Mariners trainer provides updates on Felix Hernandez, Charlie Furbush and other injured pitchers
Jul 8, 2016, 5:09 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm
KANSAS CITY – The Mariners have several pitchers on the disabled list, and there is one patient who will not be with head trainer Rick Griffin much longer. Felix Hernandez is scheduled to make his first rehab start in Everett on Sunday, and Griffin, who has spent countless hours with Felix in the training room, says good riddance to him.
“I won’t miss him at all,” Griffin said with a smile. “I read a quote where he says he’s miserable, he’s bored, he hates being on the DL. Well, I will second that. It’s been very difficult. He is not a good DL guy. Some guys are good DL guys and rehab guys, he is not. He might be the worst I have ever had. He’s bad. It’s just hard to keep him occupied and keep him focused.”
Strong words? Maybe, but Felix himself has admitted that he has gone absolutely crazy not being able to pitch. The good news is, with any luck, his DL days are coming to an end and Griffin is thrilled for that.
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“He’s doing really well right now,” he said. “He threw really well a couple days ago. I heard the game is sold out in Everett. I think it will be hilarious if his brother goes out to the mound to tell him what he’s doing wrong because his brother is the pitching coach there.”
Moises Hernandez has been warned – by Felix.
“I called him, ‘Man, I will be there Sunday,'” said Felix. “I’m going to have two straight walks so you can come talk to me and I can say, ‘Hey, get out of here!'”
Felix was just joking, of course. This is a guy we have seen turn the intensity up to full blast in sim games. The folks in Everett should get the full Felix on Sunday afternoon.
“When he’s in games, he just has the ability to lock himself in,” said Griffin. “I enjoy watching him because he’s a character and he’s pretty loose, but as soon he gets ready to walk out that door to pitch in a game he turns into a Randy Johnson, a very extreme competitor and it’s very fun to watch.”
With so much to report on the progress of the other numerous pitchers on the DL for the Mariners, I turned to Griffin to get the full report for the pre-game show on radio. He gave the following updates:
• Charlie Furbush is set to throw an inning with Everett on Friday night in his first rehab start since being shut down with a rotator cuff injury last July. There have been starts and stops in his rehab since he resumed throwing this spring and this move represents the biggest step he has yet to take forward. “He’s throwing one inning in Everett, he’s going to start the game,” Griffin said. “He’s worked so hard, I am so proud of him. He had a very serious rotator cuff injury, he’s just worked so hard and hopefully everything is going to work out and he is going to get back to the big leagues. I’m excited for him and hope it goes well.” If all does go well for Furbush, who threw four sim games leading up to his first rehab game appearance, he should pitch in another game Tuesday.
• Nick Vincent, who was shut down June 27 with a mid-back strain, required more shut-down time than originally anticipated. He is not yet throwing but the hope is he will be cleared to resume his throwing program early next week. “Once he gets everything quieted down in his back he should come back pretty quick because he didn’t hurt anything in his arm,” said Griffin.
• Ryan Cook, who suffered a lat injury in spring training, pitched an inning in Arizona on Thursday and should throw again on Monday.
• Tony Zych, who has been dealing with biceps tendinitis, has recently resumed throwing in Arizona and played catch Thursday from 90 feet. “He said yesterday it was the best he felt,” said Griffin. “He’s not having the symptoms he was having before. He seems to be doing well.”
• Taijuan Walker (right foot tendinitis) is scheduled to see Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday.