Days like today are what make the term “lucky” difficult to measure for the Mariners. Yes, a league-best record in one-run games is a hoot, but having seen half their starting lineup hit the DL at some point, it’s tough to call the M’s too charmed. Friday isn’t typically the best day for deals but today the M’s got a 2-for-1 special on relievers to the DL in the form of Juan Nicasio and Dan Altavilla.
Mariners place Juan Nicasio (knee) and Dan Altavilla (UCL sprain) on the DL.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 8, 2018
They recall Daniel Vogelbach from Class AAA Tacoma. Mike Morin selected from Class AAA Tacoma
This is a tricky balance. Nicasio, early struggles and all, has a significant track record of being a superior pitcher, and in the past few weeks he’s shown a return to form. Knee effusions are tricky things, since what they really boil down to is a fluid build-up in the knee requiring of drainage. If that’s all it is, as can be when the knee suffers a sudden trauma or some minor injury, the recovery time is minimal, and we may see Nicasio back close to the 10-day minimum. If, however, the effusion is found to be a symptom of a much more significant injury, Nicasio may miss months.
UPDATE: 1:42 PM
It looks like Nicasio’s injury is of the far less dramatic variety.
Nicasio still plans to throw while on the DL to keep his arm ready. He won't be allowed to run. But he expects to be back when the 10 days are up.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 8, 2018
As for Alt, this season marks the first time he’s been befallen by injury in any significant fashion. A notorious workout maven, it seems possible his earlier DL-stint for an AC joint inflammation led to a kinetic chain trickle-down. UCL sprains are bad news in all forms, but it remains to be seen the severity. A Grade 1 sprain still likely means a month or more off for Diesel Dan, but has a reasonable chance at evading Tommy John. Grade 2 sprains are partial tears of the UCL, which are occasionally treatable with rest and rehab (examples include Masahiro Tanaka and literally nobody else I can think of), but typically result in TJ ultimately. That is grim news for the Angels, who, coincidentally, suffered a far more grievous injury update today.
The Angels have placed Shohei Ohtani on the DL with a grade 2 sprain of the UCL. He underwent a PRP and stem-cell injection yesterday. He will be re-evaluated in 3 weeks.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) June 8, 2018
For Seattle, Dan Vogelbach returns to spell Ryon Healy immediately, as Vogey is in this afternoon’s starting lineup. Healy has scuffled a bit of late, while Vogey has dutifully ruined the lives of PCL pitchers to the tune of a .304/.445/.643 line, a 179 wRC+, and a 19.9% BB rate nearly seven percent higher than his K%. As has been the case, Vogey must transition that AAA exceptionalism into MLB mashing since his baserunning and defense will never be his calling card. It’s always good to see him get another chance, since it’s seemingly within his capacity if given the time to work it out.
As for RHP Mike Morin, he’ll be added to the 40-man roster to take the place of the recently DFA’d and released Marc Rzepczynski. Morin was slipped through waivers during Spring Training after being claimed on waivers, and brings a combo strike-throwing and a Fernando Rodney-esque fastball-changeup velocity separation to the table, and a remarkably rough ERA/FIP separation throughout 170.0 MLB innings, all with the Angels. His 4.61 ERA suggests an unworkable skillset for a career reliever, yet his 3.38 FIP is bordering on high-leverage deserving.
With Nick Vincent likely to return in the next week or two, Seattle has the bullpen depth to weather a decent amount of damage, but this is undeniably a blow. The development of Matt Festa, Art Warren, Shawn Armstrong, and Darrin Gillies provides some extra depth, along with the slow return to health of Nick Rumbelow and Ryan Garton. For now it will be Morin.