News in and around the Mariners’ 11-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday:
Mariners reliever Josh Kinney will miss the next few weeks because of a stress reaction in his left rib cage area.
The 33-year-old Kinney was 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA in 35 appearances for the Mariners last season. A stress reaction indicates Kinney is experiencing discomfort that could result in a stress fracture if he doesn’t shut it down for a while. The club will rest him for at least two weeks before re-evaluating his status.
If Kinney is out for an extended period, it will open up a bullpen spot that Kameron Loe could claim if he continues to perform well. Mariners manager Eric Wedge likes the bullpen options the team has in camp.
“There’s already been extreme competition, and now there’s even a little bit more,” Wedge of his bullpen situation.
In other injury news, Casper Wells was out Sunday with a sore neck. And Danny Hultzen, who has missed time with a hip injury, threw a bullpen session. If he doesn’t experience any discomfort, he’s expected to return this week.
Perez returns after brawl
Now that Mexico has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, reliever Oliver Perez is back in Mariners camp, and he received a good razzing from his teammates about his role in the bench-clearing brawl between Mexico and Canada on Saturday.
“That’s how the game is,” Perez said of the incident. “Nobody wanted to get hurt, but it’s a man’s sport and sometimes one gets mad and everything happens.”
Morse homers, starts at first base
Michael Morse received his first action at first base in Cactus League play during the Mariners’ 11-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. He also hit a solo home run to right field.
Wedge cautioned not to read too much into Morse playing first base. He just wanted to make sure Morse received some playing time at a position he has played in the past. It says nothing about Justin Smoak, who has played well this spring, Wedge said.
“I just want it to be an option for us,” Wedge said. “I mean, obviously, Justin Smoak is having a real good spring. With Morse, we’ve been playing him in left field and right field, and he’s very comfortable at first base, too, so we just want to be as versatile as we can. He’s comfortable regardless of where he plays. We just want to make sure his bat’s in the lineup.”
Jason Bay hit a triple in the game, as did Carlos Peguero, who was 2 of 4, the only Mariner with multiple hits. Andrew Carraway started for the Mariners, but he allowed five runs on six hits in the first inning. The White Sox hit three home runs and finished with 17 hits, including three apiece from Dayan Viciedo and Seth Loman.
The Mariners will have Monday off before returning to action against Arizona on Tuesday.