SEATTLE -- As they navigate through a step-back season, the Mariners have allocated a chunk of their relief innings to arms that began the season outside the organization, bringing in those pitchers for the chance to earn Major League innings.
They added another such right-hander on Sunday, acquiring Matt Magill from the Twins for cash considerations. Magill is en route to Seattle, and he will join the club on Monday, when a corresponding 25-man roster move will be announced.
Magill was designated for assignment by Minnesota on Thursday after pitching to a 4.45 ERA over 28 1/3 innings in 28 outings. Touted for his high-90s velocity that he complements with a tight-spinning curveball and a slider, Magill will likely slot into lower-leverage situations for the Mariners when he’s activated.
“He'll be in our bullpen and see what kind of role he works into there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We'll take a look at him. He does have good stuff. He throws hard. He checks a lot of the boxes as far as the analytical side goes, and the spin rates and stuff like that."
The first-place Twins are 10 days away from the July 31 Trade Deadline and will likely add upgrades externally, which left Magill’s long-term roster spot uncertain. The Mariners are hoping that Magill can overcome some of the issues that plagued him in Minnesota -- particularly runaway innings -- without the pressure of pitching in a pennant chase. Magill’s 90.5 average exit velocity against and 43.8 percent hard-hit rate allowed both ranked in the bottom seven percent in the Majors, according to Statcast.
“A lot of times, these guys put a different uniform on and get a little different opportunity, and certainly, we're in a different situation here than what Minnesota is in, so we can afford to give him multiple looks,” Servais said.
The most promising relief arm that the Mariners have acquired this season has been right-hander Austin Adams, who had a 3.47 ERA for the Mariners before hitting the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 4 with a Grade 1 right shoulder strain. Adams, who began the season with the Nationals, has been arguably the Mariners’ best reliever this season.
When he does play in a game for Seattle, Magill will become the club’s 37th pitcher used this season, which is by far a Major League high (the second-most pitchers used is 33, by the Orioles). Thirty-one of those pitchers have been relievers, also a MLB-high. Overall, the Mariners have used 55 players this season, seven more than second-place Baltimore. Seattle’s all-time high of players used is 61, done in 2017.
• Designated hitter and first baseman Daniel Vogelbach is nursing a sore left shoulder that has been bothering him since around the All-Star break two weeks ago. He was out of the starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Angels, though Servais said that it was a regularly scheduled day off for the slugger. Vogelbach went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Saturday’s loss, one game after hitting a pair of three-run homers in Friday’s win. Since playing in his first All-Star Game, Vogelbach is 4-for-20 in six games.
• Right-hander Hunter Strickland pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday in the first game of his rehab assignment, as he works his way back from a right lat injury that he suffered in late March. Strickland is on the 60-day injured list, and he said on Friday that he’s hopeful that he can be activated before Seattle concludes its 10-game homestand next weekend against the Tigers after three-to-four outings with Tacoma.