DJ Peterson, the Mariners top draft pick of the 2013 draft, had surgery earlier today at the University of Iowa medical center in Iowa City to repair a broken jaw.
Peterson was struck in the face by a pitch on Thursday night in the fifth inning of Class A Clinton’s 8-5 loss to Wisconsin.
“It’s a little unclear yet,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “It may be a two-part surgery. One part to stabilize where he is at and then they are debating on whether to bring him here or do it there for his second surgery. But I guess there was an open gash so they wanted to be careful that it didn’t get infected. They cleaned it out well. It’s a two-step process.”
Peterson will have his jaw wired shut. Zduriencik said the recover is expected to be six weeks.
“He was scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League so we’ll have to re-evaluate that,” Zduriencik said.
The Arizona fall league starts on October 8.
Catcher Mike Zunino was in high spirits on Friday. He is inching closer to a return to the field after suffering a broken hamate bone in his left wrist on July 25 and having surgery to remove it a few days later.
“Everything has been going well,” he said before the game. “I’ve been able to swing the past two or three days. I took about 50 swings today off a live arm. And I’m catching a bullpen today.”
Zunino said he felt no pain in the wrist as his activities have increased.
“I felt really comfortable,” Zunino said of hitting. “I felt like I didn’t miss a beat. I’ve been sort of able to swing at 100 percent almost right away. It felt really good today hitting off a live arm.”
If everything stays as scheduled, Zunino said he could be catching games next week with Triple A Tacoma.
Taijuan Walker is scheduled to start on Sunday for the Tacoma Rainiers in Tucson. With only 11 games left in the PCL season, Walker could make two more – that start on Sunday and then one on Friday, Sept. 30 at Cheney Stadium.
Walker has thrown 135 1/3 innings this season. The Mariners have not announced a set limit for his season total, but it is expected to be around 150. Walker threw a career-high 126 2/3 innings last season. Usually teams don’t like to have pitchers go more than 30-plus innings over the previous year’s total.
“We’ll see,” Zdruriencik said when asked if Walker will make those two starts. “We’re having discussions about call-ups at this point. I don’t want premature in my discussions about any particular player. Obviously, he’s a valued commodity for us. I think we have to do what’s best for Taijuan more than anything else and then obviously what’s best for the organization. Because what’s best for Taijuan is going to be what’s best for us. We are having discussions right now.”