With Taijuan Walker making his Tacoma starts on the same days as Erasmo Ramirez made his for Seattle one could surmise that when Walker was ready, he would be called up and Ramirez sent down. In his last start Walker pitched a complete game shutout against Oklahoma City. Ramirez was sent to Tacoma, but Brandon Maurer was called up for bullpen duty. Curious, but there are three scenarios for this promotion.
One is that knowing Ramirez was going to be sent down they brought up Maurer for an extra arm in the bullpen until Walker is called up to start against Houston. A very likely possibility as the only member of the bullpen with an ERA north of 3.00 is Charley Furbush at 3.75 and he is a left handed pitcher. There is no one for Maurer, even striking out four in two innings against Boston, to displace anyone in Seattle’s bullpen, one of the best in baseball.
Another scenario is that Seattle wants to see Walker make another start. There is no need to rush him. If he makes two, even three starts in a row he would be called up. It could be that Maurer will pitch again in relief Friday against Cleveland, then get the start against Houston. Since his demotion from the Mariner rotation where he was dreadful with a + 7 ERA he has been getting work out of the Tacoma pen, so how far can he go as a starter.
A third scenario is that Maurer is being showcased for a possible trade and there might be a team or two looking for a reliever and Seattle is showing off Maurer’s arm that can throw a fastball in the high 90’s.
All three are possibilities that make sense.
It would appear that Michal Saunders will come off his rehab stint in Tacoma. I speculated in my last blog that Endy Chavez would likely go back to Tacoma. But Seattle, if he is not out of options, should send Dustin Ackley and his .220 batting average along with 4 homers and 27 RBIs to AAA. Those are terrible numbers for a power position. I had not considered him a s a possible player sent back to port, but the Mariners are better off with Chavez in left, James Jones in center, and Saunders in right. Chavez is not a power hitter either, but at least he has been productive in the leadoff spot. If Ackley still has options left, the Mariners should exercise it.