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Mariners GM hopeful Felix Hernandez could return before All-Star break

"We are looking for something between now and the All-Star break but the more likely scenario is that we get him out to pitch somewhere for a brief outing just before or during the All-Star break." (AP)

BOSTON – General manager Jerry Dipoto joined the Mariners Sunday Magazine show and gave progress reports on a couple of pitchers on the disabled list. The news on starter Felix Hernandez is good.

“The last three days have been the best for him,” Dipoto said. “We are hopeful that we are looking for something between now and the All-Star break but the more likely scenario is that we get him out to pitch somewhere for a brief outing just before or during the All-Star break and he’s ready to go as we come out.”

As I noted earlier in the week, Hernandez  is scheduled to see the doctor again Monday and should be given clearance to start throwing on the field. He will go through the regular throwing program to stretch out his arm before taking the mound. We should see a couple of bullpen sessions shortly after that, perhaps a simulated game and then a short rehab assignment. Dipoto did not say where Hernandez would make his rehab start.

The news was not as encouraging for reliever Tony Zych, who has been on the DL since May 3 with rotator cuff tendinitis. Zych had appeared to be progressing toward a bullpen session in May but had troubles bouncing back from his throwing sessions.

“We are still TBD,” Dipoto said of Zych. “He’s heading to Arizona; recently had another procedure to try to get him back on track. Obviously, we have not gone to surgical intervention, we don’t think that is required for Tony. It’s been a long, slow rehab for him; I don’t think there is a light at the end of the tunnel right now.”

Dipoto did not address starter Wade Miley’s shoulder impingement but manager Scott Servais did in his morning meeting with the media.

“He’s feeling better, too,” Servais said. “We just needed to calm it down, skip a start or two, and get back after it. He actually flipped a few balls today. Just 10.”

Servais believes Miley will be ready to rejoin the rotation when eligible to come off the DL.