Tony Zych came into 2016 with sleeper hype as the Mariners' potential closer. Unfortunately, he tanked when he was on the mound, which wasn't often considering he was placed on the disabled list in May with rotator cuff tendinitis and was later optioned to Triple-A. He underwent a right shoulder biceps tendon transfer surgery in October. He's expected to start spring training on time, but probably won't begin the season in any position to have consistent fantasy value. Edwin Diaz has the closer spot all but on lockdown, and Zych must surpass several more reliable back-end bullpen arms. The Mariners may even take it easy with him to preserve his shoulder. If all goes well in his rehab and he regains the high-90s average velocity on his fastball, he'll re-enter the consciousness of save speculators. In his first two partial seasons, Zych has maintained a 50 percent groundball rate. Combining those traits would help him meet his elite upside. Don't lose track of him if he can shake the injury bug.
Zych (biceps) plans to throw in a minor-league game Thursday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. It will be Zych's first appearance in a game setting since he underwent biceps surgery last October. With less than two weeks remaining before Opening Day, Zych isn't likely to build up his arm strength in time and will likely open the season on the DL, but he won't necessarily be in store for an extended absence.
Zych (biceps) threw another successful batting practice session Sunday, Doug Miller of MLB.com reports. Zych continues his steady progress from October surgery, as he now has two successful batting practice sessions under his belt. Manager Scott Servais said that his young reliever made it out of Sunday's work without setbacks and could potentially make his spring debut this week.
Zych (biceps) will throw another live batting practice session Sunday, Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com reports. Zych continues to steadily progress from offseason biceps surgery, though he's still unlikely to be ready for Opening Day as the team eases him back into regular pitching activities. The right-hander is expected to serve an important role in the Mariners' bullpen upon his return, so look for him to return to game action soon if all goes well.
Zych (biceps) reported feeling strong after his first experience throwing batting practice in six months Wednesday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "It felt really good," said Zych, who is coming back from bicep tendon transfer surgery in his right arm. "A couple pitches and I felt like I was right there. Obviously, I wasn't trying to do too, too much. Just get out front with the hitter in the box and try not to hit 'em." The recovering reliever was ecstatic after firing pitches at teammate Tuffy Gosewisch on Wednesday morning, a session that was watched closely by manager Scott Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto. Zych continues to entertain the possibility of being ready for Opening Day on April 3, and he'll now take several days off before throwing another batting practice round. He'll be evaluated for a potential return to game action at that juncture, but Servais remains more tempered in gauging how soon Zych might be ready. "We're looking for the long haul here, not the short-term fix," said Servais. "He looked pretty healthy. We'll keep our fingers crossed he comes back well out of that. He could be a nice piece for us."
Zych (biceps) will throw a live BP session later this week, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Zych is progressing well from the biceps surgery he underwent last October, although he still isn't expected to be ready for Opening Day. The 26-year-old will face the next step in his recovery process later in the week, and if all goes well, he could move on to pitching simulated games shortly after. Barring any setbacks, he should be ready to return sometime early in the season, where he will likely serve as the setup man for Edwin Diaz