Vincent returns from DL; Cook optioned

June 22nd, 2018

BOSTON -- After a month of being short-handed in their bullpen, the Mariners returned to near full strength on Friday, as veteran right-hander Nick Vincent was activated off the 10-day disabled list.

Vincent missed 24 games while recovering from a strained right groin muscle, but he now rejoins and Alex Colome as the trio of late-inning setup options to closer . Nicasio has pitched two games since coming off the DL on Tuesday after dealing with a swollen right knee.

Vincent got thrown into the fire in a hurry and gave up two runs on three hits, including a homer by J.D. Martinez, while getting just one out in the sixth inning in Friday's 14-10 loss to the Red Sox.

Manager Scott Servais said Vincent will be used in a variety of roles when he first returns, which is fine with the 31-year-old California native.

"I'm fine with the fifth and sixth," Vincent said. "I'm going to pitch wherever I can pitch. I'll get my stuff built back up, and toward the end, it'll be whoever has the hot hand. That's how baseball is. For me, it's just come out and help keep it where it's at and get the game to the seventh inning for these guys.

"We have a bunch of guys in the bullpen that can do any of the jobs. When we got Colome, we knew that was going to happen. He's going to take some of the innings and that's going to help me and Nicasio and other guys. We'll be fine depth-wise. If we keep winning one-run games, we'll be tired, but it'll be worth it."

The only remaining reliever left to come off the DL is , who has been sidelined for 13 games with a strained right elbow, and he isn't expected to begin throwing for several more weeks. is also on the 60-day DL, but he won't be back this season, since he underwent Tommy John surgery.

To make room for Vincent's return, the Mariners optioned right-hander back to Triple-A Tacoma. Cook has a Minor League option remaining, so he didn't need to be put through waivers, and Servais said he expects the veteran will be back to help at some point this year.

Vincent is 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA and 10 holds in 25 outings this season, and he has been a major part of Seattle's relief crew the past three seasons. He owns a 19-14 record with a 3.08 ERA and four saves over 315 games in his seven-year MLB career.

Cook pitched well initially after returning to the Majors for the first time since 2015, having dealt with a series of injuries since being one of baseball's more-durable middle relievers for the A's from '12-14, including an American League All-Star season in '12.

Cook only allowed one hit and one walk while striking out six in 4 2/3 innings in his first five appearances for Seattle after being promoted on May 17. But since May 30, the 30-year-old has given up seven runs and eight hits -- including three home runs -- in 4 2/3 innings over his past six outings.

Cook took the loss on a walk-off homer by of the Yankees on Wednesday, putting his ERA at 6.75 in 11 outings.

The decision to send down Cook means the Mariners are going with and , who was called up from Tacoma last Thursday, as the final right-handers in the bullpen behind Diaz, Colome, Nicasio and Vincent. The two lefties are and .

Diaz and Pazos are the only relievers who have been with the team for the full season.

Segura still dealing with infection

Shortstop saw a doctor on Friday morning in Boston and had the infection on his right forearm drained, but he was not in the lineup for a second straight game. Servais said Segura scraped his arm diving into home plate on a play last week against the Angels, and it gradually became infected.

"He's still pretty sore," Servais said. "We'll see how it goes. The doctor seems to think he'll be fine. They just have to get the swelling to calm down. I am hopeful he can get in there tomorrow."

With already missing due to his 80-game suspension, the Mariners now have to overcome the temporary absence of their best offensive player in the first half. Segura is fourth in the Majors with a .334 average, second in hits with 99 and eighth in runs (52) and stolen bases (14), while also racking up 21 doubles, six homers and 44 RBIs.

"It's a huge loss for us, no doubt," Servais said. "Hopefully it's just a couple day thing, and he can get back in there."