Initial indications suggest Mariners utilityman Shawn O’Malley could return to full-time duty within two weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.
O’Malley, 29, was hospitalized Tuesday after complaining of stomach cramps. He underwent the surgery and was released on an outpatient basis after the procedure.
He arrived Wednesday morning at the Mariners’ training complex for follow-up examinations, paused briefly to say he was feeling "fine," and is already planning his rehab schedule.
"It’s too bad," manager Scott Servais said. "Timing is everything in this game. When stuff happens that’s obviously out of your control, you take care of it. Go from there."
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The surgery, even if no new problems arise, effectively ends O’Malley’s bid to retain his job on the active roster when the regular season opens April 3 at Houston. He had been competing with Taylor Motter for that role.
O’Malley was batting .278 this spring at 10-for-36 in 16 games. Motter carried a .324 average into Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels at Peoria Stadium.
"We all know what Shawn brings," Servais said. "It’s the high energy and the great effort every time he’s out there. We value it."
The Mariners signed O’Malley, a native of Richland, on Jan. 22, 2105 as a minor-league free agent. He batted .229 in 89 big-league games and .317 in 25 games at Triple-A Tacoma.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners