The Mariners also called up recently acquired pitcher Ariel Miranda from Class AAA Tacoma to start Thursday night's game against the Red Sox.
For Steve Cishek, the pain became something he could no longer pitch through. But it wasn’t just the discomfort as he finished every pitch, it was also the results that the pain seemed to produce in his outings, which weren’t good.
After undergoing a MRI on Wednesday afternoon, Cishek was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left hip. As part of a series of roster moves before Thursday’s against the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field, the Mariners placed Cishek on the 15-day disabled list. The stint is retroactive to Aug. 2, meaning he’s eligible to return on Aug. 17.
“It’s a slight tear and it sounds probably a little worse than it is,” manager Scott Servais said. “He did get a cortisone shot and we should know in a couple of days how he responds to that. I fully expect him to be out moving around and throwing within four or five days and hopefully get him back up and going again after the 15-days are up. It’s disappointing to hear. I know he didn’t feel right and obviously didn’t look right the last few times out.”
Other moves announced Thursday:
- Ariel Miranda, LHP, recalled from Class AAA Tacoma.
- Blake Parker, RHP, selected from Tacoma.
- Donn Roach, RHP, optioned to Tacoma.
- Mayckol Guaipe, RHP, released.
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Cishek is 2-6 with 25 saves and a 3.40 ERA. The 30-year-old’s struggles have been well-documented. He has blown six saves this year. He lost a 6-3 lead to the Cubs on the nationally televised game on ESPN on Sunday night. It included an awful wild pitch that tied the score. A night later, he gave up the go-ahead home run in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox. He was replaced by Diaz, who had saves on Tuesday and Wednesday night, but isn’t expected to be available for Thursday because of usage.
The discomfort first started in Cishek’s groin area in late June, but the Mariners kept him available and throwing with treatment and wrapping the area.
“He felt it was something he could get through and continue to pitch with,” Servais said.
But the pain persisted and moved up into his hip. Because it was on his plant leg, it became noticeable as he tried to finish pitches.
“When I stick my landing and try to get through my delivery and drive the ball down like I had been all year, it felt like my muscle was rolling over some sort of a sharp knife,” he said.”It just got to a point where the surrounding muscles were taking the brunt of it and I was really having a hard time getting through my delivery.”
That inability to finish pitches had consequences.
“If you watched the last eight outings or something like that, the stuff has gone down quite a bit,” he said. “I’ve started to pitch a little bit more carefully. The velocity was down a tick and I didn’t have the same life on my fastball. But I went through a stretch where I was still getting people out and dealing with it. I was too prideful to say anything else. But once it started really affecting my performance, my shoulder starting getting more sore than usual cause I was throwing all arm and I can’t get through my delivery. I figured it was time to say something.”
Cishek won’t require season-ending surgery for the injury, which was a relief for him.
“There’s definitely optimism,” he said. “I was excited to get the MRI and hear what the doctors had to say. When you hear tear, you think of the worst thing possible. But I guess it’s not too uncommon and guys can pitch through it depending on how they react to the treatment. So I’m hoping after this little stint that I will come back stronger than I was before.”
Parker takes Cishek’s spot in the bullpen. He’s been one of Class AAA Tacoma’s best relievers this season, posting 19 saves with a 2.72 ERA in 38 appearances. In 39 2/3 innings pitched, he’s struck out 56 batters and walked 11. He has low to mid 90s fastball, breaking ball and splitfinger.
“It’s been about a year since I got hurt,” he said. “It feels good to be back. I’m excited to get out there and pitch and prove myself again.”
He missed most of 2015 with elbow issues and had surgery to remove loose bodies from the joint. He pitched well this spring, but was unable to pitch in back-to-back outings as his arm recovered from the procedure. But his arm strength and stamina has returned.
“I feel really good now,” he said. “From where I started, I feel like I’m back to 100 percent. Early in the season, I felt pretty good but my velocity wasn’t quite there yet. It kind of jumped up and then came back down, but it’s back to where I want it to be. It’s just getting out there and getting innings under your belt.”
Miranda, 27, is scheduled to make his first major-league start Thursday night after being acquired from Baltimore on July 31. He was 4-7 with a 3.93 ERA in 19 starts with Class AAA Norfolk this season. He struck out 87 and walked 31.
Guaipe, 25, made five appearances for the Mariners this season, posting a 4.91 ERA with four walks and five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings pitched. He’s been on the disabled list with an elbow injury for Class AAA Tacoma. The Mariners chose to release him than place him on the 60-day disabled list. He was signed a non-drafted free agent in 2006.