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Mariners' season plagued by injuries

Mariners' season plagued by injuries

TORONTO -- In his 27 seasons as the Mariners' head athletic trainer, Rick Griffin can recall only one other season when the disabled list was used as often as this year.

He said this is the most injury-plagued season since 1997.

Not even counting the 306 games missed by left-handed pitchers Ryan Feierabend and Cesar Jiminez, who have spent the entire season the disabled list, the Mariners have lost 598 games to injuries.

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"We've had some weird things happen," Griffin said. "You try to categorize them as preventable injuries and injuries that result in playing the game, and we've had quite a few of both."

The weirdest injury so far was the one suffered by third baseman Adrian Beltre. He suffered a severely contused right testicle when struck by a hard-hit grounder. The result of not wearing a protective cup cost him 18 days on the DL.

It was his second DL stint. Beltre also missed 30 games because of shoulder surgery.

"The guy plays his entire career without wearing a cup," Griffin said, shaking his head, "and then gets hit like that."

Another unusual injury occurred on May 25, when catcher Kenji Johjima suffered a broken big toe in a home-plate collision with Athletics second baseman Adam Kennedy.

"That's a little bit unusual," Griffin said.

Johjima missed 26 games while on the 15-day disabled list.

But he, too, is a two-timer. Johjima's first visit to the DL came on April 16 with a right hamstring strain. He missed 13 games.

Left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard, no stranger to the DL, is another two-time victim.

He currently is on the 60-day DL while recovering from labrum surgery, which will have caused him to miss the last 64 games of the regular season. He missed 25 more games from June 8 through July 6.

Right-handed pitcher Carlos Silva started the season in the rotation, and went on the DL on May 9, retroactive to May 7. He returned a week ago after missing 114 games.

Others who have spent time on the DL and games missed are:

• Endy Chavez (torn ACL, 86).

• Russell Branyan (herniated disk in his back, 23).

• Sean White (right shoulder tendinitis, 9).

• Yuniesky Betancourt (strained left hamstring, 14).

• Roy Corcoran (strained neck, 39)

• Shawn Kelley (strained left oblique, 52).

• Brandon Morrow (right biceps tendinitis, 14).

• Ryan Rowland-Smith (left triceps tendinitis, 62).

• Ichiro Suzuki (bleeding ulcer, 8).

• Mike Sweeney (back spasms, 10).

"Another thing that's pretty weird is last year, we had the second-best year ever in terms of injuries," Griffin said. "We had eight guys go on the DL, they missed a total of about 350 days and we lost 101 games.

"This year, our record is a lot better, but we've used the DL 18 times. You would think that the more injuries a team has, the more games it would lose. It's just the opposite this year compared to last year."

The only regulars who have not been on the DL at some point this season are second baseman Jose Lopez, center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, catcher Rob Johnson and designated hitter Ken Griffey Jr.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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