When Justus Sheffield was placed on the 10-day injured list just before Wednesday evening’s game with the Yankees, a collective eyeroll could be felt from the team’s fan base and plenty of snarky comments permeated on Mariners Twitter.
Most believing it wasn’t a real injury or a convenient resolution for the struggling Mariners lefty, who gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched the night before.
If you throw in the confusion of what was actually ailing Sheffield, it made the situation even more confusing.
Sheffield said after his outing Tuesday that he wasn’t 100% and was trying to get his body right. When asked if it had something to do with his arm, Sheffield said that it didn’t and that it was more body-related but wouldn’t elaborate.
Manager Scott Servais declined to provide any details before Wednesday’s game, saying he would wait until hearing from the team’s medical staff.
So when the official roster move came out and Sheffield was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left forearm strain, despite saying his arm wasn’t the issue, well, conspiracy theories began to erupt.
On his weekly radio show on ESPN 710, general manager Jerry Dipoto provided a little bit of clarity to the situation and Sheffield’s injury or injuries.
Dipoto said that Sheffield also was diagnosed with an oblique strain.
“To be frank, Tuesday was the first we’d heard of it really,” he said. “Justus is a gamer, and he’s going to go out and take his reps. With as much as he has struggled, especially here of late, no one wants to raise their hand and say, ‘Hey, I’m dealing with something here.’ And so we just weren’t aware. Otherwise, we would have managed it as best we could with Justus. After (his) roughest outing of the season, and he let us know.”
The injuries will keep him out of the rotation after the All-Star break.
“The more concerning of the two things to us, from a time perspective is probably the oblique,” Dipoto said. “There is certainly something going on with his elbow. But we were not as concerned from a missed time perspective. It’s probably going to take a little bit longer to heal that oblique. So he’s going to be out for a little bit.”
Servais said the Mariners will use a bullpen start for Sheffield’s turn Sunday. Coming out of the All-Star break, Sheffield’s turn would come as the No. 5 starter in Colorado. Servais said they are making a decision who will make that start, but it likely won’t be Sheffield.
Crawford getting an All-Star call?
Could J.P. Crawford still find his way on to the American League All-Star team? On Thursday, Astros infielders Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve both announced they wouldn’t be attending the game. Correa wants to remain in Houston with his pregnant wife. Altuve didn’t offer much of a reason other than resting his body. Though it’s fair to wonder the negative reception he’s received in opposing ballparks all season might be also be a reason for him not to attend.
With two infield spots open, Crawford would happily fill one. In the midst of a breakout season, he was disappointed he didn’t make the team and couldn’t represent Seattle.
When manager Scott Servais heard that Correa and Altuve were out of the All-Star game, he immediately contacted Rays manager Kevin Cash, who is managing the AL All-Stars.
“I sent him a text early this morning, and he hit me back right away,” Servais said. “I’m sure I’m not the only guy out there doing it. But I think it’s important that you stand up for your guys, I do think J.P. is very deserving of going to the game. I think he’s a great fit. He’s a young player kind of breaking out with a ton of energy.
“It’s kind of what the All-Star game should be about — guys that want to be there, want to play, want to showcase their skills and they want to represent their team, their community, where they’re coming from. And I know J.P. is very proud of wearing a Mariner uniform. So hopefully that all comes together.”
But ultimately the decision might be up to MLB and not Cash.
“Kevin Cash does not make the final call,” Servais said. “With how the All-Star game works now, his selections, and how those rosters are put together are much different than how it used to be. I think back in the day, the managers had a lot (of) say. And I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”