Taylor Teagarden is expected to be sidelined for several weeks after being diagnosed with a slight ligament tear in his lower back.
Manager Buck Showalter indicated that the injury is less severe than it sounds, but also admitted that Teagarden’s status for Opening Day “is in jeopardy.”
Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Teagarden got an epidural injection and will be shut down completely for at least a week, opening the door for Ronny Paulino to begin the season as Matt Wieters’ backup.
Paulino signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles in January after spending last season backing up Josh Thole for the Mets, who non-tendered him.
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.