Snell is expected to make his debut for the Mariners on Sunday night as they try for a second straight victory and a split of a four-game road series with the Texas Rangers.
Snell went 2-8 with a 5.36 ERA in 15 starts for the Pirates this season before they sent him to the minors June 25. The 27-year-old right-hander went 33-46 with a 4.75 ERA in 5 1/2 seasons for Pittsburgh and won a career-high 14 games in 2006, but the club didn’t feel his return to the majors was an option this year.
“He’s very athletic with tremendous stuff,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said of Snell, who had a 0.96 ERA in six starts for Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis.
“His first stint down in the minor leagues he struck out 17 in the seven innings and 13 in a row. That’s what we are talking about with the quality of his pitches. The rest is just probably getting some consistency and figuring out what has led to some of the inconsistencies.”
In his only appearance versus Texas, Snell tossed a seven-hitter in an 8-1 win on June 13, 2007.
He’ll try to help the Mariners (54-40) win a second straight game in Arlington after they snapped a seven-game losing streak there with a 7-2 victory Saturday.
Seattle is 4-8 this year versus the Rangers (58-44), who lost for the third time in 13 games.
The 39-year-old Griffey has 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 79 games for the Mariners this season, and is 7 for 18 (.389) with six RBIs over his last four contests.
“This is as good as I’ve seen him in a while,” Wakamatsu said of Griffey, who is 9 for 29 (.310) against the Rangers this season.
Griffey is 3 for 4 with two walks against Texas’ Scott Feldman(notes) (9-4, 3.99), who will pitch on three days’ rest after ace Kevin Millwood’s(notes) scheduled start was pushed back because of a strained gluteus muscle.
“It’s just one less day,” Feldman told the Rangers’ official Web site. “I don’t think it’ll be a big deal.”
Though Feldman is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Mariners this season, he is coming off his worst outing of the year after allowing six runs and 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings of a 13-5 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.
Nelson Cruz(notes) hit his team-leading 25th homer and drove in both runs Saturday for the Rangers (58-44), who are four games behind the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels and 2 1/2 out in the wild card race.
Cruz is batting .350 (14 for 40) with four home runs and eight RBIs against the Mariners this year.