Mariners call up Matt Brash but will start Tyler Anderson on short rest

Sep 28, 2021, 10:35 AM | Updated: 1:23 pm

Mariners Tyler Anderson...

Mariners pitcher Tyler Anderson throws during the first inning against the Red Sox on Sept. 14. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The Mariners have settled who will make the most intriguing start of their season to date on Tuesday night, but the intrigue doesn’t stop there.

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Veteran left-hander Tyler Anderson, a midseason trade acquisition by Seattle, will start Tuesday on short rest against the Oakland Athletics in place of the struggling Yusei Kikuchi, just three days after Anderson’s last appearance. That much we knew after the Mariners’ 13-4 win Monday night when it was announced by manager Scott Servais. It wasn’t until Monday morning in an interview with Mariners assistant general manager Justin Hollander on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show that it was revealed there’s more to the Mariners’ plan.

Hollander confirmed that pitching prospect Matt Brash would be called up from Triple-A Tacoma in time for Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. game, and Seattle is promoting him with the intention of using him if needed while just 1.5 games out of a wild card spot.

“I think you will see him tonight. We will add him today to our roster,” Hollander said. “If there is a time to put him in the game, we will work to put him in the game. Obviously T.A. will start the game and we’ll go from there.”

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The Mariners made the move official Tuesday afternoon, with right-handed reliever Matt Andriese designated for assignment to make room for Brash on both the Mariners’ active and 40-man rosters.

Anderson has been a revelation since coming to the Mariners in a trade with Pittsburgh in late July, but he’s also coming off his worst start in a Mariners uniform. On Saturday, he allowed nine earned runs in just two-plus innings in a 14-1 loss to the Angels, but that kept him to just 54 pitches, opening the door for him to pitch Tuesday on short rest. The other good news about Anderson pitching Tuesday is that he is just eight days removed from beating the A’s with a seven-inning, four-hit, one-run performance with seven strikeouts on Sept. 20.

Hollander said the 31-year-old Anderson was “adamant” that he wanted the ball Tuesday even though another rough outing could hurt his earning potential as a free agent this upcoming offseason.

“The idea was presented that this was a possibility. Tyler was 100% committed to this is what he wanted to do,” Hollander told Salk. “We had to decide whether we wanted to allow him to do it, obviously pitching on short rest and on the verge of free agency, and he was adamant that the only thing that matters to him is competing and going to the playoffs this year. And in that case, it just made a lot of sense for us to start the game with T.A. He’s a strike-thrower, he’s been through it, he’s competitive. We thought that gave us the best chance to win.”

On 710 ESPN Seattle’s weekly Scott Servais Show on Tuesday afternoon, Mariners manager Scott Servais said that Anderson’s start will be short, maybe as short as just a couple of innings. He added that he stressed with Anderson that he needs to be “open” and “transparent” about how he’s feeling during the game so the M’s can best determine when it’s time to go to the bullpen.

As for Brash, his call-up Tuesday will be the biggest step yet in what has been a remarkable rise since the Mariners acquired him from the San Diego Padres in a trade for reliever Taylor Williams in 2020. The 23-year-old Canadian and 2019 fourth-round pick will have gone from Single-A Everett all the way to the majors in a matter of months this year. His stuff – particularly a nasty slider – has turned heads every step of the way, especially with his role as the starting pitcher in a combined no-hitter thrown by Double-A Arkansas earlier this month.

“Very excited for Matt, for our scouting and development staff. Matt started the year in Everett – that’s not a usual journey – and had thrown five innings in his professional career before the season,” Hollander said with a laugh.

Andriese, a seven-year MLB veteran, joined the Mariners on Aug. 22 and has appeared in eight games since, including recording the final three outs in Monday’s win. With Seattle, the 32-year-old Andriese has a 2.45 ERA and 1.091 WHIP over 11 innings.

You can hear the full interview with Hollander at this link or in the player below. And catch Game 2 of the Mariners’ three-game series against Oakland at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday night on 710 ESPN Seattle, with coverage starting at 6 with the pregame show.

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