St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School product Matt Festa got the call from the Seattle Mariners Saturday afternoon, and it was a long-distance one.
That’s because the Mariners called up Festa from their Double-A Arkansas affiliate, skipping over anyone on their Triple A roster. He’s expected to remain in the bullpen in the majors.
Festa had been the minor-league team’s closer, where he compiled a 2-2 record with a 3.13 ERA and 13 saves in 28 appearances. He has 44 strikeouts with just seven walks in 31 2/3 innings this season.
He replaces Christian Bergman, who was sent back to Triple-A Tacoma after making a spot start in Friday’s 10-7 loss to the Rockies.
The right-handed Festa, who 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, is Seattle’s No. 9-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline.
The 25-year-old, who uses a 92-95 fastball to go along with a good slider, was a seventh-round draft pick out of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania in 2016.
He pitched for Class A Advanced Modesto last season but did his best work after he was moved to the bullpen, where he posted a 4-2 record and 3.23 ERA with six saves in 42 outings before earning a stint in the Arizona Fall League.
The Mariners had a 58-37 record with a game last night at Colorado and trailed the AL West-leading Astros by 41/2 games. Entering last night, Seattle had a five-game lead over Oakland for the second AL Wild Card spot.