Scribner thrilled to be back pitching after injury

Scribner thrilled to be back pitching after injury

SEATTLE -- A year ago, Evan Scribner missed all of September with the A's due to a torn right lat muscle after making a career-high 54 relief appearances. But this season, the 31-year-old right-hander is hoping to reverse that trend and make the most of his final month with the Mariners after finally recovering from the same issue after being acquired by Seattle last winter.

The Mariners expected the Connecticut native to be a key member of their bullpen, but the lat injury flared up again shortly after Spring Training started. He just completed the lengthy rehab process and has pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in his first three appearances with Seattle since being activated off the 60-day disabled list Sept. 1.

"It's been awesome to come back," Scribner said before pitching 1 2/3 innings in Thursday's series finale vs. the Rangers. "It's been a long year for me."

Entering Thursday, Scribner had a 4.15 ERA in 127 appearances over six seasons in the Majors. He said he felt he was fully recovered from his lat problem when he joined the Mariners, but now is just glad to have it all behind him and has gained a new perspective from his long recovery process.

"It was so fun for me just to come back and play, even in the rehab games," he said. "Just to be on a team again and put on the uniform and all that stuff, I'm still kind of with that. Being back in the big leagues hasn't really hit me yet; it's just fun playing again.

"There are times when you think, 'What's the point in just playing the last month? Just go to the offseason and get strong and come back next season.' But I want to play. I want to go. This is what I want to do. And we're trying to make a run at this and if that happens, I want to be there for that, too. Plus they haven't really even seen me pitch yet, so I've got to show them, too."

Manager Scott Servais agreed there is definitely value in what Scribner can do in the final weeks of the season.

"It certainly sets him up for next year, showing people he's healthy, showing us he can be a vital part of our bullpen going forward by doing what he does, which is in that sixth-, seventh-inning window," said Servais. "I've been very impressed with what I've seen.

"It is a fresher arm. You can tell he hasn't pitched all year. He's been locating the ball very well and I like the way the curveball plays off his fastball. So there's certainly value there, but it's really important for him to stay healthy and continue to do well throughout the month. That will certainly help him into next year."

Scribner will be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and is under Mariners control for the next three years before becoming a free agent in 2020.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.