It’s not that Seattle Mariners pitching ace Felix Hernandez has grown so hardened he doesn’t appreciate All-Star Game recognition, though his reaction to the news when pitching coach Carl Willis called Sunday was typical Felix.
“Carl called me at nine in the morning. I thought, ‘What is going on now?’ ” Hernandez said. “I picked it up and heard ‘Hello, you made the All-Star team.’ I said ‘Thank you. I’ll see you in two hours.’ Then I went back to sleep.”
This will be Felix’s third time at the All-Star Game, and last year he didn’t pitch.
“I think this year I will be able to pitch and that’ll be awesome. The first time I was there I only threw seven pitches and it was so short,” he said.
Felix, with two starts remaining before the All-Star Game, has a 6-5 record with a 3.09 earned-run average in 16 starts. He’s pitched 110 innings and struck out 114.
“I feel more comfortable because I’m now pitching pretty good,” Felix said. “ Before, I was not doing good. I’ve got to do better than this. That’s why I was so mad because I was not doing my job. Now I’m turning it back and my performance is good. I’ve got to keep it going.”
Which All-Star does he want his locker next to?
“Probably next to Adrian Beltre. That would be awesome,” Felix said of his former teammate. “He probably wouldn’t like it.”
RAMIREZ ON DL
For Seattle’s young right-handed Erasmo Ramirez, the news wasn’t quite so bright Sunday, and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained flexor bundle in his right elbow.
“I threw a curve (Saturday) and felt a little something, my elbow got tight, a little stiff,” Ramirez said. “(Miguel) Olivo came to the mound and I told him I was a little afraid to push it. He called the trainer out.”
Ramirez was pulled after 22/3 innings, and the Mariners hope his elbow will be fine given rest and physical therapy. To replace Ramirez on the roster, Seattle brought up right-handed reliever Josh Kinney from Tacoma.
“We won’t need to change our rotation through the All-Star break, because we have an off day next week and Kevin Millwood will come back against Oakland,” manager Eric Wedge said.
To make room for Kinney on the 40-man roster, Seattle had to make another move – designating longtime minor league catcher Adam Moore for assignment.
Moore, 28, was batting .209 in 24 games with the Rainiers. Drafted in 2006, injuries and missed opportunities plagued his career. The team has 10 days to trade, release or waive Moore.
Jason Vargas pitches well at Safeco Field, not that it’s helped him. In eight starts at home, Vargas is 2-3 with a 2.84 earned run average. Brendan Ryan’s two-hit game Sunday left him batting .182 at the midway point of the season. Charlie Furbush had the day off after extending his scoreless streak to 222/3 consecutive innings Saturday, so Tom Wilhelmsen gained on him. After a quick ninth inning, Wilhelmsen’s streak is now 182/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
Seattle plays host to Baltimore in a 7:10 p.m. game today that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: South Kitsap High graduate Jason Hammel (8-3, 3.29 ERA) for Baltimore against Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1, 4.75).firstname.lastname@example.org