Mariners promote pitching prospect Matt Brash as rookies continue to fuel Seattle’s wild-card push

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The Seattle Mariners are attempting to end the longest playoff drought in the four major American professional sports by chasing down the Boston Red Sox (whom they currently trail by 1 1/2 games) for the American League’s second wild-card spot. Beginning with Tuesday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics, the Mariners will have some additional help on hand to close the gap. That’s because the Mariners announced on Tuesday they will promote right-handed pitching prospect Matt Brash to the majors.

Brash, 23, is not expected to start Tuesday’s game. He could, however, pitch in relief of Tyler Anderson, who will be receiving the nod on short rest. The Mariners originally acquired Brash from the San Diego Padres at the 2020 trade deadline in a deal that sent reliever Taylor Williams packing. Williams has since been designated for assignment after throwing just six innings for the Padres; Brash, meanwhile, has emerged as yet another intriguing arm for a franchise that already had a number of them.

In 20 appearances (19 of them starts) this season split between High- and Double-A, Brash posted a 2.31 ERA and amassed nearly three strikeouts per walk. It’s to be seen if his delivery (which features a dash of Max Scherzer to it) and his body (he’s had past injury woes) will allow him to start long-term; at minimum, he should be a quality reliever thanks to an above-average fastball-slider combination. 

If the Mariners are going to surpass the Red Sox and make it to October, they’re likely going to do it on the backs of youngsters like Brash. Outfielder Jarred Kelenic has been hot in September, batting .250/.327/.557 with seven of his 14 home runs. Fellow rookie right-hander Logan Gilbert, meanwhile, will enter his start on Wednesday with a 2.93 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio exceeding 4.0 in his first five September outings.

The Mariners as a whole have been on fire in September, winning 16 of their 24 contests. Even so, the odds are against the Mariners pulling off the comeback: Seattle made the postseason in just four percent of SportsLine’s most recent simulations

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