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M’s select RHP José Rodríguez, option JB Bukauskas

The Mariners continue to navigate bullpen volatility in advance of series with Cubs

Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

The Mariners bullpen continues to churn, as the team has made a roster move for the second straight day. Having gone into yesterday’s game already shorthanded and desperately needing a long outing from starter George Kirby, the team was further waylaid by three extra innings that saw them use Justin Topa (who was brand new to the team), JB Bukauskas (who was very bad), and Penn Murfee (who was supposed to be unavailable).

It was so bad that Scott Servais said after the game that if the game had gone to 13 innings, they would have had a position player pitch.

Things won’t be much easier today — Gabe Speier and Paul Sewald should be rested, but every other reliever on the team pitched yesterday. Enter today’s move.

When the Mariners first acquired RHP José Rodríguez back in November, Kate Preusser wrote about him thusly:

Rodríguez, a soft-contact merchant with a low-90s fastball and fringe curve/change, came up with the Angels and got a big-league cup of coffee in before electing free agency; Seattle will be his third organization to test out if it was Angels pitching development or just subpar stuff that’s been standing in his way.

Rodríguez has made two appearance with Tacoma this year, allowing 0 runs, three hits, and two walks over five innings. Importantly, his last appearance was back on April 5, meaning that he may be available today.

Rodríguez’s addition demands a spot on both the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster, which means it’s time to say a temporary farewell to JB Bukauskas and a possibly permanent one to Nick Solak.

Bukauskas did not pitch well yesterday and if the team has it their way, it’s unlikely he will pitch again for the big league club. With that said, he’s better than he showed yesterday and still represents valuable depth in the event of another injury.

Solak, who was acquired just 10 days ago from the Reds after being DFA’d, went 1-for-13 in his very short stint with Tacoma. It’s certainly possible that he clears waivers and gets optioned back to Tacoma. In the event that he does not: farewell, Nick. We hardly knew ye.