The Indians sign Scott Atchison to a contract extension

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It’s an odd time of the year for contract extensions to be announced, but that’s what the Indians did. If only a minor one: they announced that they have signed righty reliever Scott Atchison through the 2015 season with a club option for 2016.

Atchison, 38, and the reliever who looks most like your high school gym teacher, has been great in 2014, posting a 6-0 record with a 2.95 ERA in 53 relief appearances, striking out 37 and walking nine in 55 innings. For his career he’s 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA in 258 Major League appearances.

Everyone always says they can go out in the winter and revamp the bullpen. The Indians have decided, nope, they’d rather keep what they have. Can’t blame ’em.

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.