Mariners’ Yusei Kikuchi off IL, cleared for All-Star Game; Will Vest DFA’d

Jul 12, 2021, 11:48 AM | Updated: 12:02 pm
Mariners Yusei Kikuchi...
Yusei Kikuchi is off the COVID-19 injured list a day after landing on it. (Getty)

The Mariners’ All-Star will be present for the festivities in Denver.

Mariners MLB Draft Tracker: Keep tabs on every Seattle selection

A day after Seattle placed Yusei Kikuchi on the COVID-19 injured list, he was cleared and taken off the IL on Monday morning. Kikuchi, who manager Scott Servais said is vaccinated, had felt symptoms but tested negative for the virus at the time of his placement on the IL Sunday and needed to pass one more test to be cleared.

That wasn’t the only move the Mariners made on Monday. Reliever Will Vest, Seattle’s 2021 selection in the Rule 5 Draft, was designated for assignment, while utility player Donovan Walton was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma.

Vest, 26, was selected by the Mariners from the Tigers organization and made his MLB debut in April. He had a strong start to the year, maintaining a 1.17 ERA and .212 opponent batting average over his first 14 appearances (15 1/3 innings). It’s been a struggle in the 18 appearances since, however, as he has a 10.07 ERA and .338 opponents batting average over his last 19 2/3 innings.

As a Rule 5 selection, Vest needed to stay either on the Mariners’ active roster or injured list for the entire season or be offered back to the Tigers. He could remain with the M’s and be outrighted to a minor league affiliate if he clears both the offer back to Detroit and waivers.

Walton, 27, was called up for Sunday’s first half finale, serving as added depth for a Mariners team that was missing Kyle Seager due to a bone bruise on his leg. The hope was that Seager would be able to avoid a 10-day IL stint and return when the Mariners begin the second half Friday in Anaheim against the Angels. Walton appeared as a pinch runner and stayed in at second base late in Sunday’s 8-1 loss to the Angels in Seattle.

The 30-year-old Kikuchi is a first-time All-Star in his third MLB season. He is tied for second among MLB left-handed pitchers with 11 quality starts this season, and in the American League he ranks 10th in ERA (3.48), eighth in WHIP (1.09), and 14th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.0). Kikuchi is expected to pitch in the All-Star Game at Coors Field, which is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday. The ESPN Radio broadcast of the game will air on 710 ESPN Seattle.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

Where did M’s lockdown bullpen come from? Paul Sewald sheds light

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 64° | Low 55°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Angels today at 1:07pm

Fri, Sep 24 @ 6:38 pm
Starting Pitcher:
Seattle’s Logan Gilbert

Chevrolet Silverado

Brent Stecker

Mariners infield...
Brent Stecker

The Mariners just brought fun back to fall baseball in Seattle

The Mariners are 5-1 on their current road trip and just finished a four-game sweep of the A's to pull within two games of a playoff spot.
3 days ago
Mariners Servais Kelenic...
Brent Stecker

Table Setter: Mariners have no room for error in biggest series of the season

The Mariners didn't help themselves with their series loss to lowly Arizona, but opportunity still presents itself with Boston in town for three games.
13 days ago
Mariners Kyle Seager...
Brent Stecker

Mariners Table Setter: Kyle Seager is cementing his M’s legend status

There's a real possibility this year will be Kyle Seager's last with the Mariners, and he's showing that if this team is going to make a playoff run, he's going to be right in the middle of it.
20 days ago
Mariners José Marmolejos...
Brent Stecker

Mariners recall Triple-A MVP candidate José Marmolejos

José Marmolejos, who is either first or second in the Triple-A West league in several hitting categories, is rejoining the Mariners ahead of a big series against Houston.
27 days ago
Seahawks Marquise Blair...
Brent Stecker

Fast Facts: Seahawks roll to 27-0 win over Chargers in preseason finale

The Seahawks saved their best performance of the preseason for last with a dominant 27-0 win over the Chargers at Lumen Field on Saturday.
29 days ago
Mariners Ty France J.P. Crawford...
Brent Stecker

How are Mariners still in playoff race? Their ‘unique’ brand of resilience

Just when you thought it may have been the end of the line for the Mariners' postseason hopes, they showed their trademark resilience again Sunday.
1 month ago
Mariners’ Yusei Kikuchi off IL, cleared for All-Star Game; Will Vest DFA’d