Mariners Updates: Ty France back, Diego Castillo to IL, latest on Haniger

Jul 28, 2022, 2:19 PM | Updated: 3:07 pm
Mariners Diego Castillo...
Mariners pitcher Diego Castillo tips his cap as he leaves a game on July 23. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

There is good news and bad news in regards to the Mariners’ roster ahead of a big series in Houston, which will be the last time they see the Astros this regular season.

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On the positive side, All-Star first baseman Ty France is back in the lineup after sitting Wednesday due to a sore wrist aggravated by a swing the day before, which is an ongoing problem stemming from an injury he suffered in 2021.

France’s presence will be valuable as he owns a .350/.409/.567 slash line with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 15 games this year against Houston. The 11 RBIs are the most for him against any opponent this year, and the four homers are tied for the most.

The flip side, however, is that Seattle will be without key relief pitcher Diego Castillo for the time being as he has landed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. The Mariners recalled rookie Matt Brash, who had been optioned back to Triple-A on Tuesday in order for starting pitcher George Kirby to return to the team.

Castillo, 28, has been an important part of a strong Mariners bullpen this season, especially since a turning point on May 15 when he recorded a save in a high-pressure spot in New York against the Mets. In 26 games from then on, Castillo has allowed just five earned runs over 26 innings (1.73 ERA) with 26 strikeouts.

He has a 7-1 record, six saves and 3.71 ERA in 39 appearances this season, but his last outing was a bit worrisome, and it turns out for good reason. Castillo recorded just one out while allowing a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth inning Monday against the Texas Rangers, with Erik Swanson having to take over to get the final two outs for the save in a 4-3 Seattle victory.

The Mariners expect Castillo back once his required 15 days on the IL are up, according to Mariners insider Shannon Drayer of Seattle Sports.

Brash, 24, has allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings over five appearances as a reliever with the Mariners this year, striking out six and walking four. He began the season as Seattle’s No. 5 starting pitcher but was sent to Triple-A to transition to a relief role after five starts. He is still working on commanding his impressive fastball and breaking pitches.

In other Mariners injury news, Mitch Haniger remains on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma, and he still has a few steps to go before rejoining the team following his recovery from a high-ankle sprain. On The Jerry Dipoto Show on Thursday morning (listen here), the Mariners general manager said Haniger will need to play back-to-back days in the outfield before being activated by the M’s. Haniger has played five games on his rehab assignment – three with Single-A Everett, two with Tacoma – and has been the designated hitter in those two games for the Rainiers.

As for Thursday’s series opener against the American League West-leading Astros (64-35), the Mariners (54-45) will opt for veteran Carlos Santana as the DH after Kyle Lewis manned the position Wednesday. Shortstop J.P. Crawford moves up to the No. 5 spot in the order, with left fielder Jesse Winker down to seventh.

Logan Gilbert will start on the mound for Seattle against Houston’s José Urquidy.

Coverage of the game will be carried on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM, and the Seattle Sports app beginning at 4 p.m.with the pregame show. Listeners located in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Alaska can stream M’s broadcasts from Seattle Sports for free. For details, click here.

Here is the full Mariners lineup for Thursday:

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Date Starting Pitcher
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