PEORIA, Ariz. — Felix Hernandez will make his spring debut Wednesday when the Mariners play Colorado at Peoria Stadium. Manager Lloyd McClendon also revealed All-Star closer Fernando Rodney will pitch Sunday in Goodyear against Cincinnati.
“They’re both well ahead of schedule,” McClendon said.
Hernandez is, pretty much, in line with his 2014 approach.
He made his debut last spring on March 4 — 27 days before pitching the season opener. His start Wednesday will be 26 days prior to his projected start against the Angels in the season opener.
Rodney is slightly ahead of schedule. His first outing a year ago was March 6 (25 days before the opener). His appearance Sunday will be 29 days prior to the opener.
OLMOS IN CAMP
Lefty reliever Edgar Olmos is in camp after returning, officially, Thursday to the Mariners when Major League Baseball voided the Feb. 24 waiver claim that sent him to Texas.
The Mariners confirmed Olmos, 24, is battling shoulder inflammation. They also say his throwing program is “to be determined,” which suggests he’s not close to being ready to get on a mound.
Texas sought to have the claim voided after discovering the injury.
The Mariners acquired Olmos in a Nov. 20 waiver claim from Miami, where he spent all seven of his previous pro seasons. He was a combined 3-3 with a 4.06 ERA last year in 51 minor-league games.
Olmos’ return forced the Mariners to create an opening Thursday on their 40-man roster, which they did by designating first baseman Ji-Man Choi for assignment.
Choi, 23, underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a fractured fibula in his right leg and a torn deltoid ligament. He suffered the injury in Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over San Diego.
BEIMEL TO TEXAS
Lefty reliever Joe Beimel won’t be returning to the Mariners. Instead, he will be facing them as a division rival after agreeing to a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers.
The deal isn’t guaranteed, but Beimel gets $1.5 million if he makes the roster on opening day. He can also boost the value through performance bonuses.
Beimel, 37, was 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA last season in 56 games for the Mariners, but discussions on a new year stalled when he pushed for a multi-year deal.
PAXTON ON MOUND
Lefty James Paxton threw a 30-pitch bullpen workout that marked his first time on a mound since a stumble in a pre-camp agility drill resulted in a sore forearm.
“Feels great,” he said. “All fastballs. Next time, I’ll start working in my other pitches.”
Paxton is tentatively scheduled for one more bullpen workout before shifting to live batting practice in preparation for his spring debut. Club officials maintain he should be fully ready when the season starts.