While they haven’t exactly been beset by injuries, the few Mariners that have been injured, or are dealing with injuries, have been forced to the injured list for extended periods of time.
So in Friday night’s loss to the Rockies when Mariners catcher Austin Nola called for a breaking ball from Yohan Ramirez, and the flame-throwing rookie thought it was a sign for the fastball and fired a 95-mph heater plateward, so many bad things could’ve happened.
The velocity of the pitch caught Nola by surprise, striking him on the bottom of his glove hand and wrist, leaving him in obvious pain. After meeting with athletic trainer Rob Nodine, Nola remained in the game. He had X-rays postgame, and they came back negative. The ball caught more the meaty part of the palm than the wrist and didn’t cause any fractures.
The Mariners decided to keep Nola out of the starting lineup for Saturday’s game with the hope that he plays Sunday in the final game of the homestand.
“It’s just puffy,” Servais said. “We got very lucky. Nothing was broken there. There’s just no reason to jam him in the lineup today. We’ll give him a day and try to calm that down a little bit.”
The Mariners are already without starting catcher Tom Murphy, who started the season on the injured list after suffering a hairline fracture to his left foot when it was struck by a pair of foul balls. He has just recently been able to begin full baseball activity.
The injury news was not as good for starting pitcher Kendall Graveman, who has been anything but lucky over the last three seasons. Pitching in just his second game back from Tommy John surgery in 2018, Graveman developed neck pain that forced him to the injured list. He was supposed to start Saturday’s game vs. the Rockies but was replaced by Nick Margevicius in the starting rotation.
What was first hoped to be a brief stint on the IL with neck spasms, now looks like something more serious that may require something beyond normal treatment and possibly surgery.
“He’s going to see another expert early next week to kind of get a final (opinion) on which direction he’s going to go and what procedure he’ll need to have done,” Servais said. “He’s going to miss more than one start. It’s going to be some significant time. We don’t have a definite timetable, but I would not expect to see him back in our rotation any time soon.”