SHANNON DRAYER

Austin Adams, one of Mariners’ most promising relievers, out 6-8 months

Sep 22, 2019, 6:08 PM
Mariners RHP Austin Adams...
Mariners reliever Austin Adams suffered a knee injury in a collision Saturday. (AP)
(AP)

BALTIMORE – The news was not what Austin Adams or the Mariners wanted to hear.

Mariners ‘starting to get there’ in building a bullpen for the future

The knee injury that the right-handed relief pitcher suffered Saturday night trying to avoid a collision with Orioles second baseman Hanser Alberto at first base was serious. An MRI taken Sunday morning revealed an injury to the ACL and meniscus that will require surgery. The recovery and rehab is expected to take six to eight months.

“Initially I thought I had hyperextended it,” Adams said at his locker Sunday following the Mariners’ 2-1 loss to the Orioles, crutches by his side. “I came in here and watched the video and saw the way the knee moved and thought that’s not a hyperextension. I tried to stay as optimistic as possible and not think negative thoughts but it is what it is. It’s not a surgery no one’s ever had before. There’s been success with it, I’m just going to stay positive and dominate rehab.”

The injury is a blow for both Adams and the Mariners as he had emerged as one of their better back-of-the-bullpen arms. Since being acquired from the Nationals on May 4 for cash, Adams has posted a 3.77 ERA with a 2.96 FIP. When healthy – he missed six weeks with a shoulder injury – he has flashed moments of dominance, posting a 15.13 K/9 rate, fourth-best of any reliever who has thrown 30 innings or more this season.

In a season where Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto and staff were “mining for gold” (in the words of manager Scott Servais) when it came to relievers, Adams was a success story with a tweak in his pitch usage credited for the uptick in his performance. That success was reassurance that Adams needed in his career and something that will help him get through a long recovery and rehab period.

“It’s meant a lot,” Adams said. “Just showing myself I can compete at this level. Going out there and even when I do struggle, just throwing strikes. Competing with the best in the world. Getting DFA’d is a really, really weird situation. Being told that you are not good enough to play any more by an organization, then going out and pitching pretty well, it definitely helped this year with my confidence. That’s the biggest thing.”

The swelling in Adams’ left knee will need to subside before surgery will be able to be performed. After that there will be recovery and rehab which will take place near his home in Tampa, Fla. He is not expected to return until June 2020 at the very earliest and the team will no doubt take it cautiously with him. With 2020 expected to be another building year for the Mariners there is no need to rush the 28-year-old Adams, who is under club control through the 2024 season.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

What sets Mariners OF Kyle Lewis apart from other prospects?

See you next season

Chevrolet Silverado

Shannon Drayer

Mariners J.P. Crawford...
Shannon Drayer

Talking Mariners Podcast: Diving deep into exciting final push of 90-win season

Shannon Drayer, Mariners insider for 710 ESPN Seattle, and James "Boy Howdy" Osborn are back to start breaking down the 2021 M's season and an important upcoming offseason.
15 days ago
Mariners Jerry Dipoto...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners know what they want to spend on, how current roster figures in

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais painted a clear picture of what they want to do this offseason, and yes, the plan is to add payroll.
15 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: What we can learn about Mariners from key points in their 90-win season

You can't learn everything about the direction the Mariners are heading just from how they go into the offseason. Shannon Drayer shares what was revealed at key points on their way to 90 wins.
16 days ago
Mariners J.P. Crawford Kyle Seager...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: How Mariners’ 90-win journey wildly differed from April 1 expectations

The 2021 Mariners season looked very different from Rick Rizzs' opening line from the radio booth in the Dave Neihaus Broadcast Center on April 1 illustrated.
18 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Drayer: Why this Mariners’ run feels more real than others, and what Tyler Anderson’s start did for M’s

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer joined 710 ESPN Seattle's Mike Salk Show to break down the Mariners' exciting run at the playoffs.
23 days ago
Mariners RHP Matt Brash...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Who is Mariners rookie pitcher Matt Brash? Here’s what you need to know

The Mariners are calling up pitching prospect Matt Brash before Tuesday's game. Shannon Drayer provides a look at why he's become an option.
24 days ago
Austin Adams, one of Mariners’ most promising relievers, out 6-8 months