Seattle Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy spent Valentine’s Day undergoing surgery on his right hand, the team announced Thursday morning.
The Mariners are hoping to have the 26-year-old back in 4 to 6 weeks after having a bone spur removed. The surgery was performed in Philadelphia by Dr. Randall W. Culp.
“We knew there was an issue there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais told the Associated Press on Thursday. “Absolutely the best-case scenario came out of it. He’s shooting for probably even before the four weeks is up.”
Healy hit .271 with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs in 149 games last season for Oakland and is being counted on to be the starter at first. He came to the Mariners in a November trade that sent reliever Emilio Pagan and minor-league infielder Alexander Campos to the A’s.
Servais said Healy had not had issues with his hand previously.
Likely to be called upon to fill the void at first until Healy’s return are Daniel Vogelbach, who lost out on the job last year and spent most of the season at Triple-A Tacoma, and Rule 5 draft pick up Mike Ford.
Vogelbach, 25, has played most of his seven season in the minors. Last season, he hit .290 with 17 homers for Tacoma. He’s played 24 games for the Mariners over the last two seasons and hit .175 with one extra-base hit. Defense has been an issue for Vogelbach, though.
Ford, 25, has played five seasons in the minors in the New York Yankees system. For his career, Ford hit .272 with 50 homers.
And a fun Ford fact: He played at Princeton with Servais’ son.