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Strained right lat muscle sidelines Erasmo

Right-hander will be shut down from throwing for a couple of weeks
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Erasmo Ramirez, expected to be Seattle's fourth starter this season, is dealing with a strained right lat muscle and will be shut down from throwing for a couple of weeks, manager Scott Servais said on Sunday.

The 27-year-old right-hander was scratched from his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday, after feeling some soreness. Tests showed what Servais called a "light" strain.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Erasmo Ramirez, expected to be Seattle's fourth starter this season, is dealing with a strained right lat muscle and will be shut down from throwing for a couple of weeks, manager Scott Servais said on Sunday.

The 27-year-old right-hander was scratched from his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday, after feeling some soreness. Tests showed what Servais called a "light" strain.

"Not great news," Servais said. "It's not the end of the world. Things do happen, and it's pretty early. So we'll wait and see how it goes."

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Ramirez has been in Arizona since the start of February and had been throwing without any issues until Saturday. The Mariners, the club he began his career with, re-acquired him last July from the Rays and he went 1-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 11 starts after the deal.

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Servais said it's fortunate Ramirez caught the injury early and didn't push it, since lat injuries can linger if they become serious.

"We have plenty of guys here to pitch early on in Spring Training games," said Servais. "We're counting on Erasmo to do some really good things for us, much like he did last year. But right now, we have to take it slow."

The Mariners were hit hard by injuries to their rotation last season, losing starter Drew Smyly in Spring Training and eventually using a Major League-record-tying 40 pitchers on the season -- including a club-record 17 starters.

Servais said he's not going to start worrying about a repeat of those woes.

"I can't," he said. "I'm not going to. Why would I? We'll keep moving along."

Ramirez is slotted in behind veterans James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake in the club's rotation plans -- with Marco Gonzales the likely fifth starter. Ramirez's injury would seem to open the door again for lefty Ariel Miranda, who filled in admirably in 2017, after Smyly went down early.

Andrew Moore and Max Povse are two young right-handers who are also in the mix.

The injury is the second already this spring to a Mariners club looking to rebound from a 78-86 season. Ryon Healy, acquired from the A's to be the starting first baseman, had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right hand on Wednesday and isn't expected back until around Opening Day.

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

Seattle Mariners, Erasmo Ramirez