Mariners release former first-round picks Taylor Guerrieri, David Huff

MLB Trade Rumors
MLB Trade Rumors
Taylor Guerrieri Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners have released former big leaguers Taylor Guerrieri, David Huff and Ryan Dull from the organization, tweets Triple-A Tacoma broadcaster Mike Curto. All three had been pitching out of the bullpen in Tacoma (although Huff initially worked out of the Rainers’ rotation upon signing).

Guerrieri, 28, had worked to a 4.61 ERA with a 22.6% strikeout rate against a 9.7% walk rate through 27 1/3 innings since joining the Mariners on a minor-league deal. On the one hand, he’d scaled back his ERA considerably after a rocky start, holding opponents to just four runs in his past 14 1/3 innings. On the other hand, the strong strikeout and walk rates he posted early in Tacoma had swung the other direction; he’d punched out 12 hitters against nine walks and two hit batters in that stretch of 14 1/3 frames.

A former first-round pick of the Rays and longtime top pitching prospect, Guerrieri has faced multiple arm injuries over the course of a decade-long professional career — most notably Tommy John surgery that wiped out the majority of his 2013-14 seasons. He does have 36 MLB frames under his belt, split between the Blue Jays and Rangers, but he’s struggled to a 5.50 ERA with a 27-to-22 K/BB ratio in that time.

The 36-year-old Huff had some strong outings but lacked consistency, logging a 5.25 ERA in 48 innings with Tacoma. He’s never been a big strikeout arm, and that was the case in 2021 as well, punching out just 16.5% of his opponents, albeit against an excellent 4.5% walk rate.

Huff hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2016 but does have 393 1/3 MLB frames under his belt. The best of that work came from 2011-14, when he posted a 4.03 ERA in 174 innings split among three clubs (Indians, Yankees, Giants). Huff struggled in a short stint with the 2016 Halos but went on to carve out a nice career overseas, spending two years in the Korea Baseball Organization and another two in Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. He returned to the U.S. and spent the 2020 season pitching independent ball.

Dull, 31, was a standout reliever with the A’s back in 2016 but has never managed to replicate anything close to the 2.42 ERA he logged through 74 1/3 innings that year. He’s posted a 6.08 mark in 80 MLB innings since that time and had been scuffling again in Triple-A this year, as evidenced by a 6.06 ERA in 35 2/3 innings. Dull started his time in Tacoma with five shutout innings and a 6-to-1 K/BB ratio, but he’s since been tagged for 26 runs (24 earned) in 30 2/3 innings.

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