Mariners notebook: Joe Wieland makes it 29 pitchers in 2016

Aug 12, 2016, 6:40 PM | Updated: 7:09 pm
Joe Wieland is the 29th player to pitch in a game for the Mariners during the 2016 season. (AP)...
Joe Wieland is the 29th player to pitch in a game for the Mariners during the 2016 season. (AP)

OAKLAND – With Tuesday’s 15-inning game, the Taijuan Walker demotion and James Paxton’s bruised elbow, the starting rotation for the Mariners has been in a bit of a state of flux.

Ariel Miranda was originally scheduled to start Friday’s opener in Oakland, but after throwing both an inning in relief Tuesday and a bullpen earlier that day, the Mariners looked for a replacement for a spot start and came up with Joe Wieland, who gets the ball tonight.

“He’s been throwing the ball very well, particularly in his last five outings,” manager Scott Servais said in his daily meeting with the media.

Wieland has earned a win in each of his last five starts with Triple-A Tacoma, allowing just eight earned runs in his last 30 innings while striking out 33 and walking four. He will become the record 29th player (28 pitchers and one shortstop) to throw a pitch for the Mariners this year.

“We’ve brought in a lot of new faces and had a lot of success doing it that last 10 days or so,” pointed out Servais. “Give the guy an opportunity and see what happens. I think he will give us a good outing tonight. If he throws the ball like he has been, he should be alright.”

It most likely will be just one start for Wieland as Servais remains optimistic that Paxton will return either Tuesday or Wednesday. If it is Wednesday, another starter will be needed and in that case Miranda could get the nod. Paxton, who is still experiencing a little tightness in his elbow due to the contusion, played catch on the field during batting practice Friday. We should have an update on how that went after the game.

• Steve Cishek has progressed to throwing bullpens and will be sent out to get at least one rehab inning before returning. He is eligible to come off the DL August 17.

• With the off day Thursday, the bullpen is close to being reset, although Servais said he would like to stay away from Nick Vincent on Friday night.

• The Mariners were sporting “M’s Olympics” shirts before the game in a variety of colors representing the teams they have been assigned to. While I do not have the full details, Arquimedes Caminero said in a radio pregame interview that he would be representing his team playing pool. There also will be a water balloon-launching competition of some sort. After early batting practice, Servais and a couple of coaches could be seen launching water balloon with a slingshot. “It’s going to be a good competition. It’s going to be fun,” Servais said. “We’re working on it. That’s why we had the coaches out there trying to figure out the rules of the events. We have a lot of interesting events coming up. The guys are fired up.”

No starting pitcher.

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