Mariners notebook: Felix’s return pushed back
By Shannon Drayer
DETROIT – Felix Hernandez threw a bullpen Monday at Comerica Park about an hour and a half before the Mariners’ game against the Tigers and while he came through the session with no problems, he is electing to throw another bullpen before taking the mound again.
“Physically he feels fine,” said pitching coach Carl Willis. “He feels too strong because he hasn’t been on the mound in such a long time. He is just a little erratic right now and as far as going out and competing, one more bullpen is going to allow him to just tighten things up a little bit. But on the physical side, he didn’t have any issues today.”
If Felix had felt good about the bullpen session then he would have started Wednesday against Justin Verlander. If he comes through his next bullpen – which is scheduled for Thursday – then we could see him back on the mound Saturday in Anaheim. Hisashi Iwakuma will now start Wednesday with James Paxton going on Thursday and Erasmo Ramirez on Friday.
• Brad Miller is out of the lineup again Monday and will be out for at least a few more days with the strained hamstring. Miller was to hit and play catch Monday but is not yet running.
With Miller out, the Mariners are a bit short on infielders. Nick Franklin is the backup at shortstop and Carlos Triunfel is the backup at third base.
• Raul Ibanez could be picking up some hardware at the end of the season. On Monday it was announced that he is the Mariners’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. The award is given by Major League Baseball to the player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field. Ibanez is also one of six finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.