Waiting only a few hours after their third consecutive loss, the Seattle Mariners made four roster moves today aimed at giving manager Don Wakamatsu more options – and his offense more punch.
The Mariners released outfielder Eric Byrnes and replaced him on the 25-and 40-man roster with Tacoma outfielder and left-handed hitter Ryan Langerhans. The team also optioned rookie Matt Tuiasosopo to the Rainiers and brought up veteran infielder Josh Wilson.
The moves would allow the Mariners to start Langerhans in left field against right-handed pitching and move Milton Bradley to the designated hitter role while keeping veterans Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Sweeney on the bench as pinch-hitters.
And in Wilson, the team now has a true reserve shortstop behind Jack Wilson.
In the first month of the season, Byrnes batted .094 and didn’t endear himself to the team Friday night in an extra-inning loss by bringing his bat back on a suicide squeeze play that might have won the game.
Tuiasosopo played well in his few appearances but wasn’t going to get much more playing time – the Mariners infield is filled with regulars who rarely come out of games.
They won’t be the last roster moves made this season, but they signal a realization by general manager Jack Zduriencik that this is a Mariners offense in need of help.
“Matt Tuiasosopo is a 23-year-old kid that has a very nice future ahead of him,” Zduriencik said. “He earned the right to be on this club at beginning of year, but playing time and at bats are important to his development. He’s better off playing on an everyday basis at the AAA level, than being a bench player on the big league club, at this time
“With the other two moves we’ve added two veteran players that can play multiple positions and have big league experience. We look forward to their contributions. Eric Brynes is a tremendous competitor and a credit to baseball. We wish him only the best and expect him to land on his feet.”