Armstrong eager to aid playoff push after callup

August 29th, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- The Mariners bolstered their bullpen Tuesday, selecting the contract of 27-year-old right-hander from Triple-A Tacoma. Right-hander was optioned to Double-A Arkansas in the corresponding roster move.

Armstrong went 15-for-17 in save opportunities and posted a 1.77 ERA with 82 strikeouts, 26 walks and a .192 opponents batting average in 49 relief appearances. He also did not allow an earned run in 25 of his last 26 appearances in Triple-A.

"He's pitched really well this season in Triple-A and was on our preliminary list of guys who we definitely want to call back in September," manager Scott Servais said. "It's an opportunity to get to him a little bit earlier."

Servais described Armstrong's best pitch as a "hard cutter" that he can throw to both sides of the plate. Still, his most valuable asset may be his experience as a reliever in the heart of a playoff push. Armstrong pitched for the Indians from 2015-2017 and played a key role for Cleveland in September 2016 when the team clinched its first postseason berth since 2013.

"I had some things I needed to go work on, and that's what the Minor Leagues are for," Armstrong said. "It's what I did down there -- I took after what they said I needed to really work on to get back up here, and now I'm here to try to make a playoff push.

"Being with Cleveland and them being in a postseason run the last two years I was there, you get a good experience," he added. "It was awesome to be a part of. I'm ready to come in and get a piece of that here, too."

Gonzales making progress 

, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a cervical neck strain, met with trainers and hopes to resume throwing in a few days.

Gonzales experienced some neck discomfort for the past few weeks, but said it became more noticeable after his last start. He said he wasn't in any pain, but that it's been tough to sleep, and that he hopes to miss minimal time.

"I think the smart thing is to go day by day and try not to put expectations on it," Gonzales said.

"It's kind of a muscular thing," Servais said, "He's had tests and pictures of it, but there's nothing serious about it other than he can't shake it. We just thought to give him a little more time to calm down and then we'll get him back in the rotation. His arm feels fine, there's no issues there at all, it's just neck tightness."

Gonzales was slated to start Wednesday against San Diego but will slide up a day in the rotation to take his place. Because of the team's off day on Monday, Ramirez will still be pitching on normal rest.

The team has yet to announce starting pitchers for the upcoming series in Oakland, an undoubtedly important one as Seattle sits 4.5 games behind Oakland in both the division and for the second spot in the Wild Card. Servais noted that , who was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday, is tentatively scheduled to pitch in Oakland, but things could change.