SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners call up prospect Juan Then; Penn Murfee to IL

May 6, 2023, 4:15 PM | Updated: 4:23 pm

Seattle Mariners Juan Then...

Juan Then of the Seattle Mariners looks on during a spring training game on Feb. 24, 2023. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Another MLB debut by a Seattle Mariners prospect appears imminent.

The Mariners have recalled right-handed pitcher Juan Then from Double-A Arkansas, their No. 23 prospect per MLB.com, and placed reliable reliever Penn Murfee on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation prior to their Saturday night contest against the Houston Astros.

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The move was announced Saturday afternoon, and Then’s promotion was expected as he was in the Mariners’ clubhouse Friday at T-Mobile Park.

If Then is called into action, he would be the third player to make their big league debut with the Mariners this season, joining infielder José Caballero and starting pitcher Bryce Miller.

Murfee, a 29-year-old right-hander with a funky sidearm delivery, has appeared in 15 games for the Mariners in 2023, posting a 1.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .116 opponent average and 15 strikeouts to nine walks over 13 innings. He was a workhorse out of the bullpen as a rookie for Seattle in 2022, throwing 69 1/3 innings over 64 appearances to the tune of a 2.99 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.

Then, 23, has been around the Mariners organization for the majority of the past six years after signing with Seattle as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic as a 16 year old in 2016. He was traded to the New York Yankees in November 2017, then traded back to the Mariners in June 2019 in a one-for-one swap that sent Edwin Encarnación to the Bronx.

In 2023, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Then has pitched in seven games for Double-A Arkansas, recording three saves. He has a 5.00 ERA and 1.44 WHIP with the Travelers, with 11 strikeouts to three walks over nine innings.

Then primarily pitched for Arkansas in 2022 but had two Arizona Rookie League appearances. He transitioned to the bullpen last year after starting 12 games for the Single-A Everett AquaSox in 2021.

In Cactus League play with the Mariners this spring training, Then made four relief appearances, allowing one run on three hits and no walks with four strikeouts over three innings.

Per Then’s prospect profile from MLB.com, he features a fastball, slider and changeup, all of which grade at 50 or above on the 20-80 baseball rating scale.

The Seattle Mariners will play the second of their three-game home series against the Houston Astros at 6:40 p.m. Saturday night, with radio coverage being carried by Seattle Sports beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the pregame show. Here’s the Mariners’ Saturday lineup:

Photos: Seattle Mariners break out City Connect uniforms for first time

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