Rodney DFA'd; Farquhar optioned to Triple-A
Elias and Kensing will be added to shore up struggling bullpen
SEATTLE -- Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney, who lost his closer's role in Seattle two and a half months ago, was designated for assignment after Saturday's 6-3 loss to the White Sox, as the Mariners made a flurry of moves to shuffle their beleaguered bullpen.
Rodney, 38, didn't pitch Saturday, but has struggled all season and was 5-5 with a 5.68 ERA and six blown saves in 22 opportunities this season.
Right-hander Danny Farquhar was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma after taking the loss Saturday, when he gave up three runs (one earned) on a double and three walks, including one intentional pass, without recording an out in the top of the 10th.
The Mariners will add two Tacoma pitchers -- lefty Roenis Elias and right-hander Logan Kensing -- in time for Sunday's series finale against the White Sox. Elias will pitch initially out of the bullpen. Kensing will take the 40-man roster spot vacated by Rodney's departure, while Elias was already on the 40-man roster.
Rodney led the Majors with 48 saves in 51 chances last year, setting a club record and earning his second All-Star appearance. But the 13-year veteran couldn't duplicate that feat in 2015, as he struggled with his command from the start and was replaced in early June as closer by rookie Carson Smith.
"It just never worked for him," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "This is a funny game. He was an All-Star last year, did a tremendous job. It just did not work for whatever reason this year. He could not get it going and it's very unfortunate. We wish him the best."
Rodney said he wasn't surprised by the move.
"It's baseball for me and I understand," he said. "Somebody has to step up and see what's going on. We tried everything we could. I'll continue and keep my head up. … I know when you don't do the job you're supposed to do, something's coming."
Farquhar admitted he was caught off guard by getting sent back to Tacoma for a fourth time this season, given he'd allowed just one run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings in four prior appearances since being recalled a week ago.
"I thought I had things figured out," said the 28-year-old. "One bad outing, I guess that's what happens."
Farquhar is 0-4 with a 5.75 ERA in 30 appearances on the year.
Kensing, 33, will get his first shot in the Majors since 2013, after going 2-0 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 games for Tacoma, with 10 walks and 25 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings. He's a seven-year veteran who posted a 5.21 ERA in 108 games with the Marlins from 2004-09 and had one appearances for the Rockies in '13.
Elias has been starting all season and went 4-2 with a 7.34 ERA in 12 outings for Tacoma after pitching fairly well while with Seattle the past two years. With rookies Rob Rasmussen, David Rollins and Edgar Olmos filling the lefty slots in the bullpen, following injuries to Charlie Furbush and Joe Beimel, he'll be used in relief initially.
"As we speak for right now, given the condition of our bullpen, he'll pitch out of the 'pen for right now and then we'll make adjustments," McClendon said. "I think we all know we've got some young lefties down there. Logan should help from the right side and hopefully Elias, for now, will stabilize it with another lefty in the mix down there."