Playing catch every other day gave the Seattle Mariners hope that Cliff Lee's abdominal strain might be less a problem than they'd initially feared.
They weren't that lucky.
Lee felt the strain while playing catch Thursday and now will not throw again until Wednesday at the earliest - another setback for the lefty Seattle had hoped would be their No. 2 starter come opening day.
"He's had the injury two other times and it's taken six weeks to come back," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We're hoping with some new treatments we can get him back sooner."
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Felix Hernandez, meanwhile, will work a minor league game on March 31, his final start before opening day. Seattle will face division-rival Texas that day, and the Mariners see no need to let Rangers hitters see Felix one more time before the season begins.
In other news:
- Catchers Guillermo Quiroz and Eliezer Alfonso have been sent to minor league camp, leaving only Rob Johnson, Adam Moore and Josh Bard still in campl.
- Jack Hannahan will fly to Philadelphia on March 29 to have his strained groin looked at for a possible sports hernia.
- Doug Fister, back from a bruised right forearm, will pitch on the 29th.
- Wakamatsu confirmed what's been written here for weeks - that Casey Kotchman is the team's every day first baseman, not a platoon player.