Sailors place RHP Steckenrider on shortlist

TORONTO — The Seattle Mariners placed right-hander Drew Steckenrider on the shortlist ahead of Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays and recalled left-hander Roenis Elías from Triple-A Tacoma.

Left-hander Robbie Ray remained on the active roster but did not accompany the Mariners to Toronto, where he won the 2021 Cy Young Award while pitching for the Blue Jays. The Mariners used a day off to change their rotation for Ray to start Sunday in New York against the Mets, where he allowed five runs in six innings, improving to 4-3.

There was no locker for Ray in the Mariners clubhouse in Toronto. Mariners manager Scott Servais said Ray will join the team in Boston on Thursday for a four-game series against the Red Sox, but he didn’t specify the southpaw’s absence.

To enter the country, the Canadian government requires a person to have received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – or a dose from Johnson & Johnson – at least 14 days prior to entry.

Players who are on the shortlist because they are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are not paid and do not accrue major league service time.

Steckenrider is 0-1 with two saves and a 4.85 ERA in 14 relief appearances.

The three-game series that begins Monday is Seattle’s only regular-season visit to Toronto.

Ray went 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA and a career-high 248 strikeouts in 32 starts for Toronto last season, when professional athletes were exempt from COVID-19 border regulations. Ray signed a five-year, $115 million contract with Seattle last November and would have lost $346,154 had he been shortlisted for ineligibility to accompany the team to Canada. Border exemptions for athletes ended in January.

Elías signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on April 1. He previously pitched for Seattle in 2014 and 2015, then again in 2018 and 2019. He also pitched for Boston and Washington.

Elías, 33, last pitched in the majors with the Nationals in 2019. He had a 4.30 ERA in one start and 10 relief appearances at Triple-A Tacoma, striking out 11 and walking four in 14⅔ innings.

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