Mariners DFA Drew Steckenrider, key member of 2021 bullpen

Jun 11, 2022, 1:53 PM
Mariners Drew Steckenrider...
Mariners RHP Drew Steckenrider sits in the dugout after being pulled from a loss to Texas on April 21. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Seattle Mariners may be moving on from Drew Steckenrider.

Is Julio Rodríguez already M’s most irreplaceable player?

The 31-year-old right-hander reliever was designated for assignment by the team on Saturday, making room for infielder Kevin Padlo, who Seattle claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

Steckenrider was a key part of the standout Mariners bullpen that played a big role in their 90-win season in 2021, leading the team with 14 saves while posting a 2.00 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 58 strikeouts to 17 walks over 62 appearances (67 2/3 innings). He was a surprise contributor in that Seattle signed him to minor league contract in November 2020, though he made the team out of spring training.

Unfortunately for Steckenrider and the Mariners, he failed to replicate his success in 2022. After allowing nine earned runs in 14 1/3 innings over 16 appearances with Seattle for a 5.65 ERA and 1.814 WHIP, he was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on May 26. His struggles have continued with the Rainiers, as he has allowed four runs (three earned) in four innings over four appearances, striking out three and walking three.

In MLB play this year, batters posted a slash line of .333/.382/.540 against Steckenrider, who was also allowing 13.2 hits per nine innings. Each of those numbers are the worst of his career in the big leagues.

Steckenrider, along with starter Robbie Ray, did not make the trip with the Mariners to Toronto for a series with the Blue Jays last month. The Canadian government requires a person to have received a COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days before entering the country.

Prior to joining the Mariners, Steckenrider spent three seasons with the Miami Marlins. The Atlanta native and University of Tennessee product did not play during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Padlo, 25, is returning to the Mariners’ system for the second time. He will report to Triple-A Tacoma.

Seattle claimed Padlo from Tampa Bay last August and he played in just one game for the team, going 0 for 1 in his lone plate appearance. He did not appear in the field for the Mariners.

The Giants purchased Padlo on April 26, and he played four games for San Francisco, going 2 for 12 and playing both third base and first base. He was designated for assignment by the Giants on Thursday.

In 27 career MLB plate appearances, Padlo has three hits, including one double, and two walks.

Friday: Mariners activate Erik Swanson from IL, demote Anthony Misiewicz

Date Starting Pitcher
Thursday, March 30 @ 7:10 pm Guardians' Shane Bieber RHP vs. Mariners' Luis Castillo RHP

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