Mariners pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training Tuesday in Peoria, Ariz., but the first bit of news to come out was that of a setback for setup man Steve Cishek.
Cishek said that his offseason operation to repair a hip labrum also required microfracture surgery, according to MLB.com’s Greg Johns, which will prolong his recovery. Cishek was targeting a return by Opening Day in April, but now there is added doubt that he’ll be ready by then.
A 30-year-old right-hander, Cishek had a 2.81 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 25 saves in 62 games in 2016, a season in which he spent over half of the campaign as Mariners closer. He had a short stint on the disabled list in August due to his hip issue.
Here are some other quick notes from the first day of camp:
• Johns also reported that fellow right-handed reliever Tony Zych, who underwent shoulder surgery after appearing in just 12 MLB games last season, is farther along in his recovery than Cishek and expects to progress to bullpen sessions in a matter of weeks.
• Manager Scott Servais said the Mariners expect all pitchers and catchers to report Tuesday except for Jean Machi, who has a travel issue, according to Johns. Machi is a veteran reliever who signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on Jan. 30.