One other piece of news: the Mariners announced the signing of catcher Tyler Marlette, their fifth-round draft pick, out of Hagerty High School in Florida. He’ll report to the Pulaski Mariners, Seattle’s Rookie affiliate in the Appalachian League. Monday at 9 p.m. Pacific is the deadline to sign draft picks. The M’s top three picks, including No. 2 overall Danny Hultzen, remain unsigned.
Legendary minor-league slugger Wily Mo Pena, whose power has never quite translated to the major leagues, is coming up from Tacoma to replaced Justin Smoak on the Mariners’ roster.
Smoak was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken nose, resulting from yesterday’s incident in which he got hit in the face with a bad-hop grounder by Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
To clear space on the 40-man roster for Pena, left-handed pitcher Luke French — acquired from the Tigers in the Jarrod Washburn trade in 2009 — was designated for assignment.
Pena will wear No. 29 and start at designated hitter tonight against the Red Sox. Here’s the lineup:
1 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
20 Mike Carp (L) 1B
29 Wily Mo Pena DH
33 Casper Wells LF
3 Josh Bard (S) C
1 Luis Rodriguez (S) 3B
2 Jack Wilson SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
Smoak was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the nose, and a CT scan also showed a non-displaced (hairline) fracture of the maxilla bone in his left cheek. He’ll be restricted from activity for three to five days, then can resume playing catch and taking batting practice.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Pena, a right-handed hitter, had a .333 average (17-for-51) in 13 games with Tacoma, with 11 runs, four doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs, and a 1.090 OPS. Earlier, with Class AAA Reno in the Diamondbacks’ organization, Pena hit .363 with 21 homers and 63 RBIs.
He spent more than a month up with the Diamondbacks, batting .196 (9-for-46) with five homers and seven RBI in 17 games. When he was released by Arizona, the Mariners signed him.
Pena has hit 82 homers over parts of eight major-league seasons with the Reds, Red Sox, Nationals and Diamondbacks. He has a .251 career average, with 539 strikeouts in 1,636 at-bats.