SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners 1B Ryon Healy to miss 4-6 weeks following hand surgery

Feb 15, 2018, 8:08 AM | Updated: 11:10 am
A hand injury for Ryon Healy has already thrown a wrench into Mariners spring training. (AP)...
A hand injury for Ryon Healy has already thrown a wrench into Mariners spring training. (AP)
(AP)

Four days before position players are scheduled to report to Peoria for spring training, the Mariners have announced that one will not be ready to go.

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First baseman Ryon Healy, who was shut down earlier this winter after experiencing discomfort in his right hand during workouts, underwent successful surgery to remove a bone spur from that hand Wednesday. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.

“We knew there was an issue there, I think absolutely the best case scenario came out if it,” said Scott Servais. “It’s supposed to be OK, I think four to six weeks is what we are looking at. I know Ryon, he is shooting for before the 4 weeks is up. It was not a major deal.”

Healy, who was acquired from the A’s last November in exchange for Emilo Pagan and Alexander Campos, was the projected starting first baseman and expected to hit sixth or seventh in the batting order. Servais clarified that the four- to six-week window is to get him back to game-ready. The Mariners’ home opener is six weeks from Thursday.

Should Healy return to spring games in four weeks, he most likely would have enough time to get ready for the regular season. If not, the Mariners would probably look to an internal option to take over at first until he is available.

The team currently has just two other first basemen, Daniel Vogelbach and Mike Ford, on their 40-man roster. Vogelbach, who defensively has been a work in progress since acquired from the Cubs in 2016, hit .290/.388/.455 in Tacoma last year. Ford, a Rule 5 pick from the Yankees, hit .270/.404/.471 between Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton.

“It’s about opportunity,” said Servais. “Those kids will get it. We’ve got some other guys we will give opportunity over there during camp. For now, keep our fingers crossed Ryon will get back in the mix.”

There are of course a number of free agent first basemen remaining, but unless there is a setback in Healy’s recovery, they would appear to be a less likely option for the Mariners.

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