ARLINGTON -- In their ongoing effort to keep fresh arms in the bullpen, the Mariners recalled left-hander Zac Curtis from Double-A Arkansas prior to Friday's series opener against the Rangers and optioned right-hander Chase De Jong back to Triple-A Tacoma.De Jong pitched four scoreless innings in Thursday's 6-2 loss to
ARLINGTON -- In their ongoing effort to keep fresh arms in the bullpen, the Mariners recalled left-hander Zac Curtis from Double-A Arkansas prior to Friday's series opener against the Rangers and optioned right-hander Chase De Jong back to Triple-A Tacoma.
De Jong pitched four scoreless innings in Thursday's 6-2 loss to the Twins, but the club has been rotating long relievers in and out over the last month, needing to cover more innings than normal while dealing with extensive injuries to the starting rotation.
De Jong has already made four stints with Seattle this season, as the 23-year-old has been used both as a spot starter and long reliever. Casey Lawrence, Tyler Cloyd, Chris Heston, Dillon Overton and Emilio Pagan also have been rotated in and out after pitching extensive innings.
"They've done a really good job," manager Scott Servais said. "Five or six weeks ago, we decided with what we were faced with, with the number of injuries, we had to make sure we had coverage if we get in a bad game to keep the other guys fresh.
"For the most part, it's worked pretty well because the guys we've brought up have thrown strikes and kept us in games or kept the game manageable enough where you don't have to go to multiple guys in the bullpen. It's not ideal, but it's a different way of looking at it, and it's actually worked out OK."
Curtis is more of a situational lefty, but he provides another bullpen option and threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings with no hits in two appearances in Toronto on May 11 and 12 in his previous stint. The 24-year-old is one of six Arkansas players named to the Texas League All-Star team, as he's posted a 2.66 ERA with seven saves in 19 appearances, racking up 27 strikeouts and just five walks in 23 2/3 innings.
Curtis was acquired last November along with Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger in the trade that sent Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to the D-backs.
De Jong is 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in seven games, including four starts, as a rookie after being acquired from the Dodgers in March. He'll return to the rotation in Tacoma, where he's gone 2-3 with a 4.32 ERA in six starts.
The Mariners already have used 29 pitchers this year, including two position players, which is the most in the Majors.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [