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Mariners’ Bryan Woo ends up on the injured list again: ‘It just sucks’

ST. PETERSBURG – Bryan Woo’s voice softened and the words struggled to come out as he tried to describe his disappointment at returning to the injured list for the second time this season.

Before Tuesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mariners placed Woo on the 15-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain. Seattle recalled right-handed reliever Collin Snider from Triple-A Tacoma to take Woo’s spot on the 26-man roster.

In the fourth inning of his start Monday night, Woo felt the hamstring pull when he fired a first-pitch fastball to Taylor Walls. After discussing the situation with manager Scott Servais and head athletic trainer Kyle Torgerson, Woo attempted a warm-up throw, but never actually threw the ball and immediately stopped himself as the hamstring tightened.

“I just didn’t feel like I could push off the way I wanted to,” Woo said Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve never had any problems with my lower body or hamstrings. I didn’t really know what was going on. I knew it felt different and it didn’t feel like anything I’ve felt before.

Visibly upset that his body had betrayed him again, Woo limped off the field with Torgerson unable to hide his disappointment. Even a day later, the frustration of being sidelined again was evident.

“Obviously it’s been a tough season so far just because of the injuries,” Woo said. “I finally feel like I’m having a night where I’m feeling good and the ball’s coming out good and the stuff is coming back where I think it could be, and then you know,” he said. “It’s just stupid.”

Given his young starter’s frustrated reaction and dejection about his situation, Servais met with Woo Tuesday morning.

“I talked to him about it earlier today,” Servais said. “These things happen. Sometimes you can’t control it. He’s a young player and he’s learning at this level what he has to do to keep rolling and to stay away from some of these soft tissue injuries, but some things you have out of control.”

Woo was told by the team’s medical staff that the tension was “lower,” which gave him and the team some hope of a return after the 15-day minimum.

“There’s no definitive timeline, but the reports from the trainers and medical people have been pretty positive in that he could be back quite quickly,” Servais said.

The Mariners hope Woo can continue playing catch and keep his arm active while the hamstring heals.

‘That’s the key,’ Servais. “You don’t want to stop your throwing. He’s not going to come down the slope anytime soon, but you’ve got to keep throwing and keep that going.”

Snider will give a bullpen that has been heavily used during this road trip, including Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Rays, a fresh arm for some depth.

The Mariners are still evaluating their options to replace Woo in the rotation and when they might do so. With off days on Thursday and Monday, they were able to skip Woo’s turn in the rotation, which was set to take place on Sunday against the Twins.

“There are a number of days off coming up, which will help in a number of areas, but certainly with the rotation, so we will look at that,” said Servais. “It’s really important to give these guys an extra day off if you can, but make sure you have two days off that are fairly close together so hopefully we can use them to our advantage.”

If they skip Woo’s spot, Luis Castillo, who started Tuesday night vs. Tampa, remain on regular rest and Sunday vs. the Twins throw.

Long-term, the Mariners will likely turn to right-hander Emerson Hancock or left-hander Jhonathan Diaz to take Woo’s spot in the rotation. Veteran lefty Dallas Keuchel, who also pitched well for Tacoma, was traded to the Brewers on Tuesday in exchange for cash.

This story will be updated