Mariners activate reliever Gregory Santos from injured list

Jul 8, 2024, 1:44 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm

Seattle Mariners Gregory Santos photo day 2024...

Seattle Mariners reliever Gregory Santos poses during photo day at 2024 spring training. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

One of the Seattle Mariners’ biggest offseason acquisitions is in position to make his long-awaited season debut.

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The Mariners activated hard-throwing reliever Gregory Santos from the 60-day injured list on Monday afternoon, marking the final step in the 24-year-old right-hander’s recovery from a right lat strain that he suffered in spring training. Santos was expected to be a major piece of Seattle’s bullpen after being acquired in a Feb. 3 trade with the Chicago White Sox, but missed the entire first half of the season after experiencing multiple setbacks in his rehab process.

The move comes ahead of a six-game Southern California road trip heading into the All-Star break. The Mariners open a two-game set against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night before heading to Anaheim for a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.

Santos could provide a major boost to Seattle’s injury-depleted bullpen, giving the club another high-leverage arm to bridge the gap between its elite starting rotation and standout closer Andrés Muñoz. The Mariners have gone all season without hard-throwing reliever Matt Brash, who underwent Tommy John surgery. They also are missing lefty reliever Gabe Speier, who has been sidelined since the start of June with a rotator cuff strain.

In his first full season in the majors last year, Santos posted a 3.39 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 17 walks in 66 1/3 innings with the White Sox. He made a combined five appearances with the San Francisco Giants in 2021 and 2022 before he was traded to Chicago in December 2022.

Santos pitched two scoreless innings over a pair of rehab appearances at Triple-A Tacoma and High-A Everett in the past week. He struck out two of the seven batters he faced and allowed only one hit.

In a corresponding roster move, the Mariners optioned right-handed starter Emerson Hancock to Triple-A Tacoma. The 25-year-old Hancock was called up to start Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, due to No. 5 starter Bryan Woo being on the IL with a hamstring strain. Hancock pitched four innings, allowing two runs and six hits.

In addition, Mariners reserve catcher Seby Zavala cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma. Seattle designated him for assignment on Saturday.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Mariners have a glaring All-Star snub due to MLB’s Yankees pick
• MRI comes back clean for Mariners OF Julio Rodríguez
• Mariners RHPs Bryan Woo, Gregory Santos feeling good after rehab outings
• Which prospect is Seattle Mariners’ best trade chip? MLB insider explains
• Could Seattle Mariners lure a star away from Blue Jays?

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