SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners notebook: Félix Hernández set for spring debut in Vedder Cup

Feb 23, 2019, 9:59 AM
Félix Hernández struggled for the Mariners in 2018 to the tune of a 5.55 ERA. (AP)...
Félix Hernández struggled for the Mariners in 2018 to the tune of a 5.55 ERA. (AP)
(AP)

PEORIA, Ariz. – It is still chilly in the Phoenix area with a.m. temperatures in the 30s, but the skies are blue and there is little to no sign of precipitation so we will call this progress.

Big progress.

Mariners Table Setter: Kyle Seager’s changes include batting stance

There will be Mariners baseball in Peoria as the Vedder Cup participants resume their heated rivalry Saturday on the main field of the complex they begrudgingly share. The annual Mariners-Padres charity game is at hand.

The game will mark the rather early spring debut of Félix Hernández, who in recent years would start slower by missing the first run through the rotation then build up quicker toward the end of the Cactus League schedule. This spring he has been on the same schedule as the rest of the starters, perhaps partly because of the early start in Japan but more so because he needs the extra work and an extra look heading into the season.

Lineup!

Shed Long, 2B
Tim Beckham, SS
Domingo Santana, LF
Omar Narvaez, C
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Dom Thompson-Williams, RF
Kristopher Negron, 3B
Eric Filia, DH
Braden Bishop, CF

Félix Hernández, RHP

Also listed as game pitchers: Roenis Elias, Hunter Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Gerson Bautista, Matt Festa, Ryan Garton.

Something else to watch for: We could see Jarred Kelenic’s Mariners debut as he is listed as one of the minor league callups for the game.

Notes

• LHP Justus Sheffield, who is dealing with a small finger blister, was able to throw a bullpen Friday and will make his spring debut Sunday against the Rockies.

• Posted upcoming starters: Sunday at Rockies, Wade Leblanc; Monday vs. Reds, Yusei Kikuchi; Tuesday vs. Rangers, Marco Gonzales.

• CF Mallex Smith is still limited in workouts with a forearm strain. The hope is that in the next week or so he will be cleared by doctors to ramp up activity, which would include throwing and swinging. “He’s a little frustrated, bored,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “But his personality, he’s a high-energy guy, he wants to be out there, a part of it. That’s tough when you come to a new team, but I explained to him you will look back at this in July and not remember you missed a week or two weeks. The big thing is just make sure he is good to go.”

More from Shannon Drayer: M’s off on the right foot in Cactus League

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