A stress reaction is often a precursor for a full-blown fracture, so the Mariners have shutdown Kinney to prevent the injury from getting any worse. The 33-year-old right-hander will be sidelined for "several weeks" before the club re-evaluates his condition late in the month.
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A five-year MLB vet, Kinney posted a 3.94 ERA and 10.1 K/9 rate in a career-high 32 innings for the Mariners last season, his first in Seattle. His success in 2012 -- all of which came from July onwards -- earned him a spot in this year's 'pen, though he'll obviously have to wait a while before joining the late-inning crew.
Johns speculates that Kinney's absence gives veteran right-hander Kameron Loe a good shot of starting the season in the bullpen. Signed to a minor-league deal with the M's last month, the 31-year-old Loe could provide the relief corps with the veteran presence they lack with Kinney on the sidelines.