Shortstop Taylor called up as Mariners tweak roster
By Greg Johns
ANAHEIM -- Shortstop Chris Taylor and left-handed reliever Joe Beimel were called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Monday to take the place of relievers Yoervis Medina and Tyler Olson, who were optioned to Tacoma after the Mariners' 7-6 loss in Houston on Sunday.
Taylor, 24, was competing with Brad Miller for the starting shortstop job in Spring Training, until he broke a bone in his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch. Taylor batted .313/.385/.475 with two homers, six RBIs and six stolen bases in 21 games for the Rainiers.
Taylor got the start for Monday's series opener against the Angels. He played 47 games with Seattle last season after being called up on July 24, batting .287 with eight doubles in 136 at-bats.
"Anytime you've played the way we've played to this point, there are changes that need to be made on several different fronts," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "We felt he would give us a shot in the arm, and hopefully that's the case."
Miller has put up a .250/.301/.382 line with eight RBIs in the first 25 games, but has made a couple of costly errors. Taylor was very solid defensively in his time with the club last year, but McClendon wasn't committing to how he'd divide time between the two with both on the roster.
"Brad's not the forgotten man," McClendon said. "He's certainly not the culprit in all of this either. I have to manage better, our coaches have to coach better, our players have got to play better."
Taylor said he's been fully recovered from his wrist injury for the past several weeks and feels he's hitting the ball as well as he has in his professional career. And he's eager to be back in the big leagues.
"It's kind of like a new season, my first day up here for me and I'm excited to be back with the team," he said.
Beimel, 38, also reunited with former teammates on Monday. The veteran lefty was a big part of last season's bullpen's success, posting a 2.20 ERA in 45 innings over 56 appearances in his first Major League action since 2011 thanks to arm injuries. But he got a late start this spring after signing with and being released by the Rangers. He signed with Seattle on April 2, and then spent the first few weeks of the season in Arizona in extended spring training.
"I feel very good, especially pitching-wise. I feel like I'm right where I need to be," Beimel said. "It was kind of a weird offseason and spring for me, so it was nice to go to extended and get that time there and pitch a little bit and make sure I'm where I need to do. Definitely, I'm good to go."
The 12-year veteran didn't allow a run in 3 2/3 innings over three relief appearances for the Rainiers, allowing one hit with no walks and five strikeouts.
"He's throwing the ball extremely well," McClendon said. "Obviously he provides a lot of leadership in the bullpen. He knows what he's doing. He's a veteran and very influential in what we accomplished last year. It's nice to have him back."
Left-hander Michael Kickham was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Beimel. Taylor was already on the 40-man roster.