Mariners right-handed pitcher Felix Hernandez throws a pitch during a 43-pitch bullpen session on July 1, 2016. (Photo by Curtis Crabtree / Sports Radio 950 KJR)
by Curtis Crabtree
SAFECO FIELD - Felix Hernandez said everything felt "really good" after his 43-pitch bullpen session prior to Friday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles.
"It was really good. Really, really good," Hernandez said.
"Good enough to pitch. Everything was good. Ball was coming out pretty good. Good pitches, down in the zone. And the most important thing is my calf feels better."
Hernandez has missed 28 games and around seven starts due to a calf injury that landed him on the disabled list on June 1. By the time he's able to return, it will have been the longest disabled list stay in Hernandez's exalted career with the Mariners.
“It’s terrible, man,” Hernandez said of being unable to play. “I’m going crazy. Not being on the field and not being able to throw every days has been tough for me. Watching these guys, they’ve been struggling a little bit but they just have to keep fighting."
Hernandez pitched to Mike Zunino with manager Scott Servais, pitching coach Mel Stottlemyer Jr. and fellow starter Wade Miley.
Hernandez will throw a simulated game on the road with the team in Houston before being sent out for a pair of rehab starts. Hernandez said he will pitch one with Single-A Everett and a second with Triple-A Tacoma.
Hernandez said he believed his first rehab outing would be July 10, which would be against the Spokane Indians in Everett. His next outing would likely come five days later in Tacoma against the Colorado Spring Sky Sox. If all goes well, Hernandez could re-join the rotation as early as July 20 against the Chicago White Sox.