and created a space that way. To do so, however, would mean paying Delaplane MLB minimum while he’s injured instead of the 40-man minimum he’s currently getting (it would also involve starting his service time clock but that’s not a big deal for a reliever), which would involve the Mariners spending money, which we all know they do not do. So instead it’s a DFA for the guy who’s been with the club since 2015, a vocal supporter of his Black teammates on Twitter, and a brand-new dad, to boot. I’m hoping Bishop gets picked up by another team and like, actually get a chance to play somewhere where they could use his stellar defense and camouflage his bat in a lineup of big boppers (Minnesota Twins, hello?), but since he hasn’t played in a week or so, again due to the birth of his first little baby child, he might be under-the-radar enough to slip through waivers.