06/16/12 9:47 PM ET
After two-year absence, Perez back in bigs
By Josh Liebeskind / MLB.com
Perez, 30, signed with the Mariners prior to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee and was not on the 40-man roster. To make room for the reliever, Seattle designated Minor League outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang for assignment.
"[Perez] was throwing the ball well in Triple-A, obviously a lot of big league experience -- different role for him out of the bullpen -- high strikeout ratio from the left side, so we felt like it was a good time to take a look at [him]," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Perez posted career bests in back-to-back seasons for the Mets in 2007-2008 as a starter. He won 15 games in 2007 and then 10 in 2008, when he struck out a career-high 180 in 194 innings, also a career best. Since then, the lefty has struggled through patellar tendinitis and has transitioned to the bullpen. He has not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2010, although he played in the Nationals organization last season.
"After I got the call -- yesterday, I think -- I felt very excited because my last three years I was not that great and it was really tough for me," Perez said. "I almost retired because it's not easy, it's not easy being in this situation."
After pitching with the Nationals' Double-A club last season, the coaches told him he could evolve into a lefty specialist out of the bullpen if he put in the work. That spurred him to play winter ball this past offseason, and he said his velocity is now up.
In 22 games with Tacoma this year, Perez was 2-2 with a 4.65 ERA and one save out of the bullpen. He had 42 strikeouts and 19 walks in 31 innings pitched. He said he normally would throw more than one inning per outing with Tacoma.
Delabar, 28, opened the season with the Mariners and posted a 1-1 record with a 5.18 ERA in what was a team-high 25 appearances, but struggled to keep the ball in the park, allowing seven home runs. He was optioned to Tacoma on May 30 but was recalled June 13. Delabar pitched two scoreless innings on June 14 in his only appearance since rejoining the Mariners.
Chiang, 24, has spent time with Tacoma and most recently Double-A Jacksonville this season. He originally came to the Mariners from the Red Sox as part of the Erik Bedard trade in 2011.
Reynolds nervous about Mariners first pitch
SEATTLE -- Known for his slick fielding and abundance of energy, former Mariners second baseman Harold Reynolds was back in Seattle on Saturday, and those same attributes can still describe the two-time All-Star.
In town to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game against the Giants, Reynolds was on the field prior to Friday's contest, taking throws at second from the Mariners' catchers during pregame drills. But his mind was still on that first pitch.
"The first pitch is more nerve-wracking than playing the game," Reynolds said with a smile. "I've only done it a couple times. We'll see -- I got to make sure I throw a strike."
A Corvallis, Ore., native, Reynolds was drafted by the Mariners in 1980 and debuted with the club in 1983. He spent 10 of his 12 Major League seasons with Seattle, earning two trips to the All-Star Game and three Gold Gloves. He now works as a studio analyst with MLB Network.
Many of his best memories playing in Seattle revolved around the opportunity to be close to home, just a short drive for his family and friends, he said. But Reynolds also said he will never forget the great moments his teammates had.
"It's more about watching [Ken Griffey Jr.] on balls hit in the gap, watching them run after it, or Alvin Davis hitting that game-winning homer, or something like that," Reynolds said. "I played with a lot of great players, so that was fun."
Mariners give Gutierrez day of rest
SEATTLE -- After starting in center field back-to-back nights in his return to the Mariners following a stint on the disabled list to begin the season, Franklin Gutierrez received a day off Saturday.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said that although Gutierrez was briefly shaken up after fouling a ball off his left knee in Friday's game, he was merely giving the former Gold Glove winner a break.
"We're still going to ease him in here for the first 10 days or so and pick some spots for him," Wedge said Saturday. "With the day game tomorrow, he played two days in a row, [so] it's a good time to give him a little break and get him back in there tomorrow."
Gutierrez is 1-for-6 with a run and an RBI in two games after returning from a partial pectoral tear and plantar fasciitis.
Kevin Millwood started Saturday's game against the Giants. It was his first appearance since throwing the first six innings of the Mariners' combined no-hitter on June 8. Millwood left that start with a strained right groin.
Entering Saturday, third baseman Kyle Seager had reached base safely via a hit or walk 25 times (15 hits, 10 walks) in his last 14 games. His on-base percentage has shot up from .299 to .324 during that time.
Left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge is the only pitcher in the Major Leagues who has thrown at least 15 innings without allowing an earned run.
Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.