The Mariners announced they’ve selected righty Matt Koch onto the big league roster. Veteran reliever Sergio Romo has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 12, due to shoulder inflammation. To create space on the 40-man roster, Seattle transferred Casey Sadler to the 60-day IL.
Koch is back in the majors for the first time since 2019. A former 3rd-round pick of the Mets, he was traded to the Diamondbacks in August 2015. Koch made his MLB debut the following season, the first of four straight in which he’d pick up some big league time. The majority of his work came in 2018, when Koch started 14 of his 19 outings and tossed 86 2/3 innings of 4.15 ERA ball for the Snakes.
Underlying numbers didn’t support Koch’s capable run prevention figure that season, though, and he couldn’t replicate it in nine outings as a multi-inning reliever the following year. The Louisville product allowed eight home runs in 20 2/3 innings in 2019, and Arizona outrighted him off the 40-man roster that May.
Koch spent the 2020 season with the Yakult Swallows in Japan before returning to affiliated ball last season. He worked 63 1/3 frames as a long relief option for the Indians’ top affiliate in Columbus, posting a 5.83 ERA with a subpar 18.8% strikeout rate. Cleveland never gave him an MLB look, but he signed a minors pact with the M’s this past offseason. Assigned to Triple-A Tacoma to open the year, the 31-year-old has punched out five of the six batters he faced to earn a return call to the big leagues. Koch is out of minor league option years; now that he’s back on the 40-man roster, Seattle has to keep him in the majors or designate him for assignment.
The Mariners signed Romo to a $2MM deal in March. The reliable veteran has tossed a pair of scoreless outings to start his tenure in the organization, but that’ll be put on hold while he recovers. The team didn’t provide a timetable for his return. Sadler, meanwhile, is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery last month. His eventual placement on the 60-day IL was a mere formality.
Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times first reported the move.