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Mariners Notebook: M’s plan to recall Andrew Moore to start against Royals

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Andrew Moore, right, high-fives Guillermo Heredia in the dugout during the sixth inning of the team’s  game against the Detroit Tigers on June 22, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Andrew Moore, right, high-fives Guillermo Heredia in the dugout during the sixth inning of the team’s game against the Detroit Tigers on June 22, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
By Bob Dutton Tacoma News Tribune

SEATTLE – Right-hander Andrew Moore, as expected, will be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma once the Mariners return from their weekend stay at Angel Stadium.

Tentative plans call for Moore to start Monday in the series opener against Kansas City at Safeco Field. If so, that means right-hander Felix Hernandez will get an extra day of rest prior to a Tuesday start against the Royals.

“We need another starter,” manager Scott Servais said in confirming plans to recall Moore. “He did a very good job the last time he was here.”

Moore, 23, made his major-league debut June 22 by allowing three runs over seven innings in a 9-6 victory over Detroit. He was optioned back to Tacoma the following day to clear space for Hernandez to return from the disabled list.

Two open dates this week meant the Mariners didn’t need five starters, but they started a stretch of 10 games in 10 days Friday when they opened a three-game weekend series against the Angels.

Sending Moore to Tacoma also allowed the Mariners to limit him to 76 pitches in a June 27 start against Las Vegas (Mets). He threw 100 pitches against the Tigers and averaged 90 over his two previous minor-league starts.

“We were going to limit him…,” Servais said. “That was by design. I’m real conscious with young pitchers about three-start increments.”

Moore appears in line for an extended stay this time around. When the Mariners promoted him in late June, they were still anticipating Drew Smyly and Hisashi Iwakuma would be returning from the disabled list by mid-July.

No longer.

Smyly was diagnosed last week with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He will undergo surgery July 6 and isn’t likely to pitch again for 12 to 15 months.

The Mariners shut down Iwakuma after a disastrous rehab start lasting just two innings on June 19 for Tacoma because of ongoing concerns regarding what they continue to characterize as shoulder inflammation.

Servais indicated Iwakuma might be able to resume a throwing program before the All-Star break. Even so, and barring further setbacks, it’s hard to see him returning before August.

That leaves the Mariners, starting Friday, with a rotation of Ariel Miranda, Sam Gaviglio, James Paxton, Moore and Hernandez. That group should cycle through twice prior to the All-Star break.

And probably thereafter. At least for a while.

Moore was a second-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. He is 17-8 with a 2.58 ERA in 58 games over three minor-league seasons, including 3-1 and 3.06 this season in nine starts at Tacoma.

Sticking with Diaz

No surprise here, either: Servais confirmed Edwin Diaz remains the Mariners’ closer despite two rocky outings earlier this week against Philadelphia.

“I talked with Eddie today,” Servais said. “He’s got to execute a little better and get back to simplifying a few things. `What do you do best?’ Let’s focus on that. Let’s get back into doing that more consistently.”

Diaz gave up four runs in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday in a “get work” outing, which prompted criticism from Servais for a perceived lack of focus.

One day later, Diaz inherited a one-run lead in the ninth inning. He gave up the tying run on a leadoff homer before allowing the Phillies to score the eventual winning run on a walk, a balk and a single.

Diaz is 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA over 31 appearances. His blown save Wednesday was his third this season in 15 chances.

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