The Mariners announced a series of roster moves today, including the news that right-hander Bryan Shaw has been designated for assignment and left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. is going to the 10-day injured list due to an elbow impingement. Replacing the two hurlers are southpaw Taylor Guilbeau and righty Ljay Newsome, with Newsome making his first appearance on a Major League roster after his contract was selected.
Shaw signed a big league contract with Seattle just prior to their season opener, and he has an ugly 18.00 ERA over six innings pitched. He was briefly sent down to the Mariners’ alternate training site last week but Shaw had another rough outing last night, giving up two earned runs over 1 2/3 innings.
Given these results, it’s fair to wonder if the M’s could potentially release Shaw if he isn’t claimed off waivers. There wouldn’t be much of a cost associated with a release, as the Mariners are only paying Shaw a prorated league minimum salary. The Rockies are paying the rest of the prorated $9MM salary Shaw was guaranteed this season, as Colorado released the veteran reliever in mid-July.
Cortes has also begun his season in disastrous fashion, allowing runs in all five of his appearances en route to a 15.26 ERA over 7 2/3 innings. The lowlight came last night, as Cortes had to make an emergency start after Yusei Kikuchi was a late scratch, and Cortes proceeded to allow seven earned runs in just one-third of an inning against the Astros. The 25-year-old has yet to break out at the big league level, having posted a 5.80 ERA over 71 1/3 IP with the Orioles and Yankees in 2018-19. Seattle acquired him in a trade with New York last November.
Newsome, 23, was a 26th-round pick for the Mariners in the 2015 draft, and is ranked by MLB.com as the 29th-best prospect in Seattle’s farm system. Newsome has started 91 of his 99 career games in the minors, with a 4.11 ERA, 8.5 K/9, and a very impressive 7.63 K/BB rate over 499 2/3 innings — with only a 1.1 BB/9, Newsome has displayed excellent control.