Seattle recalls Motter after strong Triple-A stint

Mariners place Espinosa on waivers to make room on roster

August 20th, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Mariners recalled infielder Taylor Motter on Sunday after a strong stint in Triple-A in which he batted .350 in 100 at-bats.

"When we sent him out, we knew we needed to get the bat going and get him some consistent at-bats," manager Scott Servais said. "He's made a few adjustments down there. Obviously, the numbers have been very good."

In 25 games with Tacoma since the Mariners sent him down July 24, Motter had seven homers, six doubles, 18 RBIs and six stolen bases. He had five straight multihit games at the time of his callup, riding a 14-for-20 (.700) hot streak.

Motter's presence in the starting lineup Sunday gave a day off, as the third baseman recovers from an illness that decreased his weight by 12 pounds. Motter could also be a useful tool as the Mariners head to Atlanta for a three-game series Monday.

"Going to the National League games, with Taylor's versatility, he can get all over the field," Servais said. "It's a nice weapon to have on the bench. He fits. Hopefully the at-bats are better."

Motter displayed some power in the first month of the season, hitting five home runs and seven doubles for a .535 slugging percentage. But he combined for two homers and four doubles across May and June, while his batting average had sunk by the end of his big league stint to .204.

A right-handed hitter, Motter's spray chart became loaded with grounders to third base. He was pulling 56.3 percent of his balls in play when he was sent to Tacoma.

"I've talked to him a little bit, what he's trying to do approach-wise," Servais said. "I don't think he's ever going to be an opposite-field hitter, per se, but [he has] the ability to cover pitches on the outer part of the plate and make adjustments throughout the course of an at-bat. Hopefully he's picked up some things there."

To make room for Motter on the roster, the Mariners placed Danny Espinosa on waivers for the purpose of granting him an unconditional release. Espinosa was used sparingly by the Mariners, who played him in eight games since signing him on July 24. The Angels had designated Espinosa for assignment after he hit .162 over 228 at-bats, and he hit .188 in 16 at-bats for Seattle.