When the Mariners open a four-game series Thursday against the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field, they will be playing their 42nd game of the season — and using their 10th different starting pitcher.
That’s the most in the majors. Toronto and Cincinnati have each used nine.
Gaviglio wasn’t even invited this spring to big-league camp and is making his first big-league start in a seven-year pro career. He made his big-league debut a week ago by pitching two mop-up innings in Toronto.
"He’s a very mature kid," manager Scott Servais said. "He’s pitched a lot. He’s been in the WBC (World Baseball Classic). He’s been around a little bit. He is a strike-thrower. He competes well. He certainly handles himself well."
Gaviglio is a right-hander who turns 27 in four days. He was 2-3 with a 3.31 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Tacoma prior to his May 10 promotion as a replacement for injured right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma.
Being a right-hander could help. The White Sox are 9-17 this season in games started by right-handed starters and have an overall slash of .229/.286/.368 against right-handed pitchers.
The Mariners have five starters on the disabled list: Iwakuma, Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Drew Smyly and Ryan Weber. Only Paxton is likely to return to the rotation prior to the end of the month.
Gaviglio will be the fifth starter used this season who spent time at Tacoma. The others are Weber, Christian Bergman, Chase De Jong and Dillon Overton. That doesn’t count Ariel Miranda, who was ticketed for Tacoma prior to Smyly’s injury.
Bergman pitched 7 1/3 innings Wednesday in 4-0 victory over Oakland.
The Mariners acquired Gaviglio — pronounced Guh-VEE-leo — from St. Louis in a Nov. 20, 2014 trade for infielder Ty Kelly. They retained Gaviglio over the last two seasons by re-signing him as a minor-league free agent.
Gaviglio made one start in March for Italy in the WBC and got a no-decision after allowing two runs in 4 2/3 innings in an 11-10 loss to Venezuela. He is 36-39 with a 4.01 ERA in 115 career minor-league games.
The Mariners used 13 different starting pitchers in 2016. Eleven times in their previous 40 seasons, they used fewer than 10.
***The White Sox are starting rookie right-hander Dylan Covey, who is 0-3 with a 7.98 ERA in six starts. They acquired Covey, 25, from Oakland last December in the Rule 5 Draft.
***Think the Mariners’ rotation is suffering? The White Sox’s starters are 0-8 with a 6.36 ERA over the club’s last 11 games.
***Chicago is 17-21 and arrives after suffering a three-game sweep to the Angels in Anaheim. The White Sox have lost six straight road games and nine of their last 11 overall., They are 31-40 all-time at Safeco Field.
***Shortstop Jean Segura has a 16-game hitting streak, a career best, and leads the American League with a .359 average. He also ranks sixth with 46 hits despite missing 12 games because of a hamstring injury.
***Chicago outfielder Avisail Garcia ranks third in the AL in batting with a .348 average. He batted just .250 in 314 games over the three previous seasons.
***Designated hitter Nelson Cruz had two more RBIs in Wednesday’s victory over Oakland, which pushed his league-leading total to 36. He has 28 RBIs in his last 22 games.
***White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier battled back stiffness earlier this month and is batting just .187 this season in 30 games. But he was 10-for-28 (.357) last season in seven games against the Mariners with four homer and 11 RBIs.
***Thursday is the first of three "Bark at the Park" nights this season at Safeco Field. For $50, fans get tickets for themselves and their dog, a Mariners dog tag, and the opportunity for a joint postgame walk around the bases. Tickets must be purchased online at www.Mariners.com/Bark.
It was nine years ago Thursday — May 18, 2008 — that Ichiro Suzuki became the Mariners’ all-time leader in stolen bases when he got No. 291 in a 3-2 victory over San Diego at Safeco Field.
Suzuki moved past Julio Cruz, who had 290 for the Mariners from 1977-83. Suzuki pushed his franchise-leading total to 438 prior to a 2010 trade that sent him to the New York Yankees. He now has 508 steals in his 17-year career.
Cruz remains second on the club’s all-time list. Harold Reynolds is third at 228.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners