The Mariners announced Thursday that they’ve selected the contract of lefty Taylor Guilbeau from Triple-A Tacoma and placed right-hander Brandon Brennan on the 10-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation.
Guilbeau, 26, currently ranks 22nd among Mariners prospects at both MLB.com and Baseball America. Seattle acquired the hard-throwing southpaw in the trade that sent Roenis Elias to the Nationals, and he’ll step into the Seattle bullpen after just five innings with the team’s Tacoma affiliate.
A tenth-round pick by the Nationals back in 2015, Guilbeau posted mixed results as a starter before enjoying greater success out of the ’pen. Last season was Guilbeau’s first full year as a reliever, and after an ugly outing to begin the season in early May, he rattled off 35 1/3 innings of 1.53 ERA ball in Class-A Advanced and averaged nearly a strikeout per inning along the way. Control has long been an issue for Guilbeau, but he’s been better in that department in 2019. Through 48 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, he’s worked to a 2.77 ERA with 10.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate near 58 percent.
MLB.com’s scouting report on Guilbeau notes that the move to relief substantially bolstered his fastball, and he was throwing 95 to 96 mph in last year’s Arizona Fall League. In addition to an impressive fastball, Guilbeau has an above-average slider but draws more questionable reviews on his changeup and ability to locate the ball. The Mariners likely view Guilbeau as a pure relief option, and his proximity to the big leagues undoubtedly held appeal as well. Adding players either at the MLB level or close to graduating there has been a point of emphasis for the Mariners in their rebuild, and Guilbeau will now get an opportunity to show that he’s deserving of a long-term place in the Seattle relief corps.
The 28-year-old Brennan will return to the injured list after making just three appearances. The Rule 5 pick allowed a solo homer and a walk in two innings of work before landing back on the IL due to shoulder discomfort for the second time this season.