SEATTLE -- Rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio, who had been scheduled to start Sunday's series finale against the Yankees at Safeco Field, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday as the Mariners will move veteran Yovani Gallardo back into the rotation.The club recalled right-handed reliever Max Povse to take Gaviglio's roster
SEATTLE -- Rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio, who had been scheduled to start Sunday's series finale against the Yankees at Safeco Field, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday as the Mariners will move veteran Yovani Gallardo back into the rotation.
The club recalled right-handed reliever Max Povse to take Gaviglio's roster spot on Thursday, but he'll likely be sent back to Tacoma on Friday when newly acquired reliever David Phelps arrives from Miami.
"Sam did a great job for us and was really on a nice stretch there in May and early June when we really needed him to step up," said manager Scott Servais. "But I didn't think Sam was quite as sharp his last time out."
Gallardo was 3-7 with a 6.30 ERA in 14 starts, but was 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA (one earned run in 11 1/3 innings) in four relief outings since being moved to the bullpen on June 20. He'll now face the Yankees' Luis Cessa in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT game.
Mariners add Phelps
"First of all, he handled the demotion like a true professional," Servais said of Gallardo. "He did not pout, he didn't get down. It was just, 'OK, this is where I'm at, I have to continue to work and I'll get a chance to pitch.' And when we gave him the ball he did a nice job."
Gallardo, a former National League All-Star and 11-year Major League veteran, appreciates the opportunity for another chance to contribute as a starter.
"It's definitely a good feeling," he said. "I've been throwing the ball pretty good coming out of the bullpen. I've been feeling great. Unfortunately, earlier things didn't go my way. But I'm just going to go out there and throw like I have out of the bullpen and give us a chance to win a game."
Gaviglio filled a valuable role during May and June when the Mariners dealt with a series of injuries to their rotation, but he's gone 0-4 with a 6.65 ERA over his last four starts and is 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA overall in 12 games (11 starts).
"We'll hand the ball to Yovani and hopefully he can get us deep on Sunday," Servais said.
• Hisashi Iwakuma played catch on Thursday, but Servais had no update on how the veteran came out of that session as the right-hander continues a slow recovery from a two-month absence with shoulder soreness.
• Ryan Weber, another right-hander who has been shut down since straining his right biceps muscle in a start in Toronto in mid-May, said he's hopeful of playing catch for the first time since that injury on Friday. Weber was scheduled to see the team doctor on Thursday and will begin throwing if he gets clearance.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.