Mariners call up touted prospect Marte, Montero
Restocking 25-man roster, Seattle also promotes relievers Ramirez, Rasmussen
MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Ketel Marte and first baseman/designated hitter Jesus Montero were recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday along with newly acquired relievers Rob Rasmussen and Jose Ramirez. Montero immediately provided a spark as the Mariners topped the Twins, 6-1, to snap a four-game losing streak.
Montero went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBIs while playing first base. Marte made his Major League debut and went 0-for-4 with a walk and run scored while leading off and playing second base.
Rasmussen and Ramirez joined a bullpen that didn't need to be used thanks to Taijuan Walker's complete-game win as the Mariners restocked their 25-man roster following a trio of trades.
"Obviously, we've gotten a lot younger," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "This is a chance to take a look at some of our young talent and see what happens. My hope is they energize us a little bit and we continue to move forward and try to win ballgames."
Marte, 21, is the Mariners' No. 2-ranked prospect by MLBPipeline.com, and he started at second base with Robinson Cano sidelined for a third straight game with an abdominal strain. Cano took batting practice before the game and might be available on Saturday as a designated hitter, meaning Marte will remain at second for now.
Montero, 25, rejoins the Mariners for the second time this month after batting .346 with 16 home runs and 75 RBIs in Tacoma.
The Mariners had two openings for position players on their 25-man roster after trading outfielder Dustin Ackley to the Yankees on Thursday and optioning infielder Chris Taylor to Tacoma after Thursday's 9-5 loss to the Twins.
Rasmussen and Ramirez join a bullpen that now has one extra arm, at least temporarily. Veteran reliever Mark Lowe was traded to the Blue Jays on Friday and starter J.A. Happ went to the Pirates.
Rasmussen, who was one of three pitchers acquired for Lowe, joined the team in time for Friday's game along with right-hander Ramirez, who came from the Yankees on Thursday in the trade for Ackley.
Seattle can carry an extra reliever at least until Tuesday, when it will need to replace Happ in the rotation for what would have been his next scheduled start at Colorado.
Marte hit .314 with 12 doubles, two triples, three homers, 29 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 65 games with Tacoma. He played in the 2015 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati, where he went 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Marte can play second base or shortstop, and he has recently begun playing center field in Tacoma. McClendon said he'll play second base during Cano's absence and then "we'll cross that bridge when it comes" once Cano returns.
"[Marte is] a very energetic young man," McClendon said. "A very instinctive type of player with the ability to steal bases, a switch-hitter. That certainly brings a different dynamic to what we're doing. I'm going to put him in the leadoff spot and see what he can do."
Montero hit .300 (3-for-10) with one RBI and three walks in five games in his previous stint with Mariners in mid-July. Since he was sent back to Tacoma, he batted .472 (17-for-36) with seven extra-base hits and seven RBIs in nine games.
"I did my best," Montero said. "I wanted to make an impression. I wanted to be here. I just want to have fun, like I said when I was here before. That's what I did, just keep a good attitude, think about my family all the time and doing my best, and that's what was happening."
Both Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik and McClendon said they'd like to see more of Montero in the final two months of the season to evaluate his progress.
"My hope is to play him as much as possible," McClendon said. "We need to find out about him and see what he's got."