Positive injury updates for ailing Seattle Mariners pitchers

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 29: Matt Brash #47 of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at T-Mobile Park on August 29, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.  (Alika Jenner / Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners general manager Justin Hollander had positive updates Monday on a handful of injured players, including starter Bryan Woo, and relievers Matt Brash and Gregory Santos.

Woo is back throwing again after being shut down for just under a week due to inflammation in his right elbow. Scans of the area hadn't shown any problems and the downtime for Woo was never expected to be lengthy. Hollander said Woo felt good after getting his work in as he begins to build back up.

"He was down for a little over a week from throwing, so he'll have to build back up," Hollander said. "But as we felt at the time and continue to feel, it's not a long-term thing. We'll see how fast it goes and when he starts ramping up more and throwing off a mound, but right now feels good and will continue to ramp up."

Emerson Hancock stepped into Woo's spot in the starting rotation for the Mariners and will make his first start of the season tonight against the Cleveland Guardians.

Brash, Santos and Eduard Bazardo are all making progress in their injury recoveries, though the trio of relievers shouldn't be expected to appear on a mound with the Major League team anytime soon.

Brash was shut down last month due to an elbow issue early in spring training. Hollander had said last week that Brash was throwing at 85 percent intensity as he works back to full output. He is still not back to 100 percent intensity, but is throwing off the mound.

"Brash through a bullpen today, mixed in some sliders today," Hollander said. "He's continuing to ramp up intensity, will continue to mix in off-speed pitches, throw a bullpen again later this week with more mix of fastballs and breaking balls. Probably focus on the slider for now."

Santos was shut down due to a sore lat muscle earlier this month and didn't even really get started in spring training. A follow-up MRI came back clean and Santos began throwing again on Monday.

"No timetable, but today was, you know, between the MRI and today it was a positive first step for Gregory Santos," Hollander said.

Bazardo is now throwing bullpens as he works back from a rotator cuff strain that kept him out for all of spring training.

"He will mix in off-speed stuff later this week in his bullpens, and obviously, following that, if it feels good, we'll start to move into more game-like situations for Eduard."

Bazardo made nine appearances for the Mariners last season, with a 2.63 ERA over 13 ⅔ innings of work. He allowed four runs on nine hits with four walks and 14 strikeouts.

While Brash did get some work in spring training, Santos and Bazardo are both working from the ground up. All three will need to go through a spring training development track at the team's complex in Arizona before any rehab assignments in the minor leagues.

"They will need a full spring training," Hollander said. "I would say that Matt is probably a little ahead of those guys in that he was ramping up to pitch in games when when his injury happened. So I would say that, you know, Brash ahead of Santos, for sure, right now. Bazardo somewhere in between probably."

Additionally, utility player Sam Haggerty is back doing baseball activities after missing time with a personal undisclosed medical issue. He is expected to join a minor league team for a rehab assignment later this week.


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