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Bautista departs Sunday outing with injury

Mariners No. 27 prospect's status could affect bullpen's depth
@gregjohnsmlb
March 10, 2019

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Hard-throwing rookie right-hander Gerson Bautista, one of the numerous bright spots among the new group of Mariners prospects this spring, grabbed his right arm and chest area after throwing a pitch during the seventh inning in Seattle’s 9-9 split-squad tie with the Angels in Tempe on Sunday,

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Hard-throwing rookie right-hander Gerson Bautista, one of the numerous bright spots among the new group of Mariners prospects this spring, grabbed his right arm and chest area after throwing a pitch during the seventh inning in Seattle’s 9-9 split-squad tie with the Angels in Tempe on Sunday, and was removed mid-inning.

Bautista walked off the mound with an athletic trainer after appearing to clutch his pectoral muscle following a 2-2 delivery to Matt Thaiss, the third batter he’d faced. Bautista entered in the seventh inning and walked Kole Calhoun and retired Mike Trout on a line drive before his injury.

“I know he came out of the game against the Angels, but I don’t have a report on why,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, who was in Peoria with the other half of the club in a 16-2 loss to the Indians.

“He’s a guy we really like and are excited about his upside and future. I don’t want to rush to any judgments. We’ll wait and see what the trainers have when I get inside.”

Any setback at all to Bautista could change the Mariners’ bullpen plans as they prepare for Thursday’s departure to Japan, where they’ll face the A's in a two-game Opening Series on March 20-21.

Bautista has posted a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings over five Cactus League outings and opened eyes with his upper-90s fastball and nasty slider combination.

The slender 23-year-old is one of five players acquired from the Mets in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz deal in December. He’s ranked as Seattle’s No. 27 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and appeared to be in serious contention for a bullpen berth on a team that is rebuilding its relief crew after the series of offseason trades by general manager Jerry Dipoto.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.