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Mariners turn to familiar faces as roster expands

@gregjohnsmlb
September 1, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Seattle opted for familiar faces Sunday as the rosters expanded. The Mariners reinstated right-handers Austin Adams, Dan Altavilla and Brandon Brennan and outfielder Braden Bishop from the injured list, and recalled infielder/outfielder Ryan Court from Triple-A Tacoma to bolster their roster. All five have spent time with Seattle

ARLINGTON -- Seattle opted for familiar faces Sunday as the rosters expanded.

The Mariners reinstated right-handers Austin Adams, Dan Altavilla and Brandon Brennan and outfielder Braden Bishop from the injured list, and recalled infielder/outfielder Ryan Court from Triple-A Tacoma to bolster their roster. All five have spent time with Seattle this season.

The Mariners will add more players later this week as Tacoma’s season ends Monday. The roster figures to change again once the season ends for Double-A Arkansas. The Travelers begin a best-of-five series in the Texas League playoffs Wednesday against Tulsa.

The three pitchers, who had a combined 61 outings entering Sunday, each made an appearance in the 11-3 series finale victory over the Rangers. The trio combined for three scoreless innings -- one each -- with five strikeouts.

Bishop went 0-for-4 with a bases-loaded walk as Seattle’s starting center fielder Sunday. Bishop had missed 73 games with a lacerated spleen and Seattle manager Scott Servais expects him to get an extended look in center.

“He’s been working really hard,” Servais said. “He’ll play a lot. We want to get him some exposure in September. With him and [Mitch] Haniger going down so close to each other it was tough. We played some guys in the outfield that haven’t played much outfield.”

Arrival: Center fielder Jake Fraley

The Mariners called up the 24-year-old from Triple-A two weeks ago and plan to let him play regularly after his quick rise from Arkansas to Tacoma and now to the big leagues in his first season after being acquired from the Rays in the Mike Zunino deal.

On a team with 17 players who’ve already made their MLB debuts this season, Fraley -- Seattle's No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline -- is one of the key members of the young nucleus that is expected to anchor the core group going forward.

Breakout: RHP Logan Gilbert

While young outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez have dazzled as well, Gilbert -- the team’s first-round Draft pick in 2018 -- has leaped up the prospect charts with an outstanding season while being bumped up three levels already to Double-A, where he’s now excelling at age 22.

The former Stetson star cracked MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list at No. 48, and is now the Mariners’ No. 2 prospect behind only Kelenic after opening the season at No. 6. He won’t be among the September callups this season, but his timeline suddenly looks a lot more like a potential 2020 addition if he continues progressing.

Something to prove: Shed Long

Through no fault of his own, Long’s opportunity to show where he fits in this year took a hit when he broke a bone in his right hand seven weeks ago while playing second base for Tacoma -- he hasn’t played since. Long opened eyes with his bat in Spring Training and he hit .232 with a home run in 19 games for Seattle when Dee Gordon was sidelined in May and June. However, he lost time with a pair of injury stints in Tacoma, and it’s uncertain if he’ll be ready to be added as one of the September callups later this month.

Name to watch: Julio Rodriguez

Kelenic clearly belongs in this category as well, as he’s on the fast track as a 20-year-old already playing in Double-A after starting the year in Class A West Virginia -- but Rodriguez is even younger, just 18 in his first year of pro ball in the States. The outfielder from the Dominican Republic recovered from a fractured hand early in the season and dominated at West Virginia. He has taken the Cal League by storm in his first few weeks at Class A Advanced Modesto as well.

Like Kelenic, he’ll be playing in the Arizona Fall League starting on Sept. 18, which is an aggressive push for a teenager. It’ll be worth seeing how both youngsters handle that challenge, and where they land in the Mariners’ system next spring.

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