Feierabend could be lost for season
Reliever might need surgery for partially torn ligament in elbow
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The only Mariners pitcher to be booed for striking out Ken Griffey Jr. won't be fanning anyone for awhile.Left-hander Ryan Feierabend has some "elbow issues" and might need surgery to repair a partially torn ligament, manager Don Wakamatsu said Wednesday morning.
"We don't know the extent [of the injury], but it doesn't look good," Wakamatsu said. "It's something that has bothered him on and off. He came [into camp] a little tender, but felt good. He had another flare-up, had it tested [with an MRI exam] and there are some issues in there that we have to take care of."Wakamatsu said the MRI disclosed a partial ligament tear. The left-hander is scheduled to see Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles next Tuesday, and if surgery is required, it will be done the following day. The 23-year-old Feierabend, the Mariners' third-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, reported to camp as a late-inning setup reliever candidate. If he requires surgery, Feierabend could be sidelined for most, if not all, of the 2009 season. Feierabend has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Mariners, including a brief stint in 2007. One of his 13 appearances was against the Reds during an Interleague Play series at Safeco Field. He was summoned from the bullpen to face Griffey, struck him out, and was booed for fanning the Mariners legend, who was playing his first games in Seattle since 1999. The daily medical report on Wednesday was a double-whammy. Besides Feierabend's injury, Wakamatsu said Minor League outfielder Freddy Guzman, a non-roster Spring Training invitee, fractured the right hamate bone during his final at-bat of Tuesday's intrasquad game. The hamate is a wedge-shaped bone located near each wrist, and it's the equivalent of an appendix in that life goes on just fine without it. The injury is more common among golfers than baseball players, although Griffey fractured the hamate bone in his right hand on June 20, 1996. The healing process usually takes four to six weeks, but Griffey missed just three weeks. Guzman, a 28-year-old from the Dominican Republic, said he felt something "pop" on the next-to-last swing of his final at-bat. "I just swung, hit a foul ball and felt the pain," Guzman said. "I knew something was wrong." Guzman, who had his right hand wrapped in an ace bandage on Wednesday, will have surgery next Wednesday in Phoenix.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.