The Mariners made three more roster moves Friday, selecting RHP Taijuan Walker and OF Abraham Almonte from AAA Tacoma and optioning RHP Erasmo Ramirez to the Rainiers. Walker makes his major league debut Friday night against the Houston Astros, while Almonte takes the roster spot vacated when Seattle traded OF Michael Morse to the Baltimore Orioles.
Ramirez, the winning pitcher against Houston Thursday, is still scheduled to make his next start for Seattle Thursday following the completion of the Rainiers’ season.
Walker, at 21 years, 7 days, is the fifth-youngest pitcher to make his debut for Seattle. The 6-foot-4 right hander has 25 starts between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma. He went 9-10 with a 2.53 ERA.
He will also become the sixth Mariners pitcher to make his MLB debut in a start since 2005, joining Brandon Maurer (April 4, 2013), Anthony Vasquez (Aug. 23, 2011), Blake Beavan (July 3, 2011), Michael Pineda (April 5, 2011) and Felix Hernandez (Aug. 4, 2005).
Almonte, 24, has combined to bat .300 (132×440) with 23 doubles, six triples, 15 home runs, 68 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 123 games with AA Jackson and Tacoma. In 94 games with the Rainiers, Almonte is batting .314 (106×338) with 17 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs, 50 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. Since his Tacoma debut May 13, Almonte’s .894 OPS is seventh-best among Triple-A players.
Almonte was acquired by Seattle from the Yankees Feb. 13, 2013 in exchange for RHP Shawn Kelley. The native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent July 2, 2005.
After the Mariners complete their four-game series in Houston Sunday, they to Kansas City for four Monday. Seattle starts a three-game series with Tampa Bay at Safeco Field Sept. 6.