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July 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Mariners to make rotation change soon after Jeremy Bonderman designated for assignment

ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you missed this morning’s Talkin’ Baseball segment on Sports Radio KJR, click the link above. Mitch Levy and I discussed Justin Smoak, Nick Franklin, Brad Miller and the rest of the Mariners after their improved-looking 4-2 trip.

Jeremy Bonderman saw his comeback with the Mariners end today when the team designated him for assignment. Lucas Luetge has been called up from Class AAA and will be available as of tonight to work out of the bullpen. But that leaves an open rotation spot for now and so the Mariners will need to add somebody in time to fill Bonderman’s role come Thursday.

Erasmo Ramirez is the guy everybody usually talks about when it comes to who is most ready. But he’s not a shoo-in just yet.

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 3.23.56 PM

The Mariners could, quite possibly, want another look at Blake Beavan as a starting pitcher, given his solid work of late out of the bullpen in long relief.

Ramirez didn’t exactly set the world ablaze his last time out in AAA, going just 5 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits with six walks thrown in for good measure. Ramirez is currently running a 5.06 ERA for Tacoma and that part doesn’t exactly scream big league promotion.

Right now, the Mariners just need to get through the remainder of the pre-All-Star Game schedule and then figure out the rotation from there. Bonderman has really scuffled of late and as has been mentioned numerous times, he does not have the high strikeout peripherals that lead you to believe his performance is going to be all that much better going forward.

And with this team needing as many wins as possible — with the front office still looking for reasons not to go into “seller” mode come the July 31 trade deadline  (and there’s room for debate as to whether they’d really need to in any event) — they figure they have a better shot at not losing with somebody other than Bonderman on the hill.

There’s another possible route the Mariners could take that would be a really bold statement if ever there was one: promoting Taijuan Walker to the majors after only three AAA starter. He’s 2-0 with an ERA of 0.56 down there with 16 strikeouts and only five walks. Last night, he allowed just a run over five innings — the first he’s allowed this season. Walker isn’t on the 40-man roster, but the Bonderman DFA just freed up a spot.

Only trouble is, Walker would next be due to pitch on regular rest this Friday. The Mariners need a Thursday starter.

Danny Hultzen is nursing more arm trouble and hasn’t pitched since late-June, so it won’t be him coming up.

So, there you have it. Of the AAA guys, Ramirez looks like the best bet. Otherwise, it’s Beavan.

The Mariners now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Bonderman to AAA.

Comments | More in roster | Topics: jeremy onderman; erasmo ramirez; blake beavan; taijuan walker

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