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Mariners add Wright, send Sheffield to Triple-A

@gregjohnsmlb
April 27, 2019

SEATTLE -- Mike Wright may be in the right spot at the right time as the right-hander joined the Mariners on Saturday after the team used eight pitchers to get through Friday’s 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Rangers. Wright, acquired from the Orioles in a trade Wednesday, reported to the

SEATTLE -- Mike Wright may be in the right spot at the right time as the right-hander joined the Mariners on Saturday after the team used eight pitchers to get through Friday’s 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Rangers.

Wright, acquired from the Orioles in a trade Wednesday, reported to the Mariners Saturday as rookie left-hander Justus Sheffield was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma, and Wright immediately was used for two innings in their 15-1 loss to the Rangers, allowing three hits and one run. It didn’t take long for the 6-foot-6, 215-pound Wright to make an impression on manager Scott Servais.

“We took Mike Wright in the second round of the NFL draft, I thought.” Servais said. “This guy is a big dude. I think he should be playing defensive end somewhere. I’m glad to have him. He’s excited to be here and certainly a different uniform on for the first time -- he spent his whole career with Baltimore.”

The Mariners are hoping a change of scenery and perhaps some new ideas from the Mariners' pitching coaches might help the hard-throwing right-hander, much as it seemed to work so far for Connor Sadzeck and Brandon Brennan.

“You see it all the time, guys can’t quite figure it out with one team and they get to another team and are outstanding,” Wright said. "Hopefully that’s the case here. I just want to come in here and be part of the team. They obviously have a good thing going and I want to become a part of that.”

Wright was acquired for Minor League infielder Ryne Ogren after being designated for assignment by the Orioles on Sunday. He was 0-1 with one save and a 9.45 ERA in 10 relief appearances for Baltimore this season, with 14 strikeouts and seven walks in 13 1/3 innings.

The 29-year-old has been with the O's for parts of the past five seasons, going 10-12 with a 5.95 ERA in 101 games, including 23 starts.

Sheffield was among the eight pitchers who worked in Friday’s game as he made his Mariners debut with a three-inning stint after Yusei Kikuchi's one-inning start. Seattle began implementing its plan to limit Kikuchi’s innings by having him do an abbreviated start about once a month in his first season in the Majors.

Sheffield, ranked as the Mariners’ No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, will return to Tacoma’s starting rotation. The 22-year allowed two runs on two hits with four walks and three strikeouts in his three-inning debut.

Sheffield needed 75 pitches to get through his three frames, and Servais would like to see the youngster work on becoming more aggressive early in at-bats rather than waiting until he’s behind in counts.

“Let’s get ahead strike one, then if you want to get nasty after that, go ahead,” Servais said. “He still has room to develop and things to work on. He’ll be back, there’s no doubt. He’s going to pitch a lot for us.”

Sheffield is 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA in three outings for Tacoma after being acquired from the Yankees along with fellow starter Erik Swanson in an offseason deal for James Paxton. Swanson, the Mariners' No. 9 prospect, was previously promoted from Tacoma to fill in for the injured Wade LeBlanc, and he will make his third start for Seattle in Sunday's series finale with the Rangers.

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