Notebook: Mariners playing it cautious with a number of early minor injuries
PEORIA, Ariz. – The list of Mariners players who have yet to play in a Cactus League game is rather long.
Mitch Haniger, Ryon Healy, Guillermo Heredia, David Phelps, Erasmo Ramirez, Nick Vincent and Tony Zych are all present, but they all have been slowed either by design or from injuries ranging from minor dings and dents to severity unknown.
In the taking-it-slow category is David Phelps, who underwent late-season surgery in 2017 to remove bone chips from his elbow. He threw his first live batting practice session of the spring on Tuesday and should get into a game in the next few days. As for bullpen-mate Vincent, soreness that crept up early in camp has sidelined him.
“(Vincent) was throwing the bullpens early; he was a little tender, nothing alarming,” said manager Scott Servais, who pointed out there was plenty of time to build up the relievers.
Two relievers who had strong Arizona Fall League performances and could figure to fill needs sometime this season at the big league level have been sidelined as well. Art Warren has been throwing bullpens but a hip issue held him out of fielding drills until Wednesday. If no problems are reported after workouts, he could get into a game in the next few days. Matt Festa reported to camp with a different hip issue and there currently is no timetable set for him to get back on the mound.
While Warren and Festa do not figure into the Mariners’ immediate plans, a number of players who do are still waiting to get on the field. The news is all good, perhaps too good (if that is possible), for Guillermo Heredia coming off shoulder surgery.
“He’s in a really good spot,” said Servais. “He’s so far ahead of the scheduled time I think the doctors are a little bit more cautious. He’s ready to go. He’s worked his tail off. He’s ready to play.”
Heredia will be examined by team doctors early next week and is expected to get the full-go for games.
The picture for Haniger, who reported to camp experiencing off and on hand soreness from hitting, is hopeful but not quite as clear.
“He feels good,” said Servais. “We are being cautious early here. That’s why we have been pulling back with guys. He is supposed to get reevaluated by Dr. Sheridan, the hand specialist. That’s supposed to happen Friday, we are trying to move that up a bit. We’re anxious just like the players are.”
• No update on Felix Hernandez on Wednesday, although he did look like he was in less pain coming into the clubhouse in the morning. He is still listed on the pitching assignment chart as the starter Saturday but it is likely he misses that start while his arm continues to heal from taking a line drive on Monday.
• A one-hour Cactus League Report will air at 6 p.m. Wednesday night on 710 ESPN Seattle before the delayed broadcast of the Mariners game against the Indians. The show will feature interviews with Ben Gamel, Dan Altavilla and Braden Bishop.