By Kirby Arnold Herald Writer
PEORIA, Ariz. — For the second straight game, the Seattle Mariners lost a front-line player because of discomfort in one of his legs.
Shortstop Jack Wilson was pulled from Friday’s 9-3 loss to the San Diego Padres after the fourth inning because of tightness in his right hamstring.
Thursday, closer David Aardsma experienced tightness in his right groin, although he said Friday that it’s minor.
The severity of Wilson’s hamstring won’t be known until after he’s re-evaluated today. Manager Don Wakamatsu said he suffered the injury while making a defensive play in the top of the third inning, although he stayed in the game and scored from first base in the bottom of the third on Ichiro Suzuki’s triple.
Wilson has experienced a fair amount of leg pains and strains in his career. He had problems with both hamstrings last year after being traded to the Mariners by the Pirates, and he missed the final 17 games because of a bruised right heel. He missed eight games in 2006 with a strained right hamstring, seven games in 2007 with tightness in the same hamstring (and also the birth of his child), and was on the 15-day disabled list in 2008 because of a strained left calf.
Aardsma, who also has a history of hamstring trouble, wasn’t concerned. He said any fears of a long-term problem went away when he took a pain-free step out of bed Friday morning.
“It put a smile on my face,” he said.
The Mariners’ closer felt tightness in his groin area on the last pitch he threw Thursday. A groin issue is nothing to ignore, especially for a pitcher, but Aardsma was walking around the clubhouse without a limp Friday morning after a session of ice, stimulation and time in the whirlpool.
Wakamatsu said Aardsma probably would skip one game.
“Everything’s fine,” Wakamatsu said. “It’s not way up in the groin, which is a good thing. It’s more in the belly of the muscle. We’ll keep him off it today and get him throwing a little bit more tomorrow, and we’ll have a better idea.”
Aardsma suffered a major groin injury to the same leg two seasons ago when he pitched for the Red Sox, but he said this isn’t nearly as severe.
“That one was way worse,” he said. “There was a pop and I went on the DL twice. This is just tightness. I just want to be smart about it. There’s no point pushing it. We’ve still got a month until the season.”
Read Kirby Arnold’s blog on the Mariners at www.heraldnet.com/marinersblog