The Mariners dropped some bad news on us tonight.
Mariners with some tough injury news; Reliever David Phelps has torn UCL from last pitch in last outing Saturday. Will need Tommy John surgery.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) March 22, 2018
Phelps will undergo Tommy John surgery soon. Recovery time 12-15 months.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) March 22, 2018
Phelps said he felt the ligament go on the last pitch he threw on March 17 against the Angels. So, thanks a lot for that, Angels.
This sucks, obviously, but if the team were to lose any player for the season, it might as well have been a reliever. The bullpen is the one area the Mariners have some amount of depth. Phelps was slated to be a solid, multiple-inning shutdown reliever and there are a few pitchers who could possibly step into that role.
Juan Nicasio is probably at the top of the list for that role, if he wasn’t already. Beyond that, Dan Altavilla and James Pazos are both looking to continue the major strides they made last season and in Spring Training, so they could see their work load expand a bit. Chasen Bradford is a bit of a wild card, but has lots of potential.
This also creates room for Casey Lawrence or Shawn Armstrong or Ryan Cook to squeak their way onto the Opening Day roster.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about Nick Rumbelow:
Dipoto said Nick Rumbelow is dealing with a nerve issue in his neck and is still out. So he's not a factor for the bullpen right now.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 22, 2018
Yeah, he’ll be in the Sunken/Soggy place for a while, I think.