WASHINGTON -- Emilio Pagan's impressive four-inning outing in Tuesday night's 10-1 loss may have saved the Mariners' bullpen for a night, but it also created a need for another fresh arm.
Because of that need, Seattle optioned the rookie reliever to Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday and recalled right-hander Rob Whalen from Tacoma to serve as a long man -- and perhaps more.
"[Whalen] will be available out of the bullpen the next couple of nights," manager Scott Servais said. "He could start for us over the weekend [in Boston]. ... So if we need him, we'll use him out of the bullpen the next couple nights. But if not, he'll probably start on Saturday."
Whalen, 23, was acquired last offseason as a part of a trade that sent outfielder Alex Johnson and left-hander Tyler Pyke to the Braves. In four starts for the Rainiers this season, Whalen went 0-2 with 4.09 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks. In 2016, Whalen was 1-2 with a 6.57 ERA in five starts with the Braves.
As for Pagan, his effort on Tuesday night left a good impression on his skipper, and could very well earn him another opportunity in the near future.
"He did a great job last night," Servais said. "We talked to him after the game, talked to him again today to let him know we were going to option him back. I think he really helped himself as far as raising himself on the depth chart."
• Right fielder Mitch Haniger, still recovering from a strained right oblique, arrived at Nationals Park on Wednesday after getting examined Monday for what Servais described as "a little soreness on the other side," possibly due to compensating for the original injury. Servais said the plan at the moment is for Haniger to work out with the team the next three or four days before making a determination on if he's ready for a rehab assignment. The 26-year-old hit .342 with four home runs and 11 RBIs prior to his injury.
• The Nationals announced Wednesday that Thursday's series finale between the two clubs has been moved up from 4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 PT to 12:05 p.m. ET/9:05 a.m. PT due to a forecast of inclement weather.