Nick Rumbelow

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Hunter Strickland out ‘at least a couple months’ with lat strain

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Mariners closer Hunter Strickland has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 lat strain, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Manager Scott Servais said that Strickland will be out “at least a couple months.” The club will go with a closer-by-committee for the time being.

Strickland said, “It sucks, but you have to find the positives. At least I’ll be back at some point this season.”

Strickland was unable to convert the save on Friday against the Red Sox, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning. The Mariners lost 7-6. Strickland initially attributed the hiccup to tightness in the back of his shoulder.

The Mariners signed Strickland to a one-year, $1.3 million contract in late January. He did look solid in his first two appearances of the season in Japan, as he tossed two perfect innings with three strikeouts. In Strickland’s absence, Gory Gearrin, Zac Rosscup, Nick Rumbelow, and Matt Festa could all see save chances. So, too, could Anthony Swarzak, who should be activated from the disabled list this week. A little birdy tells me there’s still a really good closer on the free agent market.