Originally created 02/28/04

Mariners' Snelling has successful hamate surgery



PEORIA, Ariz. -- Seattle Mariners outfield prospect Chris Snelling had surgery Friday on a bone in his right hand, sidelining the Australian for the next six weeks.

He was hurt Thursday in batting practice after taking only two or three swings, another in a string of injuries for Snelling.

"He's down, understandably," manager Bob Melvin said.

Surgeons discovered Snelling previously had fractured the hamate, a fishhook-shaped bone located where the wrist and hand are joined. The "hook" of the bone was removed to repair the injury.

Snelling had surgery in August for a torn meniscus in his left knee. He split time last year between Double-A San Antonio, hitting .333 in 47 games, and Triple-A Tacoma, hitting .269 in 18 games.

His season also ended with knee surgery in 2002. Snelling was called up to the Mariners from San Antonio in May and played eight games before tearing an ligament in his left knee while rounding third base at Oakland.

In August 2001, he broke his right ankle after being selected to the California League's midseason All-Star team.