Reliever Adams 'full go' after ACL surgery

July 6th, 2020

SEATTLE -- While MLB’s lengthy shutdown played havoc with most players’ plans for the 2020 season, the late start has worked out perfectly for Mariners reliever Austin Adams.

The 29-year-old right-hander used the down time to complete his recovery from left knee surgery after tearing his ACL last Sept. 21 in Baltimore against the Orioles, and he is among the early highlights as Seattle’s Summer Camp continues ramping up at T-Mobile Park.

Prior to his injury, Adams was one of Seattle’s bright spots in 2019, as he ranked third in the American League in strikeout rate with 51 in 31 innings (14.8 per nine innings) while posting a 3.77 ERA in 29 appearances after being acquired from the Nationals on May 4.

His return gives the Mariners another late-inning reliever to bolster a young bullpen.

“He's full go,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Monday. “I’m really excited about that one. I really tip my hat to him. He worked his tail off.”

Adams was just being cleared to start playing catch when Spring Training was shut down in March, but he went home to Florida and jumped headlong into rehab work on his own.

“The knee is 100%,” Servais said. “I saw him throw a full bullpen [session] yesterday and it was coming out hot. He looked really good. No hesitations, not holding back at all. After he threw, he went in the outfield and did all his running. He looks really good.

“We’re fortunate. He played such a big role for us last year, being able to use him in the seventh, eighth, ninth inning. And that’s how we anticipate using him this year.”

No issues with testing

While several MLB teams canceled their workouts Monday because they hadn’t received results back yet on some of their COVID-19 tests, the Mariners haven’t had any issues and conducted their full workouts as scheduled.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said that club did all its initial intake testing on players last Wednesday, while teams dealing with delayed results all had staggered their testing on later days.

The Mariners have a handful of players unable to join the workouts yet because they either tested positive or haven’t been cleared yet, but those players won’t be named unless they agree to waive their privacy rights. A team spokesman said the club plans to announce Wednesday exactly how many players tested positive of the 60 invited to camp.

Injury update

Catcher Tom Murphy didn’t do any on-field work Monday after fouling a ball off his foot on Sunday, but Servais said it was just a bruise and he didn’t expect the starting backstop to miss much time.

As for others hurting after the first few days back?

“Me,” Servais said with a laugh. “You sit home and don’t do a whole lot baseball-wise, then you throw a round of BP or hit some fungoes. ... The old guys, the coaches, are sore.”

Cranking up the arms

Marco Gonzales, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Taylor Williams all threw batting practice on Monday morning, with Nick Margevicius and Rule 5 Draft selection Yohan Ramirez gearing up in the afternoon session. Every Mariners pitcher will throw at least one live BP against hitters, about 20 pitches, before getting into intrasquad games starting Friday.

Gonzales -- the expected Opening Day starter -- faced veterans Kyle Seager and Dee Gordon in his session and appeared sharp. Rookie outfielder Kyle Lewis hit a blast into the seats off Cortes in the lefty’s outing.