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Seattle calls up Carasiti, Wright to bolster 'pen

Bautista optioned to Triple-A Tacoma; Biddle designated
@gregjohnsmlb
June 23, 2019

SEATTLE -- Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto reached back into his Minor League system on Sunday for a pair of bullpen additions, as Seattle called up right-handers Matt Carasiti and Mike Wright from Triple-A Tacoma. Right-hander Gerson Bautista was optioned back to Tacoma, while lefty Jesse Biddle was designated for

SEATTLE -- Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto reached back into his Minor League system on Sunday for a pair of bullpen additions, as Seattle called up right-handers Matt Carasiti and Mike Wright from Triple-A Tacoma.

Right-hander Gerson Bautista was optioned back to Tacoma, while lefty Jesse Biddle was designated for assignment.

Biddle was acquired from the Braves on May 20 in a trade for veteran reliever Anthony Swarzak, but he struggled to a 9.82 ERA in 11 appearances, allowing 20 hits and seven walks in 11 innings.

The 27-year-old went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA in 63 2/3 innings in 60 games with the Braves as a rookie last year, and the Mariners are hopeful that he might remain with the organization, but they will need to see if he clears waivers.

“We took a shot,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He’s left-handed and does have a good arm. The tools are all there. But it’s the do-good league. If you do good, you stay. If you struggle a little bit, we have to shuffle the deck a little in the bullpen.”

The Mariners have already used 33 pitchers this season, the most in the Majors, and that number will reach 34 when Carasiti appears in a game.

Carasiti and Wright weren’t on the 40-man roster, so the Mariners opened up spots for them by designating Biddle, as well as transferring veteran reliever Chasen Bradford from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL with a strained right forearm. Bradford is not currently with the team, as he’s dealing with a family issue, and Servais said that he’s not certain yet whether Bradford will need surgery or just extensive rehab.

Carasiti is new to the organization, having signed a Minor League deal on June 7 after being released by the Cubs. The 27-year-old posted a 3.18 ERA with two saves in 5 2/3 innings over four outings with Tacoma after going 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 16 games with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He appeared in 19 games as a rookie with the Rockies in 2016 and spent '18 pitching in Japan.

Wright returns after spending the past month in Tacoma, where he worked as a starter his last few outings. The 6-foot-6 right-hander went 0-1 with a 2.66 ERA over 20 1/3 innings in six games for the Rainiers, including four starts. He was acquired by Seattle from the Orioles in April, then he put up a 9.00 ERA in 11 innings over seven appearances before being DFA’d and then outrighted to Tacoma.

Servais said that Wright could be used in a multi-inning relief role, and both he and Carasiti could be under consideration for use as an opener, which is a role the Mariners have struggled to find a consistent option since experimenting with the strategy at times over the past three weeks.

Bautista, 24, had a 10.29 ERA in seven innings over seven appearances (including two outings as an opener) with the Mariners after a late start to the season due to a strained right pectoral muscle in Spring Training. He was one of five players acquired from the Mets in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade on Dec. 3, and he is the Mariners’ No. 26-ranked prospect, thanks in large part to an upper-90s fastball.

“It’s just the command of his pitches,” Servais said. “Certainly, the fastball command is huge for him. We like his stuff, but he’s still a young guy and there are things to work on there.”

Worth noting

• Reliever Connor Sadzeck threw for the first time on Sunday since being sidelined with a right elbow strain three weeks ago, playing catch at 60 feet without any issues. The big right-hander said that an MRI showed he had a flexor strain and posterior elbow impingement, but no ligament issues. He's eager to start building up in his throwing program with the goal of making a midseason return.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.