Last night the Mariners demoted closer Tom Wilhelmsen to the minors and today he’s starting a game at Triple-A.
Nothing official has been announced regarding a role change, but Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes that the Mariners “will start building Wilhelmsen’s arm up” and see how he looks.
Not only was the demotion a surprise–he has 24 saves and Thursday’s ugly appearance snapped a streak of five straight scoreless outings–Wilhelmsen has never started a game in the majors at age 29 and was never great as a starter in the minors. He last started regularly at Double-A in 2011, posting a 5.49 ERA in 61 innings.
You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.
The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.
Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.