The Mariners will activate starter Hisashi Iwakuma from the 15-day disabled list on Monday and have optioned outfielder James Jones to Triple-A Tacoma to create roster space, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports.
Iwakuma has been sidelined since April 21 due to a strained lat. The 34-year-old right-hander had compiled a 6.61 ERA with an 11/3 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings prior to the injury.
Iwakuma may be auditioning for prospective teams as he can become a free agent at the end of the season. He’s served as a quality starter for the Mariners between 2012-14, with a 3.07 ERA over 524 innings.
There’s a pretty cool comeback story in the works here …
Gutierrez didn’t play any sort of MLB-affiliated ball in 2014 after being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that primarily affects the spine and causes problems in many other joints. And he averaged just 58 games between 2011-2013 due to a variety of injuries. But the 32-year-old was slashing .317/.402/.500 with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 48 games this season at the Triple-A level and he is starting in left field and batting second Wednesday in his first major league game since September 27, 2013. Good for Guti.
James Jones has been the Mariners’ starting center fielder since making his MLB debut in mid-April, logging more than 300 plate appearances, but now the 25-year-old is headed back to Triple-A following yesterday’s trade for Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson.
Jones got off to a good start in Seattle, but has hit just .258 with zero homers and a .600 OPS in 79 games overall, including an ugly 64/12 K/BB ratio. He has great speed, swiping 20 bases while being caught just once, but based on his early MLB production and track record in the minors it’s not clear if Jones will hit enough to be a quality regular.