Mariners activate RHP Sam Tuivailala from 60-day injured list

RHP Parker Markel and RHP David McKay optioned to AAA Tacoma

July 15th, 2019

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today the following roster moves:

  • Sam Tuivailala, RHP, returned from rehab assignment at AAA Tacoma and activated from 60-day Injured List.
  • Parker Markel, RHP, optioned to AAA Tacoma (postgame July 14).
  • David McKay, RHP, optioned to AAA Tacoma (postgame July 14).

With today’s roster moves, and the Mariners Major League, 25-man, roster is at 24 and the Mariners Major League, 40-man, roster is now at 39. Seattle will make an additional move prior to tomorrow’s 7:07 pm game at the Oakland Athletics.

Tuivailala, 26, began the year on the Injured List recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon. He suffered the original injury on Aug. 8, 2018 at Texas and underwent surgery to repair the tendon Aug. 15, 2018. He was placed on the 10-day IL on March 18. Tuivailala began a rehabilitation assignment on May 2 at A Modesto. He appeared in 6 games with the Nuts (0-1, 1.50) prior to being transferred to AAA Tacoma on May 18. On May 25 he was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day IL. He appeared in 4 games with the Rainiers and did not recorded a decision (2 ER, 4.0 IP) prior to being returned from his rehab assignment on May 30. He was placed on a second rehab assignment with short-A Everett on June 21 and appeared in 2 games (0-1, allowing 4 ER in 1.2 IP) prior to having his rehab assignment transferred to AA Arkansas on June 28. In 5 games with Arkansas worked 5.0 shutout innings in 5 appearances. His rehab was transferred to AAA Tacoma on July 11. He made 2 appearances with the Rainiers, posting a 1-0 record while working 1.2 innings and allowing 1 earned run.

Tuivailala (pronounced “too-ee-vai-lull-lah”), 26, was acquired by the Mariners in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Seth Elledge on July 27, 2018. In parts of four Major League seasons (2014-current), he is 7-7, 3.55 (41 ER, 104.0 IP) in 101 relief appearances. Sam was the Cardinals 3rd round selection in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Tuivailala was converted from shortstop to pitcher in 2012 and made the jump from rookie ball to the Majors in just 87 appearances, debuting vs. the Reds on Sept. 9, 2014.

Markel, 28, was recalled from AAA Tacoma on July 6 and appeared in 1 game with Seattle, allowing 2 earned runs in 1.0 inning July 12 at Los Angeles-AL. He made 4 relief appearances with the Mariners between May 12 and May 20, allowing 6 earned runs over 3.2 innings (14.73 ERA) while striking out 3 and walking 3. He made his Major League debut on May 12 at Boston. A Triple-A All-Star, Markel was 3-0 with 4 saves and a 0.52 ERA (1 ER, 17.1 IP) with 35 strikeouts and 7 walks in 13 relief appearances with Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma this season prior to being recalled. Overall, with Tacoma he was 2-0, 2.81 (8 ER, 25.2 IP) with 7 saves in 20 games this season, and he was 2-0, 0.00 (0 ER, 7.2 IP) with 1 save in 5 games with Arkansas.

Markel was selected by Detroit in the 32nd round of the 2009 MLB Draft but did not sign. The native of Newport Beach, CA, was selected and signed by Tampa Bay in the 39th round of the 2010 Draft out of Yavapai College (Prescott, AZ). He has appeared in parts of 8 minor league seasons with the Rays (2010-16) and Mariners (2019-c). He spent the 2017 season with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization. In 2018, Markel made 37 relief appearances with the Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association.

McKay, 24, was recalled from AAA Tacoma on July 6 and appeared in 2 games with the Mariners, allowing 3 earned runs in 2.0 innings on 1 hit (1 home run) and allowing 5 walks. He allowed 1 ER in 5.0 IP in 5 games with Seattle May 19-31. He was also on Seattle’s roster March 30-April 1, but did not appear in a game. McKay has spent the majority of the season with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. In his last 17 games (April 25-July 2) with the Rainiers, McKay was 1-0 with 1 save and a 1.98 ERA (6 ER, 27.1 IP) with 46 strikeouts (15.14 SO per 9.0 IP). Overall with Tacoma this season, McKay was 3-0, 3.76 (16 ER, 38.1 IP) in 24 relief appearances. Eleven of the 16 total runs he allowed this season came in 3 outings (2.2 IP). Discounting those 3 games, he was 3-0, 1.26 (5 ER, 35.2) in 21 games. McKay was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA (2 ER, 6.0 IP) in 6 Spring Training games with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts.

McKay was originally acquired in a minor league trade with Kansas City on March 20, 2018. He pitched at three levels of the Mariners farm system last season, making stops at High-A Modesto (6 G), Triple-A Tacoma (1 G) and Double-A Arkansas (35 G).