Mariners promote C. Martin, designate Peralta

Mariners promote C. Martin, designate Peralta

SAN DIEGO -- There are a lot of fun things about being a Major League manager, but calling a 40-year-old veteran into your office and telling him he's been released isn't one of them, as Scott Servais was reminded Thursday when he informed reliever Joel Peralta he was being designated for assignment.

The Mariners recalled right-hander Cody Martin from Triple-A Tacoma to take Peralta's place, looking for someone who can provide long relief if needed for a bullpen that was stretched by James Paxton's short start in Wednesday's 14-6 loss, on the heels of some tough outings by the rest of the rotation last weekend at Safeco Field.

Martin wound up being the winning pitcher in Thursday's wild 16-13 victory over the Padres as he pitched a scoreless sixth and then watched as the Mariners scored nine times in the top of the seventh to take the lead.

"That was wild," Martin said. "I knew I needed to have a clean inning after we'd scored five (in the sixth) we could try to keep it going and that's what happened. The guys were just hot. That was a pretty amazing way to do it."

Peralta provided strong leadership in the clubhouse and bullpen and pitched very well in April after making the team as a non-roster invitee, but he gave up seven home runs in 23 1/3 innings with a 5.40 ERA in 26 appearances and allowed 16 hits (five homers) and 10 runs in nine innings over his final 10 outings.

"Organizationally we just felt it was time to make a change, but it was a really difficult day because I respect the tar out of what he's done in his career and what he did for me and for the Mariners," Servais said of Peralta. "I've certainly had those conversations with many players over the years, but with a guy that's got 10 years in the big leagues and is 40 years old and you've got that much respect, it's tough.

"We didn't anticipate him taking on as big a role as he did," Servais said. "When [Joaquin] Benoit wasn't available for a while, he stepped up and pitched awesome. Really saved our bacon. I think he was personally responsible for us hanging onto leads in maybe five or six games. Obviously we rode him hard, he pitched a lot and did a great job. But the results haven't been there in the last month, he really struggled.

"We're at the top of the division at this point in the season and you have to look down the road and see who is going to be able to carry a bigger load out of the bullpen and how that comes together. I don't think it's a finished product yet."

Martin, 26, was called up to fill the immediate void and provides some length and versatility. Martin was 5-3 with a 5.67 ERA in 12 games for Tacoma, including eight starts. He pitched 25 games for the Braves and A's last year with a combined ERA of 7.92.

In his past five appearances for Tacoma, including one start, the former Gonzaga University hurler went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. He began the year in Tacoma's rotation, going 4-2 with a 6.37 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts.

"I've been throwing out of the bullpen and starting lately, so I'm ready for anything at anytime, which is good," Martin said. "The numbers don't tell the whole story. My first month was good to begin, tough in the middle and I finished strong. And I had a good month of May, so I've kind of figured some stuff out and what I want to do on the mound and it's been going well."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.