Noesi DFA’d; Leone takes his place in bullpen
Hector Noesi was on a short leash with the Mariners this season. A two-game leash, it turns out, as the 27-year-old right-hander was designated for assignment Friday after giving up a walkoff home run to the A’s Coco Crisp in Seattle’s 3-2 loss on Thursday night.
The Mariners promoted rookie right-hander Dominic Leone (pictured above) from Triple-A Tacoma to take Noesi’s place in the bullpen. Leone, 22, had a strong spring with the Mariners and now will get his first shot with the Major League club after saving 16 games last year for Class-A Clinton and Double-A Jackson.
Noesi is out of Minor League options and the Mariners kept him on their original 25-man roster after a solid spring, hoping to harness his promising arm despite a difficult track record in Seattle. But he gave up two runs in his first inning of mop-up relief in the Mariners’ 8-2 victory in Anaheim on Wednesday, then surrendered Crisp’s game-winning home run when he left a fastball up over the plate on the second pitch he threw after being summoned into a tie game in the 12th inning Thursday.
Noesi is 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in his two appearances this year and 2-14 with a 6.13 ERA in 36 games over three seasons with the Mariners, including 19 starts. He was 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA in 30 outings with the Yankees as a rookie in 2011 before being included in the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero trade.
Leone was one of the final cuts this spring after putting up a 1.80 ERA in nine Cactus League games, allowing just two runs and six hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.
The hard-throwing right-hander was a 16th-round Draft pick in 2012 out of Clemson, where he was a teammate of Mariners shortstop Brad Miller. Leone has spent just one full season in the Minors, but moved quickly from Class-A Clinton and High Desert to Jackson last year and then led the Arizona Fall League with six saves while posting a 3.00 ERA in 11 games with 15 strikeouts and one walk.
Leone has arrived in Oakland and will be available to pitch in tonight’s second game of the A’s series after the Mariners used six relievers in Thursday’s loss.
The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Noesi’s contract to the Minor Leagues.