Whalen was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday.
Whalen was optioned to make room for the return of Juan Nicasio (knee). Whalen pitched four scoreless innings Friday against the Red Sox in his only big-league appearance this season, allowing just one hit and one walk, though he didn't manage to strike out a single batter.
Whalen was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma prior to Thursday's game against Boston.
Whalen will provide a little extra depth for the Mariners' pitching staff as he has the ability to make a spot start in addition to serving out of a long relief role, which he will likely settle into moving forward. Over 13 starts with Triple-A Tacoma this season, the right-hander logged a 4.50 ERA and 1.46 WHIP with a 62:25 K:BB across 72 innings.
Whalen was sent to Triple-A Tacoma Monday, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
Whalen was competing for an Opening Day rotation spot but appears to have lost out to Marco Gonzales and Ariel Miranda. He'll return to Tacoma, where he posted a 6.58 ERA in 10 starts last season. He could be back with the Mariners later this season if more Seattle starters get injured.
Whalen (0-2) allowed nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits, three walks and a hit batsman over two innings in Sunday's 16-3 Cactus League loss to the Indians. He struck out two.
He even threw a pair of throwing errors in for good measure, leading to a disastrous outing that may have put a significant dent into his rotation hopes. Whalen has been competing with southpaw Ariel Miranda for the fifth spot, and prior to Sunday, he'd been making a formidable case. The 24-year-old right-hander had come into his outing against the Indians with a sparkling 1.38 ERA over four outings, but the pristine curveball he'd often demonstrated this spring was nowhere to be found. "Whalen has been so good all camp," manager Scott Servais said. "It was disappointing today, he didn't have his command. His last time out he had an awesome curveball and he didn't go to it enough today. It does happen and is part of the process. Understanding where he came from to where he's at right now, he's still had a really good camp."
Whalen has been really sharp this spring, allowing just two runs in 13 innings pitched while producing a 19:4 K:BB in that span. The Mariners will be able to go with a four-man rotation until April 11 if they so choose, but there is a chance that Ramirez won't be ready by then. Ariel Miranda is another option to fill the void in that case, but Whalen's outstanding spring showing is giving manager Scott Servais a lot to think about. Whalen may still start the season in the minors, but he could spend more time in the majors if he can carry this strong Cactus League performance into the regular season.
|6/21/2018 vs New York|
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|2014||AFX-Savannah Sand Gnats||9||1||2.01||11||10||0||0||0||62.2||44||18||14||2||5||19||53|
|2015||AFA-St. Lucie Mets||4||5||3.36||15||14||0||0||0||83.0||72||39||31||4||8||34||61|