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May 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Alex Liddi joins Mariners in San Diego

UPDATE 2:15 P.M.: The moves have now been officially announced: Alex Liddi recalled from Tacoma, Brandon Maurer optioned to Tacoma. 

I covered this on the Hot Stone League blog (along with my take on the Eric Wedge sabermetrics controversy), but for those who missed it, Alex Liddi has been spotted in San Diego. He’s been recalled from Tacoma and will be in uniform for the Mariners tonight at Petco Park against the Padres.

That makes sense, because Justin Smoak has an oblique strain and Michael Morse strained his quad last night. Neither is bad enough to go on the DL, it appears, but the Mariners need some bench help while they heal. The indications are that Brandon Maurer will be going down to Tacoma to make room for Liddi. His turn in the rotation doesn’t come up until Saturday, so the Mariners can buy a little time by having a position player on hand for a few days. Liddi has played mostly third base this year for the Rainiers (42 games) but also some first (seven games) and has outfield experience in the major leagues. He’s hitting .267 with nine homers (tied for the team lead with Mike Zunino) and 37 RBIs (one behind Zunino’s team-leading total).

Who will make Maurer’s start? My guess would be Jeremy Bonderman, who has an opt-out clause in his contract on June 1 — Friday — if he’s not called up. That’s not necessarily the determining factor, but Bonderman was on a low pitch count last night for reasons manager John Stearns wouldn’t disclose. He gave up one run in four innings in Colorado Springs, not an easy place to pitch. Bonderman now has a 2-4 record and 4.52 ERA in 11 starts (63.2 innings) with Tacoma. Other options are Blake Beavan, who is 3-2, 4.35 in five starts since going down to Tacoma, or Hector Noesi, already on the major-league roster.

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