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Postby Lofunzo » Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:16 am

Mariners option Soriano, call up Putz

April 14, 2004
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners optioned struggling reliever Rafael Soriano to Class-A San Bernardino on Wednesday and recalled right-hander J.J. Putz from Triple-A Tacoma.

Soriano (0-2) allowed four earned runs over two innings in three appearances in a setup role. He was limited to five innings in spring training because of a strained oblique muscle.

``We thought we'd see a progression, but we're kind of doing him a disservice because he is pitching without all of his arsenal out there,'' said manager Bob Melvin, who will use Julio Mateo and Shigetoshi Hasegawa as his right-handed setup men for now. ``But Soriano is still prominent in our bullpen, and we pitch him in such big situations that we're going to give him some time to build up his arm strength.''

Putz, 27, made his first three major league appearances last season for the Mariners and allowed two earned runs in 3 2-3 innings. He was picked in the sixth round of the 1999 amateur draft.

``We have a few guys who we can reach down into the minors for and we feel very good about, and J.J. is one of those guys,'' Melvin said. ``I mean, there's not an absolute role for him right now, but he's a guy that we're comfortable putting in a game.''

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