The Mariners announced this evening they’ve selected first baseman Mike Ford to the major league club. Catcher/designated hitter Luis Torrens has been placed on the COVID-19 injured list in a corresponding move. (Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times first reported the transactions). Seattle’s 40-man roster remains full.
Ford signed a minor league pact with Seattle over the offseason. The Princeton product broke in with an impressive .259/.350/.559 showing in 163 plate appearances with the Yankees in 2019, but he’s scuffled over the past couple seasons. Since the start of the 2020 campaign, Ford has mustered just a .134/.250/.276 line in 156 trips to the dish. He bounced from the Yankees to the Rays to the Nationals in the second half of last season. Washington non-tendered Ford at the end of the year.
The 29-year-old has gotten out to a nice start with Triple-A Tacoma this season. He’s hitting .317/.404/.488 with more walks than strikeouts through eleven games. That earns him another big league call, where he’ll add a left-handed bat to the bench for skipper Scott Servais.
The Mariners didn’t specify whether Ford is being promoted as a “substitute player.” Under the 2022 health and safety protocols, commissioner Rob Manfred has the sole discretion to determine whether teams are sufficiently impacted by COVID-19 to add a substitute to the roster. In either case, players on the COVID IL won’t count against the 40-man roster, but only designated substitutes can be removed from the 40-man without passing through waivers when affected players return. Mitch Haniger is also on the COVID-19 IL after testing positive over the weekend.