Mariners reduce catcher Tom Murphy to foot fracture times from opener

Mariners catcher Tom Murphy (foot) will go on the IL ahead of Friday’s opener. (AP)

The Mariners have gained news that is about as lousy as it can get for an MLB crew just times from starting up the year – their starting up catcher is headed to the injured listing.

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Tom Murphy has a metatarsal fracture in his left foot, Mariners typical supervisor Jerry Dipoto disclosed Wednesday night time in the course of the ROOT Sports activities broadcast of the team’s remaining intrasquad sport of Summer time Camp, and he will be positioned on the IL Thursday. That leaves the M’s scrambling at the backstop situation with opening day established for 6:10 p.m. Friday in Houston.

Murphy experienced been held out from Summertime Camp pursuits in the latest days thanks to what the team was contacting a bruised foot, and on Wednesday morning, supervisor Scott Servais educated reporters that the group was not sure no matter whether Murphy would be healthier sufficient to engage in in that first activity. Now it appears Seattle will will need a extra concrete substitution for Murphy heading ahead.

That suggests Austin Nola will be stepping up to capture Mariners commencing pitcher Marco Gonzales on Friday versus the Astros. The converted shortstop primarily performed initial foundation for Seattle in 2019 just after his advertising from Triple-A Tacoma but catcher had been his most important situation very last 12 months in the minors and he built 7 appearances driving the plate for the M’s. The Mariners prepared for Murphy and Nola to break up time at catcher this yr, while Murphy would probably get much more starts off at the position, in particular taking into consideration Nola’s skill to play all in excess of the subject.

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“It is a blow and I truly feel genuinely bad for Murph,” Servais stated Wednesday evening after the Mariners’ ultimate intrasquad recreation. “This male, he is effective as really hard as anyone we have. He arrives to the ballpark with a good frame of mind every working day. However things materialize.”

The Mariners will not try to hurry Murphy back again on to the field inspite of the urgency the 60-activity MLB period offers.

“It just was not responding to the solutions, I found out later now that he was most likely likely to get started on the IL,” Servais claimed. “… It is variety of a unusual detail, Murph stated it’s some thing they’d never ever seen just before. I’m hoping he’s not down way too very long but I also really do not want him to rush back. I want him to be 100 per cent when he gets again but that’s baseball, it throws you a bunch of curves, we’ve bought to modify. Austin will get a lot of time back there, as will (Joe) Hudson.”

Murphy, 29, was a early period acquisition of the Mariners in 2019 and 1 of the team’s biggest breakout stories of the year. He hit .273 with 18 dwelling runs, a .535 slugging percentage and .858 OPS in 75 video games (281 plate appearances). He’s also attained a track record as a sturdy defender with a good take care of on handling a pitching staff members.

Nola, 30, hit .269 with 10 property operates, a .454 slugging proportion and .796 OPS in 79 online games (267 plate appearances) in 2019, his to start with in the majors.

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Joe Hudson, who has been in camp with the Mariners but is not at the moment on the 40-person roster, will be the backup for Nola going ahead. The 29 yr outdated has appeared in nine profession MLB video games about the previous two seasons with the Angels and Cardinals.

The Mariners could also look to incorporate a catcher that is slash from another MLB staff when rosters for the start off of the year are made forward of a Thursday morning deadline, but the COVID-19 tests necessary to obvious players to engage in in the course of the 60-video game year will only make matters a lot more difficult.

Uncertainty at catcher ahead of the to start with match of the period is not something new for the Mariners. A late injuries to Mike Zunino ahead of opening working day 2018 left Seattle with then-backup Mike Marjama as their only choice behind the plate, and Marjama experienced to struggle his way through a small hand damage experienced throughout that video game.

The Mariners’ opener against the Astros will air on 710 ESPN Seattle commencing with the pregame clearly show at 5 p.m.

Follow 710Sporting activities.com’s Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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