Mariners hoping Felix Hernandez will miss just 1 start
PEORIA, Ariz. – Felix Hernandez spent another morning in the training room getting treatment to try and reduce the swelling in his right arm after getting hit by a comebacker Monday in Mesa. When could we see him return to the mound?
“He’s still got a little swelling in there. They are working their tail off to try get it out of there, get the full range of motion back,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Thursday morning. “When he gets that, then he will get a ball in his hand and start playing catch. He’s anxious, but you do have to let it run its course. Hopefully he misses just one start.”
That one start would be three innings and shouldn’t put too much of a dent in the Mariners’ plans to build him up more slowly this spring training than in the recent past.
“He can get ramped up as quick as anybody, he has a history of it,” Servais pointed out. “Typically in spring training he throws 17-18 innings. Our plan this year was to maybe get 25-27 innings. He’s done it before. Felix thinks he can do anything in really short notice, his mindset is geared that way. We have to do what’s best for him, what’s best the team. We cant give a date until he gets a ball in his hand and starts playing catch.”
Felix’s next scheduled start before the injury was Saturday’s game against the Angels. Rob Whalen, who stepped away from the game last year to deal with depression, will get the start instead.
“I’m excited to see him out there and how he handled things in the whole turnaround of his life,” Servais said of Whalen. “He’s just looked like a different guy.”
On the hill Thursday will be Mike Leake, who will be making his second start of the spring and is scheduled to go three innings. Behind him is a lineup that looks about as close to what the Mariners will use on opening day as any they’ve used so far – at least 1 through 6.
Dee Gordon, CF
Jean Segura, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Mike Zunino, C
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RF
Matt Hague, 1B
Ian Miller, LF
Also scheduled to pitch: Chase De Jong, Chasen Bradford, Casey Lawrence, Anderson, Elledge, Mills.
On the other side, wearing No. 88, batting sixth and playing left field will be Michael Saunders, who the Royals signed recently to a minor league contract.
• While Ryon Healy (hand) has not been cleared to hit as of yet, he continues to take work at first base.
Ryon Healy staying ready at 1B. pic.twitter.com/nwm1xLdITb
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) March 1, 2018
• The hope is Mitch Haniger, who will see the hand specialist on Monday, will be allowed to return to games in about a week. Haniger says his hand actually feels 100 percent right now, but the test will be if it continues to feel that way, which he believes it will. He has been tracking and hitting one-handed in the cages and will be allowed to take some two-handed swings on Friday.
• There has been some progress on the Hisashi Iwakuma front as after his long toss session Wednesday, he brought it in to 60 feet and threw a short flatground session for the first time since shoulder surgery. The Mariners are aiming for him to throw a bullpen late next week.
• Mariners team doctor, Dr. Edward Khalfayan, will be in town on Monday, an off day for the Mariners, to see a number of players. Erasmo Ramirez, who has been completely shut down since suffering a lat strain, will be re-evaluated at that time. Guillermo Heredia should be cleared for games and, like Haniger, could see his first game action mid-week.