Notebook: Mariners RHP Gerson Bautista OK after injury scare
PEORIA, Ariz. – When Mariners reliever Gerson Bautista spun and dropped into a crouch clutching his pec after firing a pitch in Sunday’s split squad game against the Angels, it looked like he had suffered a significant injury. But on Monday morning he was in the Mariners’ spring clubhouse with no ice, no wrapping of the area, and moving both arms seemingly unhindered.
The injury report on the hard-throwing righty who was expected to make the 28-man roster heading to Japan?
“It’s a crazy report there,” manager Scott Servais said about Bautista shortly after delivering the bad news on Kyle Seager’s hand injury. “On exam – and I talked to him last night when he came over from Tempe and he said ‘I’ll be OK’ – the reports are OK.”
Despite the initial positive reports, Servais will need further convincing that Bautista is good to go for the trip to Japan.
“He’s going to have to get in a game here before we leave, and we’ve only got a couple of days left,” Servais said. “We will know more once he gets in today, see how he feels, but I don’t know. The player sounds optimistic, we’ll get a little better feel later today.”
Bautista told Servais and the trainers that what he felt was more of a cramp and something he has experienced in the past.
“I’m watching it on TV, no chance,” Servais said about his initial impression of the injury. “We will wait and see what the medical group tells me today but he will have to pitch in a game before he would head to Japan with us. He’s had a great spring. I think he is going to help us a lot this year, just maybe not be available for the first two games.”
Lineup! vs. Royals
Jake Fraley, RF
Tim Beckham, SS
Jay Bruce, 1B
Ryon Healy, 3B
Daniel Vogelbach, DH
Jose Lobaton, C
Tim Lopes, 2B
Tito Polo, CF
Wade LeBlanc, LHP
Scheduled to pitch: Shawn Armstrong, Cory Gearrin, Dan Altavilla, Bradon Brennan.
This will be LeBlanc’s last outing before the Japan trip. While he is not scheduled to start a game there, he will be available in the bullpen in case a starter needs to be pulled early.
• Another round of roster cuts have been made. Optioned to Triple-A Tacoma are pitchers Erik Swanson and Justus Sheffield and infielder Shed Long. Re-assigned to minor league camp are Jorgan Cavaneirio, Justin Dunn, Evan White, Kyle Lewis and Joe Decarlo. For those who are wondering, players who are on the Mariners’ 40-man roster are optioned to a minor league club, while those not on the 40-man are re-assigned. The Major League camp roster is now at 44.
• RHP Hunter Strickland, who has been dealing with lower back stiffness, is scheduled to play catch Monday. Servais is hoping to get him into a game in Arizona before the team leaves for Japan and then one of the exhibition games before the opener against the A’s.
• CF Mallex Smith (arm), who will most likely be left in Arizona when the team leaves for Japan, is scheduled to take batting practice on the field today.