Mariners place Murphy on IL, call up O’Keefe from Tacoma

Aug 16, 2023, 1:49 PM | Updated: 1:53 pm

Seattle Mariners Tom Murphy...

Tom Murphy of the Seattle Mariners at bat against the Detroit Tigers on July 14, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners have done some shuffling with their catcher spot as veteran backstop Tom Murphy is heading to the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, catcher Brian O’Keefe is being called up from Triple-A Tacoma.

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Murphy is being sidelined with a left thumb sprain, the Mariners announced. His IL stint is also retroactive to Monday, Aug. 14.

Murphy, 32, has been one of the Mariners’ better hitters this season, owning a .290/.335/.538 slash line (.873 OPS) with eight home runs, 17 RBIs and 20 extra-base hits in 47 games this year.

Murphy has taken more of a backseat behind the plate to Cal Raleigh, but Murphy has played quite a bit, especially of late. Both he and Raleigh have been hot hitters for the Mariners over the last month, so Raleigh has often been at designated hitter while Murphy has been the team’s catcher.

A pending free agent, Murphy hasn’t played since the Mariners’ 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. Since then, the Mariners have played two games in Kansas City, and Raleigh has been behind the plate for both of those contests.

O’Keefe, 30, has been in the Mariners organization since 2021. He joined the MLB roster last September and his first day with the Mariners was the day Raleigh’s walkoff home run against the Oakland A’s gave Seattle its first playoff appearance since 2001. O’Keefe made his MLB debut the next day, where he went 1-for-2 with his first big league hit. He also picked up a walk.

O’Keefe was a free agent this past offseason but re-signed with the Mariners, and he’s spent all season in Tacoma, where he slashed .240/.325/.511 (.836 OPS) with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs in 86 games as the Rainiers’ main catcher.

The Mariners play the Kansas City Royals at 5:10 p.m. on Wednesday. The game can be heard on Seattle Sports, beginning with pregame coverage at 4 p.m.

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