Felix Hernandez feels fine after ‘pinch’

Staff writerMay 15, 2013 

Mariners trainer Rick Griffin, second from left, checks on pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) during the sixth inning Tuesday in New York. Hernandez left the game ahead 3-1 after finishing the inning.

KATHY KMONICEK/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tuesday’s sixth inning brought on one of the Mariners’ worst nightmares: a grimace on Felix Hernandez’s face.

Hernandez said he felt a “pinch” in his lower back, which has bothered him on occasion this season, when he turned and threw to second. Shifting his weight from one side to the other while throwing to second gave him a shot of pain.

After taking a warm-up pitch, Hernandez waved off manager Eric Wedge and trainer Rick Griffin to finish the sixth. But, that was it. Wedge wouldn’t let Hernandez back out for the seventh.

“He said he was pretty sore still (Wednesday) morning,” Wedge said. “(But), he feels good.”

Trainer Rick Griffin “felt like he got him in a good place … after the game and it’s going good (Wednesday), so we should be fine,” added Wedge, who said he doesn’t expect any change in routine or preparation for Hernandez.

Hernandez was his usual bubbly self in the clubhouse on Wednesday and not interested in talking about his back. He said he’s “fine” when asked in passing. It will be something to watch over his next few starts.

MORSE SETTLING IN?

Michael Morse had back-to-back-to-back games with multiple hits after two hits Wednesday night. Since returning to the American League, Morse has been bombarded with off-speed pitches.

On Tuesday, CC Sabathia started Morse with a curveball, which he smacked down the right-field line for a double.

On Wednesday, Wedge again dispatched the middle of the order with Kyle Seager batting third, Kendrys Morales at cleanup and Morse hitting fifth. Morse was 2-for-4.

“I think once (Morse) gets going, it doesn’t really matter where he hits,” Wedge said. “We want him in the middle with Kendrys someplace. But, he’s been a little bit better the past couple days, so there’s no reason to mess with it.”

Morales and Morse have both said they don't have concerns about their place in the batting order.

“Once we get everybody into their rhythm, we have a chance to be a pretty good offensive club,” Wedge said.

AN ALMOST MARINER

Infielder David Adams made his major league debut Wednesday night with the Yankees. You might remember him as the reason the Cliff Lee deal with the Yankees fell through.

Adams was supposed to be part of a midseason three-player package for Lee in 2010. Jesus Montero was the vaunted prospect in the deal, but it was Adams’ bum ankle that caused the Mariners to pull back just prior to completion.

Adams said he grew up a Ken Griffey Jr. fan. He was 1-for-4 in his debut, picking up his first career hit on his 26th birthday.

READY FOR REHAB

Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) ran again Wednesday and came out of it well. He’s expected to start a rehab assignment Thursday or Friday. Reliever Josh Kinney (stress reaction in his ribs) is expected to pitch Friday in Tacoma. He was placed on the the 60-day DL April 1.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners

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