First win of spring costly as Choi breaks leg

Several prospects shined for the Mariners in their spring training opener, but Ji-Man Choi suffered a bad injury on a play that should have ended the game, and the first base prospect is having surgery today and is expected to miss 4 to 6 months while recovering.

In the first game of 2015 spring training for the Seattle Mariners, they started a number of the prospects who we've worked hard to cover here at SeattleClubhouse, and a number of those players shined. But on a play that should have ended the game, one of those prospects -- first baseman Ji-Man Choi -- suffered an injury that will sideline him for most, if not all, of the 2015 season.

"I thought our young players played extremely well," said Manager Lloyd McClendon following the victory. Indeed, the Mariners offense was propped up by the young players. In a lineup that filled all 10 starting positions (including starting pitcher Taijuan Walker) with Rookies, second year players or minor leaguers, Jesus Montero, Mike Dowd and Patrick Kivlehan each picked up two hits and D.J. Peterson picked up the only extra base knock in the game for Seattle, homering in the first inning in his first Cactus League AB of the season.

Young pitchers also performed well, with recently acquired minor leaguer Sam Gaviglio, Rule 5 selection David Rollins and rookie Carson Smith all turning in scoreless outings after Walker.

But on a ground ball with 2 outs in the 9th that should have ended the game, shortstop prospect Tyler Smith threw high to Choi at first, and he had to jump for the throw, twisting and landing awkwardly, breaking his right fibula near the ankle in the process. The 23-year-old, who has hit .304/.407/.492 in 1,470 plate appearances during his four seasons in Seattle's system, is scheduled for surgery today and could miss four-to-six months because of the break. That's another tough blow for the prospect, who lost 50 games to a PED suspension in 2014 and missed the entire 2011 season following back surgery.

The Mariners are back in action against their complex-mates San Diego again this afternoon in Peoria.

Looking for more Mariners news, articles and player interviews? Want to keep up with which prospects are hot and cold for the M's? "Like" SeattleClubhouse on Facebook and follow SeattleClubhouse site Editor Rick Randall on Twitter at @randallball.

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