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Mariners call up prospect Cal Raleigh for final game of 1st half; Kikuchi to IL

No. 6 Mariners prospect Cal Raleigh is tied for the Triple-A West lead in doubles. (Getty)

The Mariners will go into the MLB All-Star break with a bang, but also with a little cause for concern.

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Catcher Cal Raleigh, Seattle’s No. 6 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has been selected from Triple-A Tacoma and will make his debut in Sunday’s series finale against the Angels at T-Mobile Park. The game is Seattle’s last before four days off for the All-Star festivities at Coors Field in Denver.

While Raleigh is joining the M’s, left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, the team’s All-Star, has been placed on the injured list. The Mariners did not include an injury designation for Kikuchi in the press release announcing the move. Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reported Sunday morning on Twitter that a source had told him Kikuchi has been placed on the COVID-19 injured list after showing a symptom but is vaccinated, has already had one negative test, and is expected to be cleared in time to play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

The Mariners also recalled utility player Donovan Walton from Triple-A and optioned outfielder Taylor Trammell back to Tacoma.

Raleigh, a 24-year-old switch hitter, was a third-round MLB Draft selection by the Mariners out of Florida State University in 2018. He’s been enjoying his most successful professional to date in 2021, hitting .324 with a .377 on-base percentage and .608 slugging percentage for an .985 OPS in 44 games for the Rainiers.

Raleigh is tied for the Triple-A West lead with 21 doubles, and he’s tied for 17th in RBIs (36) and 19th in home runs (nine). His OPS also ranks 12th in the league.

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Kikuchi, 30, has been Seattle’s best starting pitcher this season but is coming off a rough outing on Wednesday night against the Yankees where he allowed five earned runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings. He is 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 11 quality starts in 16 games.

The addition of Walton gives the Mariners some extra infield depth with third baseman Kyle Seager dealing with a bone bruise on his leg suffered in Friday’s win over the Angels. With Seager out of action, Dylan Moore has shifted from second base to third, with Shed Long Jr. taking over at second. The hope for the Mariners is that Seager can avoid an IL stint and be ready to play when Seattle starts its series with the Angels in Anaheim on Friday.

Here is the Mariners’ lineup for Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. game against the Angels, which will be live on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM beginning with Mariners Magazine at 11 a.m. and the pregame show at noon.

Mariners (48-42)

J.P. Crawford, SS
Mitch Haniger, RF
Ty France, 1B
Luis Torrens, DH
Jake Fraley, CF
Cal Raleigh, C
Shed Long Jr., 2B
Dylan Moore, 3B
Jake Bauers, LF

Héctor Santiago, SP

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