Miguel Olivo is back from the disabled list after missing the past four weeks with a groin injury and the Mariners created a spot on the roster for his return by optioning outfielder Casper Wells to Triple-A.
That means, despite some speculation to the contrary and plenty of fans calling for his job, Chone Figgins remains on the roster.
Figgins began the season as Seattle’s starting left fielder and showed some signs of early life with back-to-back three-hit games, but he’s hit .133 in 25 games since then and was eventually benched by manager Eric Wedge.
Olivo wasn’t exactly lighting up the league before his injury either, hitting .210 with a .575 OPS and hideous 18/2 K/BB ratio, but he’ll likely resume playing regularly behind the plate with Jesus Montero shifting back into more of a designated hitter role and John Jaso fighting for playing time scraps.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.