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Seattle Mariners release left-handed pitcher Ariel Miranda so he can play in Japan

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Ariel Miranda walks off the field as fans cheer after he pitched six innings of no-hit ball against the Houston Astros during a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Ariel Miranda walks off the field as fans cheer after he pitched six innings of no-hit ball against the Houston Astros during a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

SEATTLE – Ariel Miranda is now the latest player to leave the Mariners’ organization to pursue a playing opportunity in Japan.

On Thursday, Miranda was officially released by Seattle. Baseball sources said the reasoning behind the move was to allow Miranda an opportunity to sign with a team in Nippon Professional Baseball.

It’s something the Mariners did with pitchers like Andrew Albers, Anthony Bass and Seth Frankoff as well as outfielder Stefen Romero.

Miranda had spent most of the season with Class AAA Tacoma, posting a 5-0 record with a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts. In 45 1/3 innings pitched, he’d struck out 40 batters with 24 walks. He made a spot start against the Astros on April 17, pitching five innings and allowing one run on six hits. He spent the last month on the disabled list with the Rainiers, dealing with a blister/fingernail issue on his throwing hand.

With the additions of Mike Leake, Marco Gonzales and Erasmo Ramirez late last season, Miranda slid down the organizational depth chart for starting pitchers. The rejuvenation of Rob Whalen, the re-acquisition of Roenis Elias and the re-signing of Christian Bergman also limited his chances of returning to the big leagues.

A year ago, Miranda led the Mariners’ injury-riddled rotation with 29 total starts. He posted an 8-7 record with a 5.12 ERA while allowing 37 homers, which was the most in the American League. After being acquired from the Orioles midway through the 2016 season in a trade that sent lefty Wade Miley to Baltimore, Miranda became a useful starter for an organization that lacked starting pitching depth at the time. He made 40 starts and had four relief appearances with the Mariners, posting a 13-9 record with a 4.72 ERA. The lack of a viable breaking pitch proved to his biggest hindrance to consistent success.


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