PEORIA, Ariz. -- Shae Simmons can't ignore the obvious. He's had a series of arm problems in his young pitching career. And when the arm isn't working, well, neither is Simmons.So the 26-year-old right-hander, who had hoped to be a big part of the Mariners' bullpen this season after being
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Shae Simmons can't ignore the obvious. He's had a series of arm problems in his young pitching career. And when the arm isn't working, well, neither is Simmons.
So the 26-year-old right-hander, who had hoped to be a big part of the Mariners' bullpen this season after being acquired from the Braves, instead will be shut down from all throwing for at least a few more days as the rest of his team prepares to open the season in Houston on Monday.
Simmons underwent more tests on Monday and the results showed a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm. As a pitcher who missed all of 2015 and part of '16 following Tommy John surgery on his elbow, he took this as good news. Or at least as good as could be hoped after experiencing soreness and fatigue every time he attempted to play catch after feeling the arm tighten up in his last Cactus League outing on March 11.
"I'm trying to stay positive," Simmons said. "What else can you do? It's out of my control. I've had a streak of unfortunate events throwing, and it just happens that's my job."
The Mariners knew Simmons would open the season on the disabled list, but they held out hope he'd begin progressing soon into a normal throwing program to build him back up. Instead, he'll now shut down completely until the arm quits barking.
"It's a little bit of a setback," said manager Scott Servais. "It's going to be a little bit slower than we'd anticipated. It's a flexor strain and we'll be a little cautious. It's not progressing as our medical people had hoped, so we're going to slow him down a little bit."
An MRI test showed no ligament issue, and Simmons said the strain appears to be clearing up, which is why he's taking the optimistic route.
"Maybe just a little more rest and then continue throwing, hopefully," he said. "We don't really have a timeline on it. Probably a couple days. I'm not sure exactly when we'll pick it back up, it just depends if I'm still feeling tender. Whenever I'm not throwing, it feels great. So that's the only issue."
The hard-throwing Simmons looked good early in camp after being acquired from Atlanta in January. He had a 2.54 ERA in 33 relief outings for the Braves in 2014 and '16, including seven appearances with just one run in 6 2/3 innings in September before being shut down in the final two weeks with a forearm issue.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
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