Injuries to Olivo, Gimenez cause catching shortage
Injuries have not been a major problem for the Mariners so far this season, but that may have changed in a hurry Tuesday night when the club’s short-handed catching situation just got a whole lot shorter with a day game looming Wednesday.
The one significant injury during this season has been the early loss of backup catcher Adam Moore to a season-ending knee problem.
Now, in the space of one game, the Mariners saw Miguel Olivo pulled with what was called a cramp in the hamstring area of his right leg, then backup Chris Gimenez forced to gut his way through the final four innings with a strained oblique muscle in his side.
Gimenez was sore enough that he could only attempt to bunt the ball in an eyebrow-raising at-bat in the seventh, then grimaced noticably after making a sweeping tag at the plate in the ninth when Ichiro Suzuki threw out Jason Heyward at the plate.
Now the Mariners are faced with some tough decisions to bandage things together in time for Wednesday’s 12:40 p.m. finale with the Braves. They were huddled in manager Eric Wedge’s office last last night trying to come up with answers. Miguel Olivo came out of the training room at one point to talk to Wedge, said he felt OK, but then didn’t appear too happy as he left the room after talking to the skipper.
I had to hustle back up to the press box to file my stories shortly thereafter, but ESPN-710′s Shannon Drayer reported that Gimenez eventually came out of the training room and said he’d need an MRI on Wednesday and wouldn’t be available for the afternoon game.
The Mariners don’t have a ton of options at the position waiting in Triple-A. Veteran Josh Bard is the obvious choice, but he’s missed the past three games with a toe injury. The other Tacoma catcher is Jose Yepez, a 30-year-old Venezuelan who had just one game above Double-A prior to this season.
Yepez went 2-for-3 to raise his average to .276 on Tuesday, but the Rainiers are playing in Las Vegas and he’ll need to be hustled up to Seattle if he’s needed by the 12:40 p.m. start time Wednesday when Felix Hernandez will take the hill.
Should make for an interesting day as the Mariners try to patch things together, particularly if Olivo isn’t able to go.