Former M's manager Don Wakamatsu issues statement

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Don Wakamatsu, who was fired as Mariners manager earlier today, just issued a statement via his former employer’s public relations department.

(courtesy of Larry Stone of the Seattle Times)

“I would like to thank the city of Seattle and all the baseball fans
here in the Northwest for the great support offered to me during my time
as Mariners manager.

“My single biggest disappointment is that we were not able to finish
what we wanted to finish here, bringing a championship club to the fans.

“I can not tell you how great the fans were to me, and to my family.
The support I received here will always mean a great deal to me.”

Nothing too revelatory here, but we shouldn’t expect much from a statement distributed by the team. According to Stone, Wakamatsu will conduct a conference call tomorrow.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.