ANAHEIM -- The Mariners are entering the second half of the 2019 season with one of the most crowded injured lists in baseball. With 12 men out, the team ranks behind only the Yankees (13) in injured player count.
Manager Scott Servais provided updates on 11 of those players ahead of Friday’s series opener at Angel Stadium:
Sam Tuivailala, RHP
Tuivailala is set to take the next step in his rehab process, as the club plans to have him make the first of two back-to-back appearances for Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. Tuivailala, who’s missed the entire season after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon last August, has already made 17 rehab appearances across two stints for four different Mariners affiliates. Depending on how he feels after Saturday’s planned outing, he could rejoin the club soon.
“The velo’s been pretty good, in the 94 [mph] range, from what I’ve heard, which is plenty fine,” said Servais. “[We’ll] see how he responds to back-to-back outings.”
Brandon Brennan, RHP
Brennan, who’s been out since June 14 with a right shoulder strain, is playing a rehab game with the Arizona League Mariners on Friday.
“If that one goes OK, then his rehab will get transferred out to a different affiliate,” said Servais.
Hunter Strickland, RHP
The Mariners’ closer will throw a bullpen session in Anaheim on Saturday before flying to Tacoma to throw live batting practice, likely on Wednesday. Strickland went on the IL with a Grade 2 right lat strain on March 30.
Félix Hernández, RHP
Hernandez is scheduled to throw a full bullpen session on Monday. He has been out with a right shoulder strain since May 12, and experienced a setback while rehabbing in mid-June.
Connor Sadzeck, RHP
Sadzeck, who has been dealing with right elbow inflammation since June 4, is playing catch up to 120 feet at the Mariners’ facilities in Peoria, Ariz., and is expected to throw a bullpen session there in about a week.
Ryon Healy, IF
Healy, out since May 21 with spinal stenosis, is picking up baseball activities, including playing catch, hitting off a tee and taking ground balls. He “feels OK,” according to Servais.
Mitch Haniger, OF
Haniger has a doctor’s appointment in Seattle early next week to see if he’s ready to resume activity following a testicle rupture that has sidelined him since June 7.
“No timeline, nothing,” said Servais. “We wanna make sure he gets the sign-off from the doctor to pick up his activity, and hopefully go from there. Hopefully, it’s a good report.”
Braden Bishop, OF
Bishop, out since June 5 with a lacerated spleen, got the doctor’s go-ahead to resume working out.
“That’s not baseball stuff yet,” Servais clarified. “He’s kind of getting his strength back, and [regaining] the weight that he lost, that’s coming back. It was a good report from his doctor that he could pick up the activity.”
All three relievers are all “feeling better,” per Servais, but none are throwing yet. Adams has been out since July 4 with a right shoulder strain. Bradford has been out since June 3 with a right forearm strain.
Altavilla, who sustained a right forearm strain that landed him on the IL on July 6, will miss several weeks, but he is not expected to require surgery.
“It’s a flexor mass strain, we’re very fortunate that it’s not any more serious than that,” said Servais. “He’s gonna be out for a while -- it’s not like he’s gonna be back throwing with us in a game in another week or two. He’s gonna be down for a while. But it’s not a UCL issue.”