2:15PM: Brash’s contract has officially been selected. Right-hander Matt Andriese was designated for assignement in the corresponding move.
11:17AM: The Mariners will select the contract of pitching prospect Matt Brash before today’s game with the Athletics, assistant GM Justin Hollander said in an interview with ESPN 710 radio (hat tip to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times). The M’s have a space on their 40-man roster to accommodate Brash, though they’ll have to make another move to make room on the active roster.
Brash was seen yesterday working out with the Mariners, so speculation immediately arose that the 23-year-old right-hander was on the verge of his MLB debut. Brash is expected to pitch today in relief of scheduled starter Tyler Anderson, who is throwing on only two days’ rest.
Joining a team in the thick of a playoff race is quite the step for a pitcher who hasn’t even made an appearance at the Triple-A level, let alone the majors. Brash was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma on Friday but didn’t get a chance to pitch for Tacoma before getting the call to the Show.
A fourth-round pick for the Padres in the 2019 draft, Brash came to Seattle in the August 2020 trade deadline swap that saw Taylor Williams head to San Diego. His first year in the Mariners organization has been a successful one, as Brash has a 2.31 ERA and an outstanding 35.06% strikeout rate over 97 1/3 innings (42 1/3 IP at High-A ball, 55 IP at Double-A), starting 19 of his 20 games. Control is a bit of a red flag, as Brash has an 11.85% walk rate this season.
Baseball America and MLB Pipeline each rank Brash within the Mariners’ top 10 prospects, with BA placing Brash ninth and Pipeline putting him right at the #10 spot. Brash’s slider has taken steps forward this year but his fastball is his top pitch, clocking “up to 99 mph with high spin rates,” according to Baseball America’s scouting report. That same report also notes that Brash drew some trade attention from other teams, so the Canadian’s breakout year has impressed evaluators beyond just Seattle’s organization.
The Mariners enter today’s action just 1.5 games back of the second AL wild card slot. The Yankees hold the first wild card position and are a game ahead of the Red Sox, while the Blue Jays sit a game behind Boston (and a half-game ahead of Seattle). The A’s are also still in the mix, 3.5 games back of Boston and with two remaining games in this series with the M’s. This division rivalry has become surprisingly one-sided, however, as Seattle is 13-4 against Oakland this season.
With the postseason race this tight, the Mariners are turning to all available arms to help, even inexperienced youngsters like Brash. Yusei Kikuchi had been the scheduled starter for today’s game, but Kikuchi has been so inconsistent over the last two months that the M’s are instead opting with the Anderson/Brash combination. If Brash is able, he might be in line for more than one multi-inning appearance down the stretch (or, the Mariners hope, into the playoffs).