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Jesus Montero recalled by Mariners, J.A. Happ optioned to minors

Jesus Montero was a regular player with the Mariners in 2010 but has played just 35 MLB games since. (AP)

Jesus Montero has been recalled by the Mariners and will be in uniform for Thursday night’s series opener with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Mariners optioned starting pitcher J.A. Happ to High-A Bakersfield to make room on the active roster for Montero.

Once a can’t-miss power-hitting prospect, Montero played 135 games for Seattle in 2012 primarily as a catcher, but he struggled in 29 games in 2013 before being demoted to Triple-A. A significant weight gain after that season further derailed his career, and he played in just six MLB games in 2014.

Now a first baseman, Montero has worked diligently over the last year to get into better playing shape, and improved numbers have followed. In 84 games with the Tacoma Rainiers this season, he has a .332 batting average, .899 OPS, 15 home runs and 68 RBIs.

Happ, 32, wasn’t scheduled to start before the All-Star break, making him expendable in the short-term. The Mariners will have to wait 10 days to recall Happ from Bakersfield, barring an injury, and most likely will do so as soon as 10 days pass.

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