Utahns in baseball: Mariners designate John Buck for assignment; Ex-Ute Tyler Wagner's scoreless streak snapped

Published: Sunday, July 13 2014 10:55 p.m. MDT

Seattle Mariners' Brad Miller is greeted by John Buck, right, and other teammates after scoring on a single by Robinson Cano in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Thursday, June 19, 2014, in San Diego.

Lenny Ignelzi, Associated Press

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Taylorsville High School alum John Buck was designated for assignment, while former Utah pitcher Tyler Wagner claimed the lead in the Florida State League ERA race in an interesting week for baseball players with Utah ties.

Buck was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners on Monday. The move was surprising and unpopular to those in the Seattle Mariners clubhouse, according to Seattle Times Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish.

Buck was batting just .226 on the year, but had only played in 27 games for the Mariners. He was used primarily in weekend games, backing up everyday starter Mike Zunino.

He also had a home run, six RBIs and nine runs scored in 84 total at-bats.

"Listen, these things are never fun. John Buck is a fine, fine baseball player. I think he has been great for this club, a wonderful individual," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon told MLB.com's Adam Lewis on Monday. "… We just felt it was time."

Buck, an all-star with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, has a career .234 batting average, but a .301 on-base percentage in 11 seasons. He has 134 career home runs and 491 RBIs for Kansas City, Toronto, Miami, New York Mets, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

The Mariners have until Thursday to trade or release Buck. If he clears waivers, he could either opt for free agency or accept reassignment in the Mariners organization. The 34-year-old signed a one-year deal with Seattle before the season started.

On a more positive note, Tyler Wagner claimed the lead in the advanced Single-A Florida State League ERA race by outdueling the previous ERA leader Wednesday night. The former Ute allowed just one run in 8 1/3 innings in a 3-1 win over Lakeland.

In the win, Wagner defeated Lakeland pitcher Josh Turley, who held the league's ERA lead entering the night, handing Turley (7-1) his first loss of the season.

The lone run Wagner allowed came off a ninth-inning home run from Lakeland outfielder Conner Harrell, and actually snapped a 27-inning scoreless streak Wagner had compiled in his last four starts. Wagner still dipped his ERA down to 1.74 on the season for Brevard County — 0.11 lower than Turley's 1.85 ERA.

The righty is 4-0, with a 0.33 ERA in his last four starts for the Manatees. He is 8-4 in 16 starts this season.

A pair of players with Utah ties were also promoted this week.

Dixie State product Matt Spring was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket during the week, and scored three runs in the PawSox's 13-8 win over Toledo on Sunday.

Former BYU outfielder Jaycob Brugman was also promoted, joining Stockton in the advanced Single-A California League. He picked up eight hits in his first week with the Pilots, including a four RBI game in his second game with the team on Tuesday.

He was batting .278, with 31 extra base hits and 37 RBIs in Beloit (Iowa) of the Midwest League before the promotion.

Meanwhile, BYU alums Taylor Cole and Adam Miller, as well as Spanish Fork High School product Tyson Brummett, each returned to the mound.

Cole allowed just three hits and one run in five innings for Dunedin (Florida) while striking out seven on Thursday to win his first game since June 9. Cole had been on the temporary inactive list and had not pitched since June 28.

Miller made two relief appearances for Single-A South Bend (Indiana) in his return to the Silver Hawks. The righty had last pitched in South Bend on May 15 before landing on the disabled list.

Brummett allowed three runs in one inning of relief for Double-A Chattanooga (Tennessee) on Sunday. It was his first relief appearance of the season and first appearance since going on the restricted list on June 21.

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