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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mariners' Brandon Maurer skips Saturday workout with back stiffness


By on 2/22/2014 07:30:00 PM

The Seattle Mariners held right-hander Brandon Maurer out of his workoouts on Saturday because of stiffness that he felt in his back. MLB.com's Greg Johns reported that Maurer was scheduled to pitch batting practice, but the team decided to take the precautionary route and have him rest.

By LiAnna Davis, via Wikimedia Commons
Maurer believes the problem is minor and will work itself out soon. He did nothing physically that he can think of to cause any strain. He explained that it might have stemmed from poor sleep positioning. Said Maurer,
"I think I just must have slept on it wrong. It's just a little stiff back, that's all. We'll see how it feels tomorrow and go from there."
The Mariners have ten pitchers competing for three rotation spots. Felix Hernandez, naturally, and Hisashi Iwakuma hold the top two. Candidates for the other three spots include Maurer, Scott Baker, Randy Wolf (both returning from Tommy John surgery), and prospects Taijuan Walker and James Paxton among others.

Maurer had a tough rookie season in 2013. He was 5-8 with a 6.30 ERA and 1.567 in 22 games, 14 of them starts. He was 3-8, 6.20 as a starter. With so much competition, Maurer cannot afford to miss much time if he wants a chance to improve on those numbers and make the starting rotation.

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