The Mariners are expected to call up relief pitcher Stephen Pryor, who has been crushing minor league batters, in time for the Mariners series that begins Friday in Chicago.
Pryor, 22, began the season in Class AA JAcksonville, where he was 1-0 with seven saves and a 1.13 earned run average in 16 innings over 11 appearances. Promoted to Class AAA Tacoma, Pryor, 6-4 and 245 pounds, appeared in nine games, pitching12 innings without allowing a run while going 2-for-2 in save opportunities.
Pryor, a Tennessee native chosen in the fifth round of the 2010 amateur draft, has given up only two earned runs in his 30 minor league innings. He regularly throws in the high 90-mph range and has hit 100 mph with his fastball.
He replaces on the roster reliever Steve Delabar, who was sent down after Wednesday’s game in Texas. The Mariners have temporarily removed Brandon League from the closer’s role, which presumably will go to Tom Wilhelmsen. But Pryor has been so unhittable that if he adjusts quickly to major league hitting, may find himself in the ninth-inning slot.