Tim Stauffer gets second opinion on lingering elbow injury

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Tim Stauffer is on the disabled list for the second time this season because of a sprained right elbow and was able to make just one start in between DL stints, so not surprisingly he sought a second opinion on the injury.

Rob Terrnova of the North County Times reports that Stauffer was examined recently by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed Tommy John surgery on Stauffer’s rotation-mate, Cory Luebke, earlier this week.

There’s no word yet on what Yocum has advised Stauffer, but there’s little chance of the news actually being good (as opposed to just “not bad”). Stauffer was the Padres’ Opening Day starter last season and threw 186 innings with a 3.73 ERA, staying healthy enough to make 31 starts, but for now there’s no timetable for his return.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.