Mariners option struggling reliever Dan Altavilla to Class AAA Tacoma

Right-hander Chase De Jong has been recalled from Class AAA Tacoma.

Ryan Divish

OAKLAND, Calif. — For his first handful outings of the season, right-hander Dan Altavilla might have been the Mariners most dominant reliever. His fastball was was touching 99 mph and his slider was un-hittable. But in the fickle and unpredictable nature of relief pitching, that stretch of dominance was short-lived, and Altavilla is now headed back to the minor leagues to re-find that feeling of command and execution.

On Friday, the Mariners optioned Altavilla to Class AAA Tacoma and recalling right-hander Chase De Jong, who was scheduled to start on Friday night for the Rainiers in El Paso. De Jong will fill a long relief bullpen role, but realistically just a place holder in the bullpen until right-hander Steve Cishek returns from his rehab stint with the Rainiers by the end of the weekend. Cishek is scheduled to pitch on Friday evening for the Rainiers and will possibly make one more appearance.

Altavilla has struggled with his fastball command in recent outings and his slider has stopped missing bats. In his first five outings, he pitched a total of four scoreless innings, allowing five hits, but striking out eight of the 18 batters he faced. He had strike percentage of 64 percent.

Over his last four outings, he’s thrown a total of 3 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs (six earned) on six hits with five walks and two strikeouts. Meanwhile his strike percentage had dwindled to 52 percent.

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In Thursday’s 9-6 loss, he entered the game in the seventh inning with the Mariners trailing 6-5. He issued back-to-back one-out walks and then served up a deep homer to Trevor Plouffe.

Here’s Altavilla’s game logs from Baseball Reference 

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