Mariners reliever Roenis Elias has cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Tacoma, tweets Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. The left-hander had the right to elect free agency but he’ll forego that opportunity and report to the Rainiers in hopes of pitching his way back onto the M’s roster.
Elias has spent the majority of the season in Tacoma, tossing 17 1/3 innings over 14 appearances. He’s allowed only seven runs in that time (3.63 ERA), demonstrating strong control in the process. Elias has walked just 6.8% of batters faced, helping to compensate for a below-average 17.6% strikeout rate.
That generally solid work earned him a pair of looks on the big league roster. The M’s first brought Elias up as a temporary COVID substitute in mid-May, then formally selected him onto the 40-man a couple weeks later. Between the two stints, the 33-year-old worked 7 2/3 innings of three-run ball. He fanned six, walked three and allowed one home run before being designated for assignment this week.
This season’s return marked the culmination of a couple seasons of injury rehab for the veteran hurler. Elias spent all of 2020 on the Nationals’ injured list battling a flexor strain in his forearm. The following spring, he required Tommy John surgery after latching on with the Mariners via minor league deal. That cost him all of last season, but Seattle signed him to a two-year minor league contract to see through the rehab process in hopes of a 2022 comeback. He’s now appeared in parts of seven MLB seasons, compiling a 3.96 ERA in just under 400 innings.