Mariners’ Healy making best of delayed start to spring

AP

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Ryon Healy joined his new teammates Tuesday for the Seattle Mariners’ first scheduled full-squad workout of spring training. But all he could do was stand around and watch.

Healy had surgery last Wednesday to remove a bone spur in his right hand and cannot take part in drills. His prognosis for recovery is four to six weeks before the Mariners hope he can get into games.

That wasn’t the plan when the Mariners acquired the 26-year-old Healy in a trade with the Oakland Athletics last November. He is Seattle’s projected starting first baseman after batting .271 with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs last year, his first full major league season.

But the start to his Mariners tenure has been delayed.

“I can’t sit here and dwell on the negativity about it. I really have to find a positive, and that’s that my body is going to get some rest and I get an opportunity to meet some teammates and form some relationships before I even step on the field,” Healy said.

Healy has a bandage on the top of his hand to cover stitches from the surgery. Last December when he commenced offseason hitting, he felt discomfort in his hand.

He informed the Mariners, took a five-week break and upon hitting again, the pain returned.

“I kind of just expected it to go away and it never did,” Healy said. “That was the most frustrating part. There was no initial thing that I did that really irritated it. I didn’t fall on it. I didn’t lift or drop a weight on it, it was literally just picking up a bat and hitting. ... It wasn’t even something I felt last season.”

Healy said he has regained some strength and range of motion. Mariners manager Scott Servais said last week that surgery and the relatively short recovery time was the best-case scenario for the team.

“He’s very anxious and he wants to get out there and contribute as quick as he can,” Servais said.

Daniel Vogelbach and Mike Ford will get long looks at first base in spring training.

Healy comes to the Mariners with at least some level of familiarity, having faced Seattle many times as a division rival with Oakland.

“We’ve seen each other play a ton, so I think there’s definitely a mutual respect factor the way that they compete and the way that I compete,” he said. “Being able to do it on the same side is all I think everyone’s excited about.”

NOTES: Servais said he looked to set the tone with his first speech to the entire team before the workout began. He also planned to meet with every player individually for a few minutes over the next few days. ... OF Guillermo Heredia took batting practice as he works his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. Servais said Heredia is ahead of schedule. ... RHP Felix Hernandez threw his second bullpen of the spring, with the goal to make 30-35 pitches.

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