ATLANTA -- Reliever David Phelps was reinstated off the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday by the Mariners, who pulled a bit of a surprise by designating outfielder Leonys Martin for assignment to open a spot on the roster.Phelps, one of Seattle's primary non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisitions, has been sidelined since
ATLANTA -- Reliever David Phelps was reinstated off the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday by the Mariners, who pulled a bit of a surprise by designating outfielder Leonys Martin for assignment to open a spot on the roster.
Phelps, one of Seattle's primary non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisitions, has been sidelined since Aug. 8 with a right elbow impingement. He is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in seven innings over seven appearances since being acquired from the Marlins.
"I think where we are at, we needed to get back to the extra pitcher in our bullpen, with the inability of a lot of our starters to go deep," manager Scott Servais said. "We are taxing those [bullpen] guys, and knowing that David Phelps is back, we probably won't be able to use him on back-to-back days in our bullpen for a little while."
In his first outing back, Phelps gave up one hit in two-thirds of an inning and earned the win in the Mariners' 9-6 victory over the Braves.
Phelps' addition -- combined with Martin's departure -- returns the Mariners to an eight-man bullpen. Seattle has gone much of the year with eight relievers, but dropped to seven after trading for Yonder Alonso on Aug. 6 and putting Alonso in a first-base platoon with Danny Valencia.
Martin had posted a .230/.266/.462 line with three home runs and eight RBIs in 19 games since being recalled last month from Triple-A Tacoma. For the season, the 29-year-old is hitting .174 in 34 games.
"We had a lot of outfielders on the roster and getting [Mitch] Haniger back here, who had a nice year, we were looking at the options here," Servais said. "I hate to send anyone down, especially Leonys. We love him, and that was the decision we made."
With Guillermo Heredia sustaining a forearm injury on Wednesday night -- his status is day to day -- it is possible that Martin will end up back on the team sooner than expected.
The Mariners now have seven days to trade, release or outright the contract of Martin to the Minor Leagues. His DFA also opens a spot on the 40-man roster, which likely will be used when Seattle expands its Major League roster in September.
"I think it is best for our club now," Servais said. "If Leonys doesn't get claimed, he will be back with us in September."
Players not currently on the 40-man must be added before they're called up in September, and Seattle figures to add a third catcher -- it currently only has two on its 40-man -- as well as some additional pitching help.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.
Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Mariners on Wednesday.