SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners ‘concerned’ as key reliever Matt Brash shut down

Apr 27, 2024, 4:54 PM

Seattle Mariners bullpen Matt Brash...

Matt Brash of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Key Seattle Mariners reliever Matt Brash will not be starting a rehab assignment in the minor leagues Sunday as planned. Instead, he has been shut down.

Mariners Injury Updates: GM provides latest ahead of homestand

The 25-year-old Brash, who has been recovering from elbow inflammation since early in spring training, is not bouncing back as fast as expected after throwing sessions. Now the Mariners are seeking the opinion of Dr. Keith Meister, a well known orthopedic surgeon in Texas.

“We’re hoping for the best, but obviously we’re concerned,” Mariners general manager Justin Hollander said as he provided an update on Brash to members of the media at T-Mobile Park before Saturday’s game against Arizona. “… His stuff is great when he goes out there, he’s touching 99 mph, sitting 96, 97, 98. But each progressive outing he has not bounced back, and he’s bounced back slower each time.”

Brash threw as part of his normal throwing program Friday, and it did not go well, according to Hollander.

“Yesterday he threw and did not feel good at all. I think his words were, ‘Every throw felt bad,'” Hollander said. “We met with our physician last night and we are concerned, so he’s going to fly to Dallas this week to revisit with Dr. Meister again and examine possible options.”

Brash not only throws hard but has some of the more violent breaking pitches in the game.

A rookie in 2022, he was relied upon heavily in high-leverage situations by the Mariners last season, leading all of MLB in appearances with 78. He finished the year with a 3.06 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 107 strikeouts to 29 walks over 70 2/3 innings pitched.

The American League West-leading Mariners (14-12) have been without two of their top relievers so far this season. In addition to Brash’s injury, offseason trade acquisition Gregory Santos is currently on the 60-day injured list with a lat issue. Despite missing Brash and Santos, the Mariners entered Saturday leading baseball in bullpen ERA (2.40) and WHIP (1.03), and were third in opponent’s average (.193). Seattle’s stellar starting rotation deserves some credit for that, as the M’s bullpen has thrown just 82 2/3 innings this season, less than all but two other teams.

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