SHANNON DRAYER

Drayer: With Yusei Kikuchi’s next start uncertain, could Mariners turn to Matt Brash?

Sep 24, 2021, 11:55 PM | Updated: Sep 26, 2021, 1:38 am
Mariners Yusei Kikuchi...
Mariners LHP Yusei Kikuchi reacts after giving up a run against the Oakland Athletics in the third inning. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Mariners have not made a decision regarding Yusei Kikuchi’s next start on Tuesday, and it was a topic manager Scott Servais understandably did not want to address minutes after the Mariners’ 6-5 win and series sweep over the Oakland A’s Thursday afternoon.

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“We won’t get ahead of ourselves,” Servais said when asked in the postgame Zoom session with the media, indicating that where they stood after this weekend’s Anaheim series would dictate further moves. “If we get to that point, we will talk about it and look at it, but there is nothing to talk about now.”

With nine games to play, the Mariners are two games out of the second American League Wild Card spot, which is currently held by the New York Yankees. In order to get to that spot, the Mariners will need to pass the Toronto Blue Jays, who are one game in front of them.

The math isn’t good, but it is also not impossible, and the team is playing good baseball. Should the Mariners be in position to continue their chase when Kikuchi’s start comes around again on Tuesday, they do have options, and not all of them are currently at Triple-A.

While the Rainiers are the only affiliate still playing baseball, Jerry Dipoto has left open the option of adding Matt Brash, who recently finished his season at Double-A.

According to Dipoto, Brash threw 90-plus pitches seven days ago, and the Mariners are currently in the process of getting him additional mound work. The idea was to keep him ready as an option – and not necessarily as a starting pitcher – if they opt to go in that direction. No decision has been made as of yet, but he does remain an option.

If the decision is made to call up Brash, he would first need to be added to the Triple-A club in order to be eligible to be called up. He would also need to be added to the 40-man roster. The Mariners could elect to start him or have him available out of the bullpen. For now, he remains one of the options the Mariners are considering.

It’s worth noting that should things continue to stay interesting, another possible option to add to the bullpen could be AndrĂ©s Muñoz, who has spent the season in Arizona coming back from Tommy John surgery and threw a scoreless inning topping out at 100 mph earlier this week at Tacoma.

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