Seattle Mariners

Edgar Olmos recalled from Tacoma to aid beleaguered bullpen

Left-hander Edgar Olmos, who was scratched from his scheduled start for the Tacoma Rainiers and was called up to the Seattle Mariners, pitched in five games for the Miami Marlins in 2013.
Left-hander Edgar Olmos, who was scratched from his scheduled start for the Tacoma Rainiers and was called up to the Seattle Mariners, pitched in five games for the Miami Marlins in 2013. AP file, 2013

It’s seems fitting, somehow, that Edgar Olmos’ return to the big leagues came Monday when the Seattle Mariners opened a three-game series at Texas.

Had things gone differently this spring, Olmos might have been occupying a spot in the Rangers’ bullpen.

Texas acquired him in a February waiver claim before getting the deal voided when a routine exam revealed a shoulder injury

“I let the Mariners know in January that it wasn’t feeling 100 percent,” Olmos said. “We did some rehab stuff with it just to keep it under control and to see what it was. It just got a little worse.

“When I went over to Texas, that’s when the doctor found out it was posterior cuff impingements. So they sent me back here. I got healthy, and now I’m happy.”

The Mariners recalled Olmos, a 25-year-old lefty, on Monday from Triple-A Tacoma to aid a relief corps suffering from fatigue and shell shock after a rough weekend in Boston.

The bullpen worked 19 innings over the three previous games while allowing 22 runs and 29 hits. The Mariners recalled Danny Farquhar on Saturday morning, and he pitched 3 2/3 innings over the next two games.

Olmos is next in line after putting together 13 scoreless innings over his last five appearances at Tacoma, including two spot starts.

“I don’t really know Olmos,” manager Lloyd McClendon conceded. “I didn’t see him much in spring training. They tell me he’s pitching well and throwing strikes. We need a pitcher. He’s the obvious choice.”

Olmos got a quick call, too. He replaced starter Taijuan Walker in Monday’s game against the Rangers and worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Mariners cleared space by optioning lefty reliever Rob Rasmussen to the Rainiers. Rasmussen worked each of the three weekend games in Boston. He departs after allowing 12 runs and 14 hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Olmos had been scheduled to start Sunday night for the Rainiers at Oklahoma City before the Mariners sent out their summons. He was 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA overall at Tacoma in 20 games, including two starts.

“I believe I’m a big-league pitcher,” said Olmos, whose only previous big-league time consists of five relief innings in 2013 at Miami. “If I have confidence in myself, I’ll be able to perform better. I feel like I belong.”

The Mariners acquired Olmos from the Marlins in a Nov. 20, 2014 waiver claim but designated him for assignment just prior to the start of spring training. The Rangers claimed him ... and then sent him back.

“In June I started feeling like my old self,” he said. “Then after about five outings, I felt like, ‘OK, now I’m good. I’m in the clear.’”

IWAKUMA CITED

Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma reaped another benefit from pitching a no-hitter Wednesday in a 3-0 victory against Baltimore when he was selected Monday as the American League player of the week.

Iwakuma’s no-hitter was the first by an American League pitcher since Felix Hernandez’s perfect game on Aug, 12, 2012 in a 1-0 victory against Tampa Bay at Safeco Field.

The gem also validated Iwakuma’s return to form after missing 11 weeks this season because of a strained latissimus dorsi muscle in his back. He is 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA in eight starts since returning from the disabled list.

“He’s healthy,” McClendon said. “He’s throwing the ball well. He’s giving us consistent innings. We need him to continue to do that.”

On Tuesday, Iwakuma will pitch for the first time since his no-hitter when he faces the Rangers in middle game of a three-game series at Globe Life Park.

“I’ve prepared the same way I usually do,” he said. “That’s not going to change. I’m going to keep it the same as always.”

The weekly award is the first in Iwakuma’s career, but he said he won multiple player of the month awards during his 11 seasons in Japan prior to signing with the Mariners in January 2012.

Iwakuma is the third Mariner to be selected this season as the AL player of the week. Right fielder Nelson Cruz won it for the week ending April 19, and shortstop Brad Miller won it for the week ending May 17.

CANO’S CLIMB

Robinson Cano continues to dig out from an early-season slump that prompted wide-spread concern that, nearing his 33rd birthday, he is no longer one of the game’s elite players.

Cano matched a career high with five hits in Sunday’s 10-8 victory at Boston, which boosted his average to .274 — its highest point since April 26.

The only other five-hit game in Cano’s career was July 30, 2011, when he went 5-for-5 while playing for the Yankees in a 17-3 victory over Baltimore in the second game of a doubleheader in New York.

Cano’s five-hit game against the Red Sox included his 11th homer in 45 games since June 22. He had just two in his first 67 games.

Further, Cano has thrived in 23 games since moving into the cleanup spot, batting .358 with a .419 on-base percentage and a .589 slugging percentage for a 1.008 on-base plus slugging (OPS).

MINOR AWARDS

Veteran Tacoma right-hander Chien-Ming Wang was picked as the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week after his three-hit shutout Saturday in a 2-0 victory at Oklahoma City (Dodgers).

Wang, 35, walked four and struck out two in a 112-pitch effort. He is 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA overall in seven games since signing a minor-league deal July 11 with the Mariners.

Wang is the first Tacoma player this season to win one of the PCL’s weekly awards.

MINOR DETAILS

Shortstop Drew Jackson’s 20-game hitting streak at Single-A Everett ended Sunday night when the AquaSox suffered a no-hitter in a 3-0 loss at Eugene (Cubs).

Four Eugene pitchers combined on the no-hitter. Preston Morrison and Kyle Twomey each went three innings before Luis Hernandez pitched the seventh and eighth. Trey Masek closed it out.

Jackson batted .513 (41 for 80) during his hitting streak.

LOOKING BACK

It was 14 years ago Tuesday — Aug. 18, 2001 — that Kazuhiro Sasaki set a club record by getting his 38th save when he closed out a 7-6 victory over the Yankees in New York.

It didn’t come easily. Sasaki gave up one run, three hits and hit a batter. The Yankees had one run in and the bases loaded with one out before Sasaki retired the final two batters.

Sasaki finished the season with 45 saves, which remained the club record until last year, when Fernando Rodney had 48.

SHORT HOPS

The Rangers switched their projected Wednesday starter to lefty Derek Holland, who must be activated from the disabled list. He made just one start in April before a shoulder injury forced him to the disabled list for more than four months. Holland will replace lefty Martin Perez as Wednesday’s starter. ... Left-hander James Paxton is scheduled to pitch a two-inning simulated game Tuesday as the next test in his recovery from a strained tendon in his middle finger. If all goes well, Paxton could depart later this week on a minor-league rehab assignment. ... Nelson Cruz had a single in the first inning and extended his career-best streak of reaching base safely to 28 games, which is the longest this season in the American League. Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera had a 27-game run. ... The Mariners, prior to Monday, led the majors with 113 extra-base hits since the All-Star break. The Chicago White Sox ranked second with 107.

ON TAP

The Mariners and Rangers continue their three-game series at 5:05 p.m. (PDT) Tuesday at Globe Life Park. Iwakuma (4-2, 3.86 ERA) will face Texas right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-4, 4.22).

bob.dutton@thenewstribune.com

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