PEORIA, Arizona — Left-hander pitcher Roenis Elias has been optioned by the Seattle Mariners to Triple-A Tacoma, a decision that likely means right-hander Taijuan Walker will be the Mariners' fifth starter.
Seattle made the roster move with Elias on Sunday. But manager Lloyd McClendon would not confirm that Walker has earned the spot as the fifth starter, saying there are still six in camp. The other option is righty Erasmo Ramirez.
Walker has been outstanding this spring training, allowing zero runs in 18 innings, striking out 19 and walking four. Meanwhile, Ramirez has allowed nine earned runs in 13 innings this spring.
Elias had a strong rookie season last year, going 10-12 with a 3.89 ERA, but had options remaining giving Seattle the flexibility to have him start the season in the minors.