The Mariners have announced the claim of lefty Dean Kiekhefer off waivers from the Cardinals. Seattle now has four open spots remaining on its 40-man roster.
Kiekhefer, 27, debuted last year for the Cardinals, but didn’t impress in his 22 frames. He allowed 13 earned runs with a 14:7 K/BB ratio over that span while averaging just 88 mph with his fastball. Right-handed hitters mashed against the soft-tossing southpaw, though he did limit opposing lefties to a .209/.261/.326 slash. Presumably, Seattle has thoughts of possibly using him in a LOOGY role.
Things do look a lot more promising when you glance at the minor league numbers. Kiekhefer has shown masterful command, permitting just 1.2 walks per nine to fuel a 2.38 ERA through 151 Triple-A innings, though he has never been much of a strikeout pitcher (6.5 K/9 in the highest level of the minors).