Better late than never
Photo: Jon Wells
Roenis Elias is back with the Mariners, replacing LHP Marc Rzepczynski
Marc Rzepczynski leaves the M's after posting an ugly 9.39 ERA this season
In a long overdue move, the Mariners have finally cut bait with ineffective reliever Marc Rzepczynski. The lefty specialist, who had been reasonably good in his first year with Seattle, was in the midst of a horrendous campaign in which he's amassed a 9.39 ERA over 18 appearances out of the 'pen.
The ten-year veteran was signed to a two-year contract following the 2016 season, in which he was an excellent LOOGY option with Oakland and Washington, having posted a 2.64 ERA in 70 games (56 with Oakland, 14 with Washington). In 2017, he went 2-2 with a 4.02 ERA for the Mariners, which was hardly what the club was expecting but not awful, either. This year the wheels completely fell off Zep's wagon, though. In his most recent outing, May 30th against the Rangers, Rzepczynski faced three batters, walking two and serving up a base hit to the other, and allowed all inherited runners to score.
With his history of success prior to his Seattle years, Zep will likely find a spot on another big-league team, at least in the short term. The Mariners have designated him for assignment, meaning they have a week to trade, release, or outright Rzepczynski to the minors should he clear waivers.
To fill his roster spot, Seattle has promoted pitcher Roenis Elias to the big club. The Cuban lefty has been starting for the Rainiers in Triple-A (2-4, 4.94), but figures to be in the bullpen for the Mariners for now. This is Elias' second time pitching for the Mariners. Signed by Seattle after defecting from Cuba, Elias made his Major League debut with the M's in 2014 on his way to a 10-12, 3.85 season as a starter. He was traded to the Red Sox after the 2015 season for Wade Miley (who was later traded to Baltimore for another Cuban southpaw, Ariel Miranda). The Mariners reacquired Elias from Boston this past April for a player to be named or cash considerations.