Walker, Almonte promoted from Tacoma
The Mariners added right-hander Taijuan Walker to their roster as expected Friday, but also selected Abraham Almonte from Triple-A Tacoma to bolster their outfield depth.
Both players will join the team for Friday night’s game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Walker, 21, is scheduled to make his Major League debut on the mound in the 5:10 p.m. PT game.
Almonte, 24, was also promoted after hitting .314 with 11 home runs, 50 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 94 games. He was acquired from the Yankees for reliever Shawn Kelley last spring. He also will be making his Major League debut Friday against the Astros as manager Eric Wedge immediately penciled him in to right field and eighth in the batting order.
The Mariners already had one open roster spot created by outfielder Michael Morse’s trade to the Orioles for Minor League outfielder Xavier Avery earlier in the day.
They opened a second spot by optioning right-handed starter Erasmo Ramirez to Tacoma in what essentially is a paper move, since he will be able to be recalled in time for his next start for the Mariners after the Rainiers season ends on Monday.
Ramirez started Thursday’s game against the Astros, improving to 5-1 with the victory. He will be able to rejoin the Mariners in time for his next start Tuesday in Kansas City.
Almonte was expected to be called up when rosters can be expanded in September, but Friday’s move gives the Mariners an extra outfielder for the weekend and provides him a couple extra days in the Majors. The Dominican native started this season in Double-A Jackson, where he hit .255 with four homers, 18 RBIs and six stolen bases in 29 games.
He’s blossomed in Tacoma, hitting .333 with six doubles, two triples, five home runs and 18 RBIs in 28 games in August.
The moves put the Mariners at 39 players on their 40-man roster. Here is tonight’s full lineup against the Astros: