Another hammer dropped Saturday as the Mariners optioned left-handed pitcher Ariel Miranda to Triple-A Tacoma.
The move came two days after the club optioned first baseman Dan Vogelbach to the Rainiers. Vogelbach and Miranda were each projected to make the 25-man roster when the Mariners opened spring training.
Miranda, 28, pitched this spring as a starter, but had looked as a likely fit in the bullpen as the second left-hander. Inconsistency apparently cost him a spot on the roster.
“It’s been hit or miss a little bit this spring with Miranda,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “There have been some very good innings. Some other ones have gotten away from him a little bit. Overall, how has he thrown this spring? I think just OK.
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“I don’t think he’s lit it up at all. I don’t think he’s been just horrible. Just OK.”
Miranda started well in spring training, but gave up six runs and seven hits over 4 2/3 innings in his last two starts.
He was 5-2 with a 3.54 ERA last season in 11 games, including 10 starts, after he was acquired from Baltimore in a July 31 trade.
“Ariel did a terrific job for us down the stretch last season,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said, “and showed the ability to succeed as a major league starter.
“At this time we are happy with our present starting five and think it’s best to keep him stretched out as a starter, which will happen in Tacoma.”
The decision to send Miranda to the minors creates a roster opportunity for three other left-handed relievers remaining in camp: James Pazos, Nick Hagadone and Dean Kiekhefer.
Of the three, only Pazos is on the 40-man roster, which means the Mariners must make a corresponding space-clearing move in order to keep Hagadone or Kiekhefer.
Pazos, 25, has six scoreless outings this spring in eight appearances, but one bad inning against Cleveland skews his numbers.
Hagadone, 31, signed Jan. 31 as a minor league free agent after missing all of last season while recovering from elbow surgery. He has allowed one run and five hits in eight innings while striking out 10 and walking two.
The Mariners acquired Kiekhefer, 27, in a Nov. 4 waiver claim from St. Louis and retained him in December when he cleared waivers after he was designated for assignment. He has allowed three runs in 8 1/3 spring innings.
The Mariners reassigned catcher Sebastian Valle to minor league camp on Saturday.
The moves leave 41 players in big-league camp, including eight nonroster players.
Head colds and/or the flu are running through the Mariners clubhouse.
Second baseman Robinson Cano and designated hitter Nelson Cruz each missed a third straight day and are unlikely to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds in Goodyear, Arizona.
Left-hander James Paxton pitched through the ailment Saturday in a minor league game in order to stay on schedule.
▪ Left fielder Jarrod Dyson remains slowed by a “fatigued” hamstring. He hasn’t played since Tuesday.
“The hamstring is not pulled,” Servais said. “It’s more a fatigue issue. He wants to make sure he’s right before he goes back out there. He’s going to test it on Monday and make sure he’s good to go.
“He could play right now. It’s just not to the point where we want to expose him and take a chance.”
▪ Right-handed reliever Tony Zych is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut Sunday as the next step in his recovery from October surgery for a biceps tendon transfer.
▪ Right-handed reliever Steve Cishek is scheduled to throw Sunday from a mound for the second time since undergoing October surgery to repair a torn hip labrum.
▪ Right-handed reliever Shae Simmons is still restricted to playing catch in his recovery from a March 11 muscle strain in his forearm.
It was 17 years ago Sunday — March 26, 2000 — that demolition workers blew up the Kingdome in a spectacular 20-second display.
Workers packed 5,800 holes with gelatin dynamite and used 21.6 miles of detonation cord to reduce the former home of the Mariners to a mound of rubble more than 65 feet high.
Construction started on the Kingdome — officially the King County Multipurpose Domed Stadium — in 1972, and it opened in 1976.
The construction cost was $67 million.
The Kingdome served as the home for the Mariners (from 1977-99), the Seahawks (1976-January 2000), the SuperSonics (1978-85) and the Sounders (1976-83).
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners