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Luetge back for another bullpen stint

SEATTLE -- Just three and a half weeks into the season, Lucas Luetge has already been sent down to Triple-A Tacoma and recalled twice now as the Mariners added the left-handed reliever to their roster again on Friday.

Luetge, 27, started the season in Triple-A, but then was called up on April 9 to provide an extra bullpen option when James Paxton went on the 15-day disabled list. He was optioned back to Tacoma five days later, but now has been added again to fill the spot created by Erasmo Ramirez's demotion.

Luetge spent all of his rookie season in 2012 on the Major League roster as a Rule 5 Draft Pick, but split last season between Seattle and Tacoma as well with three different stints. So he understands the process.

"This drive is a lot easier for me," Luetge said with a grin. "We're living on Mercer Island, so it's five minutes to here and 40 minutes to Tacoma. But I'm just glad to be back. I'm glad they keep calling me."

Luetge made two appearances in his earlier stint with the Mariners, allowing two runs on one hit and one walk over one combined inning of work. He was 1-0 with a save and a 5.79 ERA (three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings) in four outings with Tacoma, striking out six with one walk.

"Considering who we're facing and where we're going, it just made sense with the days off to bring up another bullpen arm that gives us help," said manager Lloyd McClendon.

Luetge gives the Mariners a third lefty reliever along with Charlie Furbush and Joe Beimel. The club can carry an extra reliever for now as they go with just four starters following Thursday's off-day, with another day off Monday before starting a nine-day, 10-game trip to New York, Houston and Oakland.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
Read More: Seattle Mariners, Lucas Luetge