Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez was hit on his right arm by a line drive on Monday afternoon
MESA, Ariz. — Maybe the Mariners are cursed.
Regardless of whether you believe in such frivolities, it’s starting to seem that way to fans as yet another key player has been injured … again.
Felix Hernandez exited Monday’s game against the Cubs at Sloan Park after being struck in the arm by a line drive (video below). With one out and a runner on second, Cubs catcher Victor Caratini ripped a rocket back at Hernandez, who had no chance to get away from the oncoming projectile. The veteran pitcher flinched and tried to raise his glove to protect himself, but he had no chance. The ball appeared to strike him on his throwing arm, near the top of his elbow.
The Mariners announced that Hernandez was struck on the upper right forearm and headed back to Peoria to have a team doctor examine his arm. The team later announced that x-rays on Hernandez’s forearm came back negative and that he’s day-to-day.
“Felix was throwing the ball really well too,” manager Scott Servais said. “The report I got back is that it’s a contusion. Nothing’s broken, but he’s going to be out for a little while. We’ll know more in a couple of days. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but lucky it’s not any worse than it is. We’ll wait and see how he feels the next couple of days.”
The stunned Hernandez was in instant pain and didn’t attempt to pick up the ball, dropping his glove and grabbing at his right arm in agony. Head athletic trainer Rob Nodine and manager Scott Servais immediately rushed to the field. After a brief conversation, they exited the field with Nodine holding Hernandez’s right arm. When Hernandez got to the dugout and started heading to the training room, he screamed a loud expletive in frustration.
“You never want to see that,” Servais said. “We saw it happen to (James) Paxton a couple of years ago and now today with Felix. He’s been working his tail off to put himself in a good spot. We wanted to get him out there early in spring to build up his inning. We’ll just have top play it by ear.”
Hernandez looked sharp in his first inning of work, posting a 1-2-3 inning, with strikeouts of Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo. He started the second a little shaky, hitting Addison Russell with a 2-2 breaking ball. He came back to get a ground ball out before Caratini stepped to the plate.
“He had all of his pitches working and was throwing the ball really well,” Servais said.
The Mariners were hoping Hernandez could remain healthy this season and give them 30 starts. A year ago, he had two lengthy stints on the disabled list with shoulder bursitis, limiting him to just 16 starts. The Mariners pitching staff was also decimated by injuries, forcing them to use 40 different pitchers and 17 starters to get through the season.
Even if it is just a deep bruise, it’s difficult to see Hernandez resuming his throwing program in the coming days. He’ll likely join fellow projected starter Erasmo Ramirez, who has a lat strain and has been shut down from throwing, on the mend.