PEORIA, Ariz. — The Mariners will shut Cliff Lee down for five days in hopes his strained abdomen heals but making it likely the 2008 AL Cy Young winner will begin his first season in Seattle on the disabled list.
Manager Don Wakamatsu said Friday that the medical staff decided the 31-year-old left-hander will not throw again until at least Wednesday.
Asked if there was any way around Lee beginning the season on the 15-day disabled list, Wakamatsu said, "I think we're just going to wait and see how he responds Wednesday."
Seattle's prized winter acquisition from Philadelphia felt pain in his lower right abdomen for the second time in three days Thursday after throwing lightly on flat ground for a few minutes. He first injured it March 15 in a collision with Arizona's Chris Snyder while Lee was backing up the plate.
This is his third strained abdominal muscle since 2003. Wakamatsu noted the other two injuries, also in spring training, had Lee out at least six weeks.
More Mariners: Ken Griffey hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to give Seattle a 6-5 win over his former team, the Reds. Asked the last time he hit a game-ending slam at any level, Griffey, 40, said, "Never."
oswalt injury: Astros ace Roy Oswalt returned to Houston to be examined by a team doctor after the right-hander left his start against the Pirates with a slight left hamstring strain. He pitched four innings before he was pulled as a precaution. "I just want to get him checked," general manager Ed Wade said. "Head colds concern me. Allergies concern me this time of spring training." The Astros already are dealing with several injuries to key players, including first baseman Lance Berkman (knee surgery), outfielder Michael Bourn (oblique strain) and shortstop Tommy Manzella (strained quadriceps).
Braves: Manager Bobby Cox informed rightfielder Jason Heyward, 20, that he would be on the opening day roster. "Not surprised, not relieved," Heyward said when asked for his reaction. "It just says, 'Let's go.' I've got less than a week's time to get ready for the season." After only two full seasons in the minors, Heyward is hitting .378, with four doubles a home run and five RBIs this spring. … The team suspended Triple-A right-hander Deunte Heath, 24, who was charged with two prostitution-related misdemeanors after Kissimmee police say he responded to prostitution ads on craigslist.org and agreed to pay $75 for a sex act.
Cardinals: First baseman Albert Pujols sat out against the Nationals because manager Tony La Russa wants to use his star slugger each of the next three days. La Russa said Pujols' back is fine.
Diamondbacks: After struggling in his past two starts, former Rays right-hander Edwin Jackson had his best spring outing, throwing six scoreless innings and allowing just five hits in a win over the White Sox.
Giants: Right-hander Tim Lincecum has a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand, likely the result of Arizona's dry air. Manager Bruce Bochy said Lincecum still is on track to start the opener at Houston on April 5.
Indians: Manager Manny Acta announced that right-hander Mitch Talbot won a spot in the rotation and left-hander Aaron Laffey will go to the bullpen.
Rangers: Second baseman Ian Kinsler (high right ankle sprain) is questionable for the April 5 opener.
Red Sox: Right-hander Josh Beckett was officially announced as the starter for the April 4 opener against the Yankees. Jon Lester will go next and John Lackey will follow.
Twins: Closer Joe Nathan had elbow-ligament replacement surgery. He will miss the entire season.