Festa was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Friday, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
Festa started off the season with 7.1 scoreless innings and three holds over his first five outings, but gave up five runs in his last two games. The 26-year-old spent the bulk of last season at Double-A Arkansas and had a 2.16 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 67:12 K:BB over 49 innings.
Festa is one of several candidates for closing opportunities during Hunter Strickland's (lat) absence, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Festa put together an impressive major-league cameo in 2018, generating a 2.16 ERA across 8.1 innings over eight appearances, including one start. The 26-year-old right-hander has already gotten the new season off to a strong start as well, firing 2.2 scoreless innings over his first pair of appearances. Festa racked up 20 saves for Double-A Arkansas last season before his promotion, so he does bring ninth-inning experience to the table, albeit at the minor-league level.
Festa turned in a scoreless eighth inning in an exhibition loss to the Padres on Tuesday, allowing two hits and a walk.
Festa's appearance was a bit rockier than his 2019 regular-season debut last Thursday against the Athletics in Japan, when he'd fired a pair of scoreless frames while allowing a hit and recording a strikeout. The 26-year-old right-hander was a solid performer over a brief sample for the Mariners last season, posting a 2.16 ERA across eight appearances (one start). He'll presumably be relied on as a middle-relief option in the coming season.
Festa will start Wednesday's bullpen game against Houston, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
Festa has made two appearances since being recalled from the minors last week, allowing three hits and no runs over 2.2 innings, and is set to "open" Wednesday's series finale before giving way to another Mariners reliever. Across 45 relief appearances with Triple-A Tacoma in 2018, he posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 68 strikeouts in 50 innings. This will mark his fifth career outing, and first start, at the major-league level.
Festa was recalled from Double-A Arkansas on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old has allowed one run in 2.2 innings at the big-league level so far this season. He threw 49 innings for Arkansas, posting a solid 2.76 ERA. He'll be an additional low-leverage arm in an expanded September bullpen for the Mariners down the stretch.
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