INF/OF Taylor Motter was optioned to AAA Tacoma by the Mariners Monday, a day after Motter’s baserunning blunder in the ninth inning of a 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees. The club replaced him later in the day with the signing of veteran free agent INF Danny Espinosa, who was available Monday against the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Motter, 27, has appeared in 70 games, hitting .204 with 24 runs scored, 11 doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBI. In his first 18 games this season (April 4-26), he hit .262 with two homers and 10 RBIs. Thereafter. he hit just .180.
Defensively, he has appeared at every position except center field, pitcher and catcher.
Motter Sunday came on as a pinch runner for Nelson Cruz after Cruz opened the ninth with an infield single. New York closer Aroldis Chapman picked off Motter as he leaned too far away from first. Kyle Seager followed with a double that likely would have scored Motter and Seattle’s chances of a comeback died.
The Mariners acquired Motter, with INF Richie Shaffer, from the Tampa Bay Rays Dec. 16 in exchange for minor leaguers INF Dalton Kelly, RHP Andrew Kittridge and RHP Dylan Thompson.
The Mariners began a three-game series with the Red Sox with LHP James Paxton (9-3, 3.05) booked to pitch opposite LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 3.66).