Smyly will meet with a team orthopedist on Wednesday
PEORIA, Ariz. — With a seemingly interminable spring training just days away from ending, the Mariners find themselves in the midst of a minor crisis.
Left-hander Drew Smyly, the team’s No. 4 starter in the rotation, has been scratched from his final Cactus League start on Friday with arm issues.
“He didn’t feel great coming out of his bullpen yesterday,” manager Scott Servais on Wednesday morning. “We need to get a feel for where he’s at.”
Servais wouldn’t go into specifics of what was ailing Smyly’s arm whether it was the shoulder or elbow.
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“It’s just a little soggy,” he said.
The plan is for Smyly to meet with team orthopedist — Dr. Edward Khalfayan — on Wednesday. Smyly declined to speak about the issue, wanting to meet with Khalfayan first and getting a diagnosis.
“At this time of spring you are always concerned because we are getting close to opening day,” Servais said. “But I don’t want to rush to any judgments. We’ll wait and see what the doc says.”
The initial plan is to shut Smyly down from throwing for the next few days.
Smyly has had a history of shoulder issues. He suffered a tear in the labrum in May of 2015 and rehabbed the shoulder back to shape instead of undergoing surgery.
Arm fatigue isn’t uncommon for some pitchers during spring training. Smyly hasn’t had a typical spring, having pitched a game for the United States in the World Baseball Classic. He had a brilliant outing, touching 94 mph with his fastball and striking out eight batters in 4 2/3 innings. Prior to that outing, he went nine days without throwing in a game. He made two starts after returning to the Mariners camp. He threw four innings in a minor league game and then pitched four innings, giving up five runs and three against the Reds on Sunday.
The Mariners have some contingency plans if Smyly can’t make his first regular season start on April 6 against the Astros. Left-hander Ariel Miranda would seem like the most likely candidate. But right-hander Chris Heston or lefty Dillon Overton is also a possibility.
“We have got some depth,” Servais said. “I don’t want to go there. I’m not going there. You can ask all you want. I don’t know. I’m just waiting to see what I hear.”
Following the Mariners’ 3-3 tie game that afternoon, Servais had no updates on Smyly’s condition.