ANAHEIM, Calif. — Outfielder Stefen Romero will rejoin the Mariners when they return Friday from the All-Star break with the start of three-game weekend series on the road against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Mariners recalled Romero on Thursday from Triple-A Tacoma after clearing space by optioning left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge back to the Rainiers.
The move means the Mariners are again operating with a four-player bench and a seven-player bullpen.
Romero, 25, batted .283 with three homers and nine RBIs in 11 games at Tacoma following his June 29 demotion. He batted .196 with three homers and 11s RBI in 59 big-league games before that move.
Luetge, 27, returns to Tacoma for the fourth time this season. He pitched one scoreless inning in his only appearance following his July 10 recall.
Walker pushed back
The Mariners signaled that right-hander Taijuan Walker isn’t likely to return immediately to the big-league rotation by pushing his next start for Tacoma back one day.
Walker is slotted to pitch Friday at Reno (Diamondbacks), which takes him off-schedule to reclaim the fifth spot in the Mariners’ rotation for Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets at Safeco Field.
“Taijuan just needs a little more time,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “He got up here this year fairly quick (after battling a shoulder injury). That was, more or less, out of necessity.
“What we’d like to do is have Taijuan get a few more games under his belt. But we’ll see. We haven’t made any kind of commitment.”
The Mariners have made no announcement regarding their starter for Tuesday against the Mets.
Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez started Thursday night for Tacoma.
Left-hander James Paxton made a rehab start Thursday at Short-A Everett as part of his recovery from a strained back muscle. He is likely to need at least one or two more rehab starts before rejoining the Mariners’ rotation.
Zduriencik did acknowledge it’s unlikely Walker will face the Mets.
“That would be challenging,” Zduriencik said, “for him to be able to come back on Tuesday.”
Beavan to Tacoma
Right-hander Blake Beavan is shifting to Tacoma to continue his recovery from shoulder tendinitis, which surfaced during his April 15 start at Texas.
Beavan, 25, returned to game action Monday, when he allowed two runs and three hits in two innings for High-A High Desert in a 7-2 victory at Lake Elsinore (Padres).