Mariners recall right-handed pitcher Rob Whalen from Class AAA Tacoma

Emilio Pagan was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma to make room for Whalen. Plus a time change for Thursday’s game and injury updates on Felix Hernandez and Mitch Haniger.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Emilio Pagan had his best outing in his brief big league career on Tuesday night, pitching four shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out four to save the rest of the Mariners’ bullpen in a 10-1 drubbing by the Nationals.

His reward for such a strong and useful appearance? A trip back to Tacoma.

On Wednesday afternoon, Pagan was optioned back to Class AAA Tacoma. The Mariners replaced him on the roster with right-hander Rob Whalen, who was recalled from the Rainiers. It’s his second call-up to Seattle. His first lasted for one game and he did not appear in it.

With Pagan throwing a season-high four innings, he wasn’t going to be available for at least three days and the Mariners still need fresh, available arms in the bullpen to help offset a patchwork starting rotation.

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“He did a great job last night,” manager Scott Servais said of Pagan. “I talked to him last night after the game and today when I let him know we were optioning him back. He really helped himself as far as raising himself on our depth chart. The key for him, and it’s what we talked about the last time he was here, you’ve got to get your secondary pitches over the plate. He had a really good slider last night and executed it against a very good lineup and we needed it.”

For Pagan, it was the moment that every pitcher needs in the big leagues — knowing your stuff will get outs at the highest level.

“It definitely feels good,” Pagan said after the game. “I thought I made some good pitches the last time and it just didn’t go my way. That’s baseball. But to have a good result is a definitely a good feeling.”

It’s something that Servais believes will help Pagan in the…

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