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.
Whalen compiled nine strikeouts while allowing one earned run on three hits and two walks over five innings in Tuesday's 8-7 Cactus League loss to the Rockies.
The emerging right-hander was masterful over his time on the mound, particularly utilizing his curveball with great effectiveness, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Whalen has now racked up 19 whiffs over 13 spring innings, putting himself squarely in consideration for the fifth starter role if Erasmo Ramirez (lat) remains sidelined for the start of the regular season as expected. Manager Scott Servais seemed especially impressed with the fact that Whalen made an outing where he may have not been at his sharpest look like his best of spring through prudent use of his breaking ball. "Awesome outing by Whalen, highlight of the day. He probably didn't have his best stuff. He had a really good curveball. I thought the velocity was a tick back from what we've seen earlier in camp. But the curveball was outstanding."
Whalen (0-1) allowed two unearned runs on four hits, a walk, a wild pitch and a hit batsman over three innings in Thursday's 4-0 Cactus League loss to the Giants. He struck out three.
As his line implies, the 23-year-old undeniably had some location problems, but he also kept the strikeouts coming. Whalen is up to nine whiffs over eight spring innings, and one of the two unearned runs he allowed Thursday came on a double-play ball. Whalen's pair of exhibition starts have come as a result of Felix Hernandez's forearm injury, and with the latter beginning to ramp up his activity level in anticipation of a return, Thursday's turn may have been Whalen's last in the spring rotation. However, he's expected to continue getting a look out of the bullpen in anticipation of a potentially steady relief role with the big-league club at some point during the coming season.
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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|