SEATTLE -- Right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio, who has struggled to a 6.00 ERA this season and gave up his sixth home run of the season in Thursday's 7-3 loss to the Blue Jays, was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with inflammation in his right knee.
Chasen Bradford was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to take Nicasio's place. Bradford was just optioned to Tacoma on Tuesday after the club acquired relievers Adam Warren and Zach Duke in trades.
Nicasio has a 7.57 ERA and an opponent's batting average of .358 in 27 1/3 innings over 32 games since May 2. He spent 10 days on the DL in June with swelling in the same knee and has posted a 7.43 ERA in 13 1/3 outings over 16 appearances since returning. He said at that time that an MRI showed some bone chips, but the hope was he could finish out the season and have the situation dealt with afterward.
"That knee is barking a little on him," manager Scott Servais said prior to learning Nicasio was headed to the DL. "It's something he dealt with earlier in the year. The doctor will check it out and see what we've got. It's that time of year when stuff comes up and you try to figure out if you can deal with it or if you can't."
Bradford, a 28-year-old acquired off waivers from the Mets last December, has gone 5-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 40 innings over 34 appearances for Seattle, but lost out in the numbers game when the trade acquisitions arrived, since he still has Minor League options.
Paxton eager to face Blue Jays again
For James Paxton, the sound of the Canadian anthem playing before a ballgame is always special. And Saturday night at Safeco Field, that will be a double reminder both of his roots and his greatest baseball memory to date.
The last time Paxton faced the Blue Jays, he threw a no-hitter at Rogers Centre on May 8. And that accomplishment will be fresh on his mind because, well, he's human.
"That was a great experience," Paxton said. "The coolest game I've thrown for sure. I'm sure I'll think of it during this series."
The 29-year-old from Ladner, B.C., has started 13 games since his no-hitter. The Blue Jays have changed and so has he, but he'll still look to draw on that experience as part of his planning.
"That was a special game," he said. "A lot of things went right, a lot of balls hit hard went right at people, and some great plays got made. I'll definitely look at that game and how I'll pitch guys and how they approach me and things like that, but it will definitely be a different game [Saturday]. Your stuff is always a little different."
Paxton was touched by the support from Toronto fans for their fellow Canadian during his no-hitter and wonders how things will play out Saturday when the flock of Blue Jays fans come down from Canada and invade Safeco, as they do every time the club comes to Seattle.
He's played this scenario out before. Most of his friends from Canada are Blue Jays fans.
"Well, I've switched over some of them to Mariners fans," Paxton said. "But a lot just say they're fans of the Mariners on days I pitch."
Gordon's ankle injury not serious
After being taken out of Thursday's series opener in the ninth inning after rolling his right ankle when stumbling on the second-base bag trying to take a throw, second baseman Dee Gordon was back in the lineup Friday.
Gordon's pain dissipated after 10-15 minutes and he woke up feeling much better Friday.
"It didn't swell up at all and he feels pretty good today," Servais said. "He'll get it taped up and be ready to go."
Ramirez's return coming soon
Erasmo Ramirez threw a bullpen session prior to Friday's game and continues getting closer to rejoining the team after spending three months on the DL with a strained shoulder.
Ramirez threw four innings in his latest rehab outing at Double-A Arkansas on Tuesday and will likely get one more Minor League start before the Mariners make a decision on whether to bring him back in a rotation slot or bullpen role.
"He's been throwing great," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "Pretty efficient. His fastball is up to 94 [mph] and he's sitting regularly at 90-92 and maintaining his work load. He may take one more rehab start, but I can't see him needing much more."
In three rehab outings at Triple-A Tacoma and Arkansas, Ramirez has allowed one earned run on five hits over nine innings with 12 strikeouts and no walks.