The Mariners have announced a flurry of roster moves amidst their September call-ups. Among the most notable transactions: lefty James Paxton has been activated from the 10-day disabled list, righty Christian Bergman has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, and righty Rob Whalen has been designated for assignment. The latter two moves were made to clear room on the roster for the contract selections of utilityman Kristopher Negron and righty Justin Grimm.
Paxton has been on the disabled list for the past two weeks after being struck in the left arm by a comebacker. While there was thankfully no structural damage to his pitching arm, the concerns were apparently heavy enough to warrant a trip to the DL. Paxton has been one of the bright spots for the Mariners this season, pitching to a respectable 3.68 ERA that actually seems unlucky when compared to his 3.12 FIP. His 2018 resume also includes 176 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings, as well as a no-hitter against the Blue Jays on May 8th.
Bergman, 30, has made appearances in the majors during each of the past five seasons, pitching for both the Rockies and Mariners. He’s never managed to contribute a whole lot of value, though, as he’s never mustered an ERA south of 4.74 in a given season. Perhaps that’s in part due to his inability to strike batters out; Bergman’s career K/9 sits at just 5.43, while his 39.1% ground ball rate is nothing special, either.
Whalen’s spent time with the Braves organization during his career, but he’s spent the past two seasons with the Mariners. He pitched four innings in long relief against the Red Sox on June 15th, allowing just a hit, a walk, and no earned runs. He failed to strike anyone out, though, and his more extensive Triple-A track record suggests he’s obviously far more flawed than a 0.00 ERA pitcher. In 99 1/3 innings at Tacoma, Whalen’s posted a 5.16 ERA (4.03 FIP) while striking out just under a batter per inning.