Hisashi Iwakuma could also join the Mariners' rotation in the series vs. Houston
ARLINGTON, Texas — For the first time since April 25, there will be a Felix Day for the Mariners.
Following a strong outing on Saturday night in Tacoma in his third rehab start, Felix Hernandez has been slated to be activated from the disabled list and return to the starting rotation. That move will come on Friday with Hernandez scheduled to start that night at Safeco Field to open a three-game series against American League West-leading Houston Astros.
“It’s what we’ve got mapped out right now,” manager Scott Servais said. “At that point, we’ll have to make some decisions on how we juggle the rotation and move guys around. But that decision hasn’t been made yet. We’ll wait and see what happens in the next few days.”
Hernandez pitched six shutout innings, allowing four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. He threw 87 pitches with 57 strikes.
“The numbers were good and I know he used all of his pitches,” Servais said. “The report I got was that his fastball was up a bit in the first couple innings and after that it was down. Good curveball, good changeup, got his pitches in and the results were really good.”
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Hernandez has been on the disabled list since April 26 with bursitis in his throwing shoulder. Prior to the injury, he was 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA in five starts.
The Mariners will likely also have Hisashi Iwakuma return to the rotation vs. the Astros. Iwakuma is slated to pitch on Monday in Tacoma for his second rehab outing. If all goes well in the 75-pitch start, he would pitch either Saturday or Sunday vs. the Astros.
Shortstop Jean Segura (high ankle sprain) will join Class AAA Tacoma on Monday for a rehab stint of a couple of games.