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Mariners shut down RHP Erasmo Ramirez due to ‘light’ lat strain

The Mariners have shut down Erasmo Ramirez for a couple weeks to let a lat strain heal. (AP)

The Seattle Mariners’ injury plague from 2017 doesn’t appear to be behind them quite yet.

Starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez will be shut down for a couple weeks due to a “light” strain of his latissimus dorsi muscle, Mariners manager Scott Servais told members of the media at spring training Sunday.

Breaking down the Mariners: Lineup | Rotation | Bullpen

“He’s gotta get evaluated pretty much daily but the initial (decision) was let’s give him a couple weeks without throwing a ball,” said Servais, noting Ramirez has been in Arizona since Feb. 1 and didn’t experience any issues until he felt tightness Saturday morning. “Not great news, it’s not the end of the world. Things do happen and it’s pretty early.”

Ramirez is already the second player the Mariners are counting on to be a regular in 2018 to suffer an injury before the full squad reports to spring training. First baseman Ryon Healy underwent hand surgery to remove a bone spur earlier in the week.

Ramirez is penciled in to be Seattle’s No. 4 starting pitcher. His absence will create an opportunity for Andrew Moore and Ariel Miranda, who are the Mariners’ top two starters behind projected No. 5 pitcher Marco Gonzales.

The 27-year-old Ramirez began his MLB career with the Mariners and returned to the team last year in a midseason trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. He had a 3.92 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 11 starts after rejoining Seattle.