After a harrowing 6-5 home win over Oakland Monday broke a four-game losing streak, the Mariners (18-21) couldn’t wait long for more dramatic news: Edwin Diaz has temporarily lost the closer’s job to a bullpen committee, and 2B Robinson Cano went on the disabled list to rest a nagging quadriceps injury.
Mariners manager Scott Servais announced the changes prior to Tuesday’s second of four games against the Athletics (16-22).
Cano has missed five consecutive games with the injury so the move, retroactive to Saturday, wasn’t a big surprise. OF Boog Powell was called up from AAA Tacoma to fill the roster spot. He was hitting .288 with five doubles, nine RBI, 20 walks, seven stolen bases and a .441 on-base percentage in 23 games with the Rainiers.
Taylor Motter was to start at second base.
But Diaz’s mechanical problems, which caused him to walk four of the five batters he faced in the ninth that threatened to blow a 6-3 lead, was the latest disturbing personnel development in a series of problems that has roiled the early season.
Servais said he will go with a committee made up of Tony Zych, who jumped in to get the final two outs Monday after Servais pulled Diaz, Nick Vincent, Marc Rzepczynski and Steve Cishek. Returning after a long rehab following hip surgery in October, Cishek saw his first game action of 2017 Monday, retiring one batter.
Diaz will stay with the Mariners and pitch earlier innings as he works to find a consistent release point. In the ninth Monday, he went to full counts on four batters before walking all of them, forcing in one run and forcing his removal.
Zych came on to get a second out via infield grounder that scored the A’s fifth run, then, with the bases loaded, struck out pinch hitter Adam Rosales on a called third strike.
The two roster moves Tuesday bring to 68 the number of transactions involving the 40-man roster this season in 44 days. Seattle is averaging one transaction every 16 hours. The longest stretch this season without a roster move was April 15-20.
During the game Tuesday, the Mariners said RHP Ryan Weber, who was pulled from his Saturday start, his first as a Mariner, in the fourth inning, was placed on the 10-day disabled list for what was diagnosed as a stretch of the musculocutaneous nerve in the front part of his pitching arm. His return time is unknown.