Mariners SP Bryan Woo lands on injured list days before season

Mar 25, 2024, 4:39 PM | Updated: 4:48 pm

Seattle Mariners Woo Bryan...

Bryan Woo of the Seattle Mariners tosses a rosin bag during a 2024 spring training game. (Aaron Doster/Getty Images)

(Aaron Doster/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners will have to dip into their thin starting pitching depth before the season starts, with projected No. 5 starter Bryan Woo now set to start the season on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation.

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Mariners general manager Justin Hollander made the announcement Monday afternoon before the first of Seattle’s two exhibition games at San Diego’s Petco Park this week.

Emerson Hancock will take Woo’s place in the rotation.

“Fortunately the MRI, everything else came back very clean structurally,” Hollander said of Woo. “He will be no-throw for seven days then he will ramp back up. We don’t expect a more lengthy absence, probably more similar to what it was in August of last year when he went on the IL, but nevertheless he will not be in the rotation to start the season.”

Woo, who spent 18 days on the IL last year with right forearm inflammation, appeared to be having a mostly normal spring, starting three Cactus League games between March 1-14 and a minor league game on March 20. The Mariners did give Woo extra days between starts, which did not appear out of the ordinary. Mariners manager Scott Servais said early in spring training that Seattle would be careful with Woo considering his history, which includes minimal innings in the minors and a 2021 Tommy John surgery.

Hancock, who made his MLB debut on Aug. 9 last season, started three games for the Mariners in 2023, allowing six runs in 12 innings pitched before seeing his season end due to a lat strain.

Fully healthy this spring, Servais predicted Hancock could show something in his first outing that would have people talking, and he did indeed with increased velocity on his two-seam fastball and a harder changeup in an impressive first outing. That was followed by a start where he was hit hard by the Cubs and another rough outing against the Reds where he had to throw out of the bullpen as his start was rained out the previous day. Hancock rebounded in his final outing in Arizona, throwing four innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks.

Hancock was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday but now will start Tuesday’s exhibition against the Padres. He then should next get the ball on Monday, April 1 at T-Mobile Park in a series opener against the Cleveland Guardians.

In addition, Hollander gave the following reports:

• Relief pitcher Matt Brash threw off the mound at 85% Sunday and will continue to ramp up his intensity.

• Relief pitcher Eduard Bazardo will start the year on the IL but is throwing and could be ready to return by the the end of April.

• Relief pitcher Gregory Santos is scheduled for an MRI Thursday. If that shows his lat inflammation is gone, he will be able to start ramping up quickly as he has not been down long.

• Utility player Sam Haggerty will start the season on the IL with a personal medical issue.

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