Seattle Mariners Injury Report: Hancock hurt, latest on J.P. Crawford

Aug 20, 2023, 12:03 PM | Updated: 4:01 pm

Seattle Mariners Emerson Hancock...

Emerson Hancock of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Astros on Aug. 20, 2023. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners’ plan to utilize a six-man rotation beginning this week seems to have gone out the window.

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Rookie starting pitcher Emerson Hancock exited Sunday’s game in Houston after throwing just two innings due to a right shoulder strain. It’s likely he will need to be placed on the injured list prior to Monday’s series opener in Chicago against the White Sox.

The Mariners were set this week to get back Bryan Woo, another rookie right-hander, from the IL after letting a forearm issue rest, at which time they would begin a six-man rotation of Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Bryce Miller, Woo and Hancock. The shoulder strain to Hancock obviously throws a wrench into those plans.

Hancock, a 2020 first-round MLB Draft pick by the M’s, made his MLB debut on Aug. 9, pitching five innings of one-run ball against the San Diego Padres. He had kept the Astros scoreless on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts before leaving Sunday’s game, which Seattle won 7-6.

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Through Hancock’s first three big league starts, the 24 year old owns a 4.50 ERA with six strikeouts to three walks over 12 innings. He has yet to factor into a decision of any game he’s appeared in.

J.P. Crawford set to return

There is at least some good news on the injury front for Seattle. The M’s will get shortstop J.P. Crawford back from the seven-day concussion IL ahead of Monday’s game in Chicago, as reported by Mariners insider Shannon Drayer of Seattle Sports.

Crawford suffered a concussion when he collided with Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suárez as both went after a ground ball in the same Aug. 9 game against San Diego in which Hancock made his team debut.

On Saturday, Crawford went on a rehab assignment with the Single-A Everett AquaSox. He was 0 for 3 at the plate and played six innings at shortstop.

“Everything was thumbs up there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said, per The Associated Press. “He was feeling good. The fogginess or whatever he had from the concussion seems to have gone away.”

The 28-year-old Crawford has established himself as the Mariners’ leadoff hitter as he’s enjoyed a career year at the plate this season. In 2023, he has a 125 OPS+ (league average is 100) with a slash line of .266/.379/.411 for a .790 OPS. His 10 home runs are a career-high, and his .379 on-base percentage ranks 12th in MLB, third in the American League and first among all qualifying big league shortstops.

José Caballero and Dylan Moore have filled in at shortstop while Crawford has been out.

M’s reportedly add an arm

Veteran right-handed relief pitcher Nick Wittgren has joined the Mariners on a minor league contract, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post.

Wittgren, 32, has appeared for Miami, Cleveland, St. Louis and Kansas City over an eight-year MLB career. In 27 games with the Royals this year, he posted a 4.97 ERA and 1.414 WHIP.

The Royals optioned Wittgren to Triple-A last week, but he chose his option to become a free agent due to having at least five years of MLB service time.

Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto shared Sunday on social media that Wittgren has already joined the Triple-A club.

More on the Seattle Mariners

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Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez making more history with huge hot streak
Mariners’ Dipoto discusses Julio and Raleigh thriving
What Dipoto said about Brash and Muñoz pitching the ninth inning for Seattle
Dipoto’s promising updates on Crawford and Kelenic

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