Mariners place Saucedo on IL, and that’s not the only move

May 8, 2024, 2:25 PM | Updated: 10:52 pm

Seattle Mariners Tayler Saucedo injury Twins 2024...

Tayler Saucedo of the Seattle Mariners is helped off the field after an injury against the Twins on May 7. (David Berding/Getty Images)

(David Berding/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners have placed reliever Tayler Saucedo on the 15-day injured list with a hyperextended right knee after he was injured on a play at first base in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins.

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The Mariners also announced Wednesday that they have optioned starting pitcher Emerson Hancock to Triple-A Tacoma. That move comes as starting pitcher Bryan Woo nears an expected return after opening the season on the injury list.

To fill the open spots on their 26-man active roster, the Mariners reinstated reliever Eduard Bazardo from the 15-day IL and called up reliever Kirby Snead from Triple-A Tacoma. In addition, Seattle transferred reliever Matt Brash to the 60-day IL.

Saucedo, a local product who played at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley and Tacoma Community College, was injured while covering first base on a ground ball from Minnesota’s Austin Martin. With first baseman Ty France fielding the ball well off the bag, Saucedo ran over to first base and received a toss from France, right as Martin was diving headfirst into the bag. Saucedo awkwardly stepped on the base with his right foot and then fell to the ground in pain. He was helped off the field by Seattle’s trainers.

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer of Seattle Sports shared an update on Saucedo from Seattle manager Scott Servais prior to Wednesday’s game at Minnesota.

The injury to Saucedo is the latest for a Mariners bullpen that was already missing a pair of key relievers in Brash and Gregory Santos, who have both been dealing with arm issues since early in spring training. Brash was shut down from his throwing program on April 27 after dealing with elbow inflammation, while Santos is on the 60-day IL with a lat strain.

Saucedo is in his second season with Seattle after spending his first two major league seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. Last year, the 30-year-old left-hander posted a 3.59 ERA in 47 2/3 innings over 52 relief appearances, with 43 strikeouts and 23 walks. In 14 appearances this season, he has a 2.70 ERA with 13 strikeouts and five walks in 13 1/3 innings.

Hancock began the season as Seattle’s No. 5 starter after Woo landed on the injured list. The 24-year-old Hancock has posted a 5.24 ERA in 34 1/3 innings over seven starts, with 23 strikeouts and 11 walks. With Woo set to return after making three dominant rehab starts in Triple-A Tacoma, Hancock’s demotion could mean Woo will slot into the No. 5 spot in the rotation. On Tuesday, however, Servais said Woo’s initial return would likely be used to get Seattle’s other five starting pitchers an extra day of rest.

Bazardo was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles at last year’s trade deadline in exchange for minor league reliever Logan Rinehart. Bazardo allowed four runs in 13 2/3 innings with Seattle last season while totaling 14 strikeouts and four walks. The 28-year-old right-hander began this season on the 15-day IL with a rotator cuff strain before making made five rehab appearances in Triple-A Tacoma.

Snead signed a minor league contract with Seattle in February. The 29-year-old left-hander made his major league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021 and spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Athletics. He has a 5.20 career ERA in 64 innings at the major league level, with 51 strikeouts and 30 walks. He made 12 appearances in Triple-A Tacoma this season.

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