Mariners recall Elías to take Steckenrider’s roster spot, DFA O’Brien

May 27, 2022, 12:12 PM
Mariners Roenis Elias...
Roenis Elias delivers against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on July 22, 2019. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

The Mariners began to shake up their bullpen during their Thursday off day by demoting struggling reliever Drew Steckenrider to Triple-A Tacoma. They announced Steckenrider’s replacement Friday afternoon, with veteran lefty Roenis Elías joining the team.

Mariners option struggling reliever Drew Steckenrider to Triple-A

Elías takes Steckenrider’s place on the 26-man MLB roster, but he was not on the 40-man roster entering Friday. To make room for Elías, the Mariners designated reliever Riley O’Brien for assignment. O’Brien made one appearance for Seattle before being optioned to Triple-A.

Elías, 33, is in his third stint with the Mariners and has posted a 3.63 ERA in 14 appearances for the Rainiers this season.

Steckenrider, 31, was a key part of Seattle’s bullpen in 2021, posting a 2.00 ERA and 14 saves over 62 appearances. But in 16 games in 2022, Steckenrider has a 5.60 ERA and 1.814 WHIP. Additionally, Steckenrider has pitched just one 1-2-3 inning in 2022.

Elías has been with the Mariners once already this season, taking Steckenrider’s place on the roster for the team’s three-game series in Toronto as Steckenrider went on the restricted list. Because Steckenrider went on that list, Elías didn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster in order to join the 26-man MLB roster.

Elías did appear in one game in Toronto, allowing one run in one inning of work while walking two in his first MLB inning since 2019.

The lefty started his professional career with Seattle as an international signing out of Cuba. He made his MLB debut in 2014 and was a member of the Mariners’ starting rotation that year as a rookie as well as in 2015. The Mariners traded Elías to the Boston Red Sox ahead of the 2016 season, but he returned to Seattle as a reliever in 2018, posting a 2.65 ERA in 23 appearances.

Elías was again traded by Seattle in 2019, this time to the Washington Nationals, who won the World Series that season. He again returned to the Mariners, this time ahead of the 2021 season, as a free agent, but he missed the entirety of the season with a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery.

With Elías joining the roster, the Mariners again have two left-handed pitchers in their bullpen. Elías joins Anthony Misiewicz as lefty options for manager Scott Servais.

The Mariners (18-27) sit in last place in the American League West. They will begin a three-game series at home against the first-place Houston Astros (29-16) at 6:40 p.m. Friday night, with coverage starting on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM with the pregame show at 5:30.

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