SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners activate hard-throwing RHP Andrés Muñoz from IL for final postseason push

Oct 2, 2021, 5:44 PM
Mariners Andrés Muñoz...
The Mariners activated RHP Andrés Muñoz for the final two games of the year. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Hard-throwing 22-year-old reliever Andrés Muñoz hasn’t pitched a game for the Mariners since Seattle acquired him at the 2020 trade deadline. Heck, he hasn’t pitched in MLB since 2019. But that may change as the Mariners activated the young flamethrower from the injured list for the team’s final two games of the season while placing veteran reliever Joe Smith on the injured list (no reason given).

Playoff Scenarios: M’s must win Saturday and Sunday to stay alive

Muñoz, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound hurler, came to Seattle in the same trade that saw the Mariners acquire first baseman Ty France, catcher/designated hitter Luis Torrens and young outfielder Taylor Trammell.

Unlike those three, though, Muñoz has yet to play in a big league game for the Mariners. That’s because he underwent Tommy John surgery after the 2019 season while he was with the Padres.

In his first taste of MLB action at just 20 years old, Muñoz did very well for the Padres out of the bullpen, striking out 30 and posting a 3.91 ERA in 23 innings. The advanced numbers also show just how dominant Muñoz can be.

Per Statcast, Muñoz’s fastball in 2019 was in the 100th percentile in terms of velocity. Meaning the best of the best. He averaged 99.9 mph on the 4-seamer in 275 pitches.

Muñoz is a flamethrower, but he also has a stellar secondary offering in his slider. Opponents hit just .065 (2-31) off the pitch in 2019 and he recorded 18 of his 30 strikeouts with the breaking ball.

The Mariners’ bullpen has been stellar this year, led by Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider, Casey Sadler and, more recently, Diego Castillo. But Muñoz gives manager Scott Servais another stellar arm in the back of the bullpen for the last two games of the year, which are both must-wins as any loss knocks the Mariners out of postseason contention.

And while he won’t be back like Muñoz, it’s worth noting that Ken Giles, who has also spent 2021 recovering from Tommy John, will join Muñoz, Sewald, Steckenrider, Sadler and Castillo in the Mariners’ bullpen in 2022.

Flexen: Mariners ‘ready to compete and continue to fight together’

See you next season

Chevrolet Silverado

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Griffey...
The Associated Press

Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. joins Mariners ownership group

Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is investing in the Mariners in a way he never has before. He’ll be part of the ownership group going forward.
2 days ago
Mariners Blue Jays Marcus Semien...
Brent Stecker

Morosi: Marcus Semien, Trevor Story make sense for Mariners to target

With the Mariners committed to J.P. Crawford at shortstop but interested in the SS free-agency class, Jon Morosi details the two names that fit the best.
2 days ago
Mariners Shed Long Jr....
Shannon Drayer

Mariners make 6 roster moves ahead of 40-man roster crunch

The Mariners announced six player moves Friday afternoon, creating three 40-man roster spots ahead of an expected offseason roster crunch.
5 days ago
Mariners...
Mike Salk

Mariners’ Mitch Haniger, Jerry Dipoto sound more like they’re on same page

Comments Thursday by Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto about Mitch Haniger on 710 ESPN Seattle paint a better picture about a possible extension than before.
5 days ago
Mariners Semien Crawford...
Brent Stecker

Jerry Dipoto addresses how Mariners may find a fit in SS free-agency class

The Mariners have their shortstop, so why would they be interested in one of the big name free agent shortstops? Jerry Dipoto sheds some light.
6 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Is the future of the Mariners’ outfield as set as we thought?

The outfield is where the Mariners appeared to have the brightest future entering 2021, but the way the season played out changed some things.
10 days ago
Mariners activate hard-throwing RHP Andrés Muñoz from IL for final postseason push