Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez got some good news with the results from the MRI he underwent Tuesday in the lat area and the back of his right shoulder.
“There was really no significant findings different from what we have seen in the past there, so that was a good thing,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said before Wednesday’s game against Kansas City. “It’s a shoulder fatigue type of situation so he will get back into doing strengthening exercises there, probably pick up a ball in a few days and start building up again. So that was a good report.”
Hernandez, on the injured list with a Grade 1 lat strain since May 12, pitched 2 1/3 innings with Class AAA Tacoma on a rehab start Friday before being pulled from the game after just 31 pitches.
Servais said Hernandez will pitch “another bullpen (session) or two” before beginning another rehab stint.
“The biggest thing is he’s got to feel good and once you get in a game, it doesn’t matter what level it is, you pick up the intensity,” Servais said. “We’ll try to get more intense in the bullpens before he goes out on his next rehab (assignment) and try to get him back as soon as we can.”
Hernandez, in the final year of the seven-year, $175 million extension he signed in 2013, is 1-4 with a 6.42 earned-run average for the Mariners this season.
Reliever Sam Tuivailala, who suffered a ruptured tendon last August, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment on Friday after having what Servais described as a very good bullpen session.
Servais said he would like to see Tuivailala get three appearances with short-season Class A Everett before moving to Class AAA Tacoma.
Tuivailala began a rehab stint with Tacoma last month, but it ended early because of shoulder fatigue.
* Servais said he was leaning toward using an “opener” Thursday against Baltimore before bringing in Wade LeBlanc but has not decided which reliever would throw in the first inning. “We’ll see how (Wednesday’s) game plays out.” Servais said.
Haniger talks about injury
Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger said he knew he was injured when he fouled a pitch off himself June 6, but remained in the game for a couple of innings despite suffering a ruptured testicle.
“I knew right away something wasn’t right, but I am never going to come out of a game unless it’s too much to bear,” Haniger said Tuesday in his first comments since the injury, which was surgically repaired. “But I didn’t want to make anything worse with the location of the injury.”
Haniger is relegated to just light activity until at least the end of the week. He said he has to avoid strenuous workouts until getting cleared because he would be at risk of getting a hernia.
“Fortunately, it’s not going to be a crazy long recovery,” Haniger said. “I try not to focus on why things happen, just get through it and focus on the positive. Getting through this should make you a stronger person.”