Mariners notebook: Big day for King Felix, Robinson Cano in winter ball

Dec 22, 2016, 12:09 PM | Updated: 12:45 pm

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez left, is greeted by Seattle Mariners second basem...

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez left, is greeted by Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, right, at the end of the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Féliz día de Félix.

Word came via this Tweet that Mariners ace Felix Hernandez would be making his winter ball debut on Thursday.

This will mark the first time Felix has played in winter ball since he was just 17. The Mariners are allowing him to get a tuneup in Venezuela to get ready for the World Baseball Classic in the spring. The hope is that the extra work and different focus will help get him back on track following two down years.

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According to reports, he is scheduled to throw two innings or 30 pitches Thursday, and then three innings or 45 pitches in his next outing.

Felix is not the only Mariners star who will be playing Thursday. In the Dominican Republic, Robinson Cano will take the field. He is also getting ready for the WBC.

Cano’s game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Pacific and Felix is at 3:30. should have Gameday feeds on their Winter League scoreboards.


• Hisashi Iwakuma in the news. Nori Aoki is currently the only MLB player on Japan’s WBC roster, but the hope according to this Japan Times article is that Kuma, who played a huge role in Japan winning the 2009 WBC, will sign on along with the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka. At the end of the season, Kuma did not indicate one way or the other if he would play in the WBC, but I would be very surprised if he did.

• If you missed it, David Rollins has landed in Texas, again. The Rangers have claimed him off waivers for the second time this offseason. For those keeping track at home, Rollins (on paper at least) has gone from the Mariners to the Cubs to the Rangers to the Phillies and now back to the Rangers since the end of the 2016 season.

• Richie Shaffer, who the Mariners acquired from the Rays earlier this offseason but lost to Philadelphia on a waiver claim, has been DFA’d by the Phillies and is available again. The Mariners do have an open spot on their 40-man roster if interested.

• Edgar Martinez continues to make tremendous progress in the current Hall of Fame voting. With 20 percent of the ballots counted, his name is on 67 percent. You can keep track of the votes on Ryan Thibodaux’s ballot tracker found here.

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