The Mariners announced Saturday that they’ve designated outfielder Marcus Wilson for assignment and selected the contract of left-hander Brennan Bernardino from Triple-A Tacoma. Left-hander Tommy Milone, meanwhile, has been placed on the 15-day injured list due to a cervical muscle strain.
Wilson made his MLB debut earlier this season, when Seattle selected his contract from Triple-A in late June. A member of the active roster for a little over a week, Wilson got into three games and made six plate appearances during this cup of coffee in the majors. The 25-year-old is a veteran of eight minor league seasons with the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, and Mariners, breaking in as a second-round pick for Arizona in the 2014 draft. Wilson came to Seattle via another trip to the DFA wire, as the Mariners claimed him away from Boston last year.
Wilson has a respectable .250/.352/.406 slash line and 66 home runs in an even 2800 PA in his minor league career. Between this decent bat and the ability to play all three outfield positions, Wilson has some value to any team looking for outfield depth.
The veteran Milone has a 5.40 ERA in 16 2/3 innings this season, after Seattle selected his minors contract to the big league roster last month. The M’s have been relatively short on left-handed relief options all season, as Ryan Borucki is the now the only veteran southpaw in the bullpen. It stands to reason that the Mariners will explore adding more relievers before Tuesday’s trade deadline, but Milone’s injury also gives Bernardino the opportunity to make his Major League debut.
A 26th-round pick for the Reds back in the 2014 draft, Bernardino pitched in the Cincinnati and Cleveland farm systems for the first six seasons of his pro career. He then turned to the Mexican League, and was pitching for Toros de Tijuana when Seattle inked him to a minor league deal earlier this season. Bernardino’s return to affiliated ball has been quite successful, with a 3.07 ERA, 7.1% walk rate, and a whopping 40.5% strikeout rate in 44 innings as a starter with Triple-A Tacoma.
Berardino will likely be deployed in a long relief role for as long as he’s on the big league roster, and he could even be a spot starter candidate. While the Mariners have six starters on paper, the club will be looking to limit the innings of George Kirby and Logan Gilbert, so Berardino could jump in as a piggyback starter or perhaps as a full-fledged starter.