SEATTLE -- A Mariners bullpen that has struggled in the early going of the 2020 season lost one of its solid performers on Monday, when right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain.
Veteran right-hander Bryan Shaw was recalled from the team’s alternate training site to take Edwards’ spot on the 28-man roster and is with the team for the start of a nine-day, eight-game road trip beginning Monday night against the Rangers in Arlington.
The Mariners’ bullpen has a 6.78 ERA over the first 17 games, which ranks 27th among MLB’s 30 teams.
Edwards posted a 1.93 ERA while allowing one run on two hits with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings in five appearances. The slender 28-year-old looked extremely sharp in a quick 1-2-3 inning on Tuesday against the Angels and then earned the save in a 7-6 win over the Halos the following night in his first back-to-back outings of the season. The save was the third of his MLB career and first since his rookie season in 2016 with the Cubs, but he hasn’t pitched since that appearance.
Manager Scott Servais said the injury isn’t serious, though time is short in this 60-game season.
“He’ll probably just be a couple weeks down, though a couple weeks in a year like this is a big deal, no question about it,” Servais said. “But I think once that calms down by the end of week or so, he can start playing some catch and building up again. Hopefully, he won’t be out too long. He was throwing the ball really well.”
Edwards signed with Seattle as a free agent last offseason after five seasons with the Cubs and Padres.
Shaw was just optioned to the alternate training site on Thursday after allowing 10 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings for a 27.00 ERA over four appearances. The 32-year-old has given up 10 hits and four walks with one strikeout.
Shaw has been one of the most durable relievers in the Majors over the past nine years, with an MLB-leading 577 relief appearances since 2012. He posted a 3.11 ERA in 378 outings with the Indians from 2013-17 but struggled to a 5.61 ERA in 131 appearances with the Rockies the past two years before being released on July 17 by Colorado and then signed six days later by Seattle.
Servais said Lail will need to pass a COVID-19 test before joining the Mariners, and it’s not clear yet whether he can be added to the 28-man roster during the current road trip or will report to the alternate training site in Tacoma.
Lail, 27, pitched one game for the White Sox on Thursday against the Brewers, allowing two hits over 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He was designated for assignment on Saturday. He has made two MLB appearances in his career, having also pitched one game for the Yankees last year.
He has allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts over four innings in his two MLB appearances. The 2012 18th-round Draft pick went 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA and one save in 26 games (including one start) over three levels in the Yankees’ Minor League system last year, then signed with the White Sox as a six-year Minor League free agent.
Wisdom, 28, had yet to appear in a game for Seattle after signing a Major League deal last November. The Mariners have seven days to trade, release or outright Wisdom’s contract to their alternate training site, where he has been working since the regular season began last month.
Four-man taxi squad
Lail’s potential addition explains why the Mariners took only four players on their traveling taxi squad, which can include up to five players after a rules adjustment last week.
Pitchers Ljay Newsome and Art Warren, catcher Joseph Odom and utility player Donovan Walton are the four extra players making the trip. Only those on the taxi squad can be added to the 28-man roster during the eight-game, nine-day trip, as COVID protocols prohibit teams from bringing in replacements via commercial flights.
Walton was Seattle’s fifth-round Draft pick in 2016 out of Oklahoma State and is the team’s No. 25 prospect, per MLB Pipeline.
“It’s an opportunity for Donnie,” Servais said. “He was with us last September for a little bit and showed very, very well in the Summer Camp. I thought he was probably our most improved player, some of the things he’s done to his swing. He’s a really good baseball player who understands the game.
“I thought he handled the outfield when we threw that at him. He’s here because if we do have an issue or injury, he can step in and play multiple positions. He’s earned the right to come on this trip.”