Seattle Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz optimistic about ailing back

Jun 5, 2024, 9:17 PM | Updated: Jun 6, 2024, 4:01 pm

Seattle Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz...

Andrés Muñoz of the Seattle Mariners reacts during a 2024 game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

OAKLAND, Calif. – Andrés Muñoz spent the majority of pregame in the trainer’s room Wednesday at the Oakland Coliseum. When he emerged, there was almost an air of “What’s the big deal?” about him. Understandable when you realize the lower-back issue that knocked him out of the ninth inning of the Seattle Mariners’ 4-3 win over the A’s the night before is something he has been dealing with for a long time. How long?

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“It was probably the second game of the season,” he said.

Muñoz said the back felt fine coming into the outing, but the collision at the plate with A’s shortstop Max Scheumann caused it to flare up again.

“I didn’t feel it at all. It’s been like that basically the whole year,” he said, noting that he felt the treatment he has been taking and the work he had been doing to strengthen the area was working. “It’s just one of those days when you don’t feel good and that’s it. Nothing to worry about it.”

There has been no official word from the club when Muñoz could take the field again. In his pregame media session, manager Scott Servais said the MRI Muñoz underwent was given later in the day and the Mariners’ doctors still needed to see the results. Muñoz is confident he will not be out for long.

“I’ve been here before,” he stated, smiling when asked if he felt confident he could pitch in the next couple of days. “I have felt like this before, I know we can manage that and be ready to go.”

“Play through” injuries happen all the time and the full health of the team is never known by the public or other teams. Dings, dents, backs, etc., can have an impact on performance and usage. It is very worth noting the number of times Servais has said the Mariners were short in the bullpen. There is little doubt some of those nights were nights Muñoz was down because of his back.

Muñoz emphasized he will do and has done everything he can to be on the mound for the Mariners.

“I am 100% in this team,” he said. “Some days we don’t feel good and have to go there and do our job. So it is what I am going to do. Yesterday was not a good day for me, but I am ready to come the next day.”

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