George Sherrill will undergo Tommy John surgery on left elbow
Left-handed reliever expected to miss nine months to one year.
Seattle Times staff reporter
TORONTO — The Mariners didn't see much from George Sherrill all spring or in two home-run plagued relief outings this season.
And they won't be seeing any more of Sherrill in 2012 after announcing Sunday that the left-handed relief pitcher would undergo Tommy John ligament transplant surgery on his left elbow. Such surgeries typically take nine months to a year to recover from, meaning Sherrill, 35, might not be ready for the start of next season either.
Sherrill was signed to a one-year, $1.3 million contract back in January after struggling through an injury-shortened 2011 season with the Atlanta Braves, during which his elbow became too inflamed to pitch. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said before Sunday's game that the team remains pleased by solid early results from left-handers Charlie Furbush and Lucas Luetge.
"These two guys have been doing pretty good," Wedge said. "I've been pleased with them. And we've got other guys in AAA if we need them. But I've been pleased with Furbush and Luetge up to this point. Both young, but they're finding their way."
Furbush did get tagged for three earned runs on a double and a two-run homer in the eighth inning of Seattle's subsequent loss on Sunday.
Sherrill's season-ending surgery continues a string of misses by the team in its offseason importing of veteran free agent pitchers. Hong-Chih Kuo and Shawn Camp were both released in spring training.
Luetge remains a potential bullpen find, having come over in the Rule 5 draft.
• Alex Liddi's hot bat not only got him another start in a game, but this time, it was at the cleanup spot. Liddi started at first base in place of Justin Smoak, who got what Wedge termed a "mental break" from playing in light of a slump that's knocked his average down to .178.
Liddi went 0 for 4 in Sunday's game, but did hit a couple of drives fairly deep before they were hauled in near the warning track.
• Jason Vargas didn't give up a hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning when Chone Figgins misjudged an Eric Thames fly ball to left field and began backpedaling. Figgins later realized his mistake and ran in but the ball fell in front of him for a double.
"It was more the swing he took," Figgins said. "Because it was Thames, you have to be careful and I thought the ball was going to go much farther coming off his bat because of the swing."
• Miguel Olivo extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the fourth inning.