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Gordon, Healy to IL in Mariners roster shuffle

Long, Moore, Milone, Bass join club; Markel optioned to Triple-A
May 21, 2019

ARLINGTON – Second baseman Dee Gordon and third baseman Ryon Healy were both placed on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday and headed back to Seattle for tests as the Mariners infield took a hit amid a flurry of roster moves. Gordon is sidelined by a right wrist contusion that

ARLINGTON – Second baseman Dee Gordon and third baseman Ryon Healy were both placed on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday and headed back to Seattle for tests as the Mariners infield took a hit amid a flurry of roster moves.

Gordon is sidelined by a right wrist contusion that has been bothering him since he was hit by a pitch on May 9, while Healy is out with lower back inflammation after being removed in the seventh inning of Monday’s 10-9 loss to the Rangers.

Rookie second baseman Shed Long was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to fill one of those spots, while rookie utilityman Dylan Moore was activated off the 10-day injured list after recovering from his own bruised wrist.

Long, the Mariners’ No. 12 prospect per MLB Pipeline, went 0-for-9 in three games in his first Major League action during a brief stint last week when Gordon was first dealing with his bruised wrist after getting hit by a pitch against the Yankees. Long will primarily fill in for Gordon again at second base. He said that he benefited from his previous exposure.

“It definitely helps,” Long said. “I wouldn’t say you necessarily know what to expect because you see so many different things every day in this game, but it definitely makes you more comfortable. It was a test and a time to see how things were going to be at the big league level. I think it was good for me. Really good.”

Gordon never went on the IL after being hit by Yankees lefty J.A. Happ, but he sat out three games, then served as a late-inning pinch-runner in two games before returning to start the past five games. But he hit just .136 (3-for-22) with no-extra base hits in those games as his average dropped from .304 to .281.

Mariners manager Scott Servais indicated that neither Gordon nor Healy are expected to miss too much time, but the club couldn’t afford to keep either active if they were going to need to sit out more than a few days.

“The way our roster is set up, we can’t just give a guy 4-5 days to figure it out,” Servais said. “Certainly, with he and Healy both going down at the same time, we had to get some guys in here.”

Moore is capable of playing second or third base, as is veteran infielder Tim Beckham, who figures to get much of the playing time at third in Healy’s absence now that J.P. Crawford has taken over the shortstop duties.

The Mariners also expect to get third baseman Kyle Seager back from the 60-day injured list on Saturday in Oakland as he’s currently on a rehab assignment with Tacoma.

The club also promoted veteran left-hander Tommy Milone from Tacoma to start Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers, with rookie right-handed reliever Parker Markel optioned back to Triple-A.

The 28-year-old Markel put up eye-opening numbers at Double-A Arkansas and Tacoma after playing independent league ball last year, but allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits -- including a pair of home runs -- in 3 2/3 innings over four appearances with Seattle.

Bass back with Mariners

Right-handed reliever Anthony Bass, a seven-year Major League veteran who was having a strong year in Triple-A for the Reds, exercised an out clause in his contract with Cincinnati and signed with the Mariners on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old had been acquired by the Mariners in 2016 as part of a trade with the Rangers, but he asked to be released at that time so he could pitch in Japan. Bass has since returned to pitch two games for Texas in ’17 and 16 games with a 2.93 ERA last year for the Cubs and had a 2.21 ERA and nine saves in 19 outings for Triple-A Louisville this year.

Bass has a 4.51 ERA in 147 games (including 18 starts) in seven seasons with the Padres, Astros, Rangers and Cubs.

Bass joins a bullpen that also just added lefty Jesse Biddle in a trade with the Braves, and now just has three holdovers -- Brandon Brennan, Roenis Elias and Cory Gearrin -- from the group that started the season two months ago.

Servais said that the newcomers have no set roles, but they will be given opportunities to establish themselves and see if they fit in the future.

“They could pitch in the eighth inning. They could pitch in the fourth, fifth, sixth, whatever,” Servais said. “And I’ve explained that to them. That’s just where we’re at. We aren’t the only team. Texas and some other teams are kind of in a similar situation with their roster, trying to figure it out and create some stability.

“The only way to do that is to go through some growing pains. We’ll get there. For me, personally, looking at it, I’m a goal-oriented person. What does it look like by July 1? What does it look like by the middle of August? Those type of things are what you want to continue to build.”

To open a spot on the 40-man roster, the Mariners designated right-handed reliever Ryan Garton for assignment. The 29-year-old appeared in two games for Seattle since being recalled last week, allowing four hits and four runs in three innings.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Strickland on the mend

Veteran closer Hunter Strickland -- on the 60-day IL with a strained right lat -- is on the road trip and working out with trainers. He threw an aggressive flat-ground session on Tuesday and said that he’s progressing well and hopeful of returning by mid-June if all goes well.

Strickland will throw again Thursday and he said he could begin an everyday schedule by Sunday, then advance to throwing bullpen sessions and live batting practice outings before going on a rehab stint.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.