Hernandez was diagnosed with shoulder bursitis for the second time this season. Phelps has an elbow impingement and was placed on the 10-day disabled list.
OAKLAND — As the Mariners try and keep themselves in the American League Wild Card race, they will do so without pitchers Felix Hernandez and David Phelps for extended periods of time.
The Mariners released medical updates on both pitchers on Tuesday morning after undergoing tests and examination by team orthopedist Dr. Edward Khalfayan on Monday. And while the overall outlook is a positive — no structural damage or anything requiring surgery — neither is expected to make a quick return.
For the second time this season, shoulder bursitis has landed Hernandez on the disabled list. Hernandez felt discomfort in the days after his start in Texas. The Mariners listed his recovery time with the current bout of bursitis as three to four weeks. However, that was also the same time frame for recovery when Hernandez was placed on the disabled list on April 26 with bursitis following a start in Detroit. He didn’t return until June 26 though the Mariners did make him throw an extra rehab start in the recovery.
“Obviously, we are disappointed to lose Felix,” Servais said. “It’s probably three to four weeks. But hopefully we can get that shoulder calmed down. We certainly need him in our rotation and get him back. We are going to be playing a lot of big ball games in September and we’d love to get him back in that mix in that time. He’s going to have to work his tail off and get his arm strength back. Hopefully, it won’t be that long. But three to four weeks is a blow.”
When mentioned about the past time out of the same injury, Servais replied:
“We don’t quite have eight weeks left so hopefully we can speed up the healing curve there a little bit on that,” he said. “But for Felix, doing all the exercises, doing what he can to get back as soon as he can is going to be really important for us.”
Hernandez has made a total of 13 starts this season, posting a 5-4 record and 4.28 ERA.
Phelps was diagnosed with an elbow impingement and is expected to be out two to three weeks. After throwing seven pitches in a relief appearance on Sunday, Phelps summoned trainers to the mound to let them know the elbow wasn’t feeling right. He was removed immediately. The Mariners can breathe easier knowing there is no ligament damage or flexor strains. Phelps had made seven appearances since being acquired from the Marlins. He’s allowed runs in just of those outings and has struck out 11 batters in seven innings pitched.
“I think it’s a positive on David Phelps,” Servais said. “Hopefully we get him back relatively soon. You know 10 days to two weeks. I think he did the right thing, alerting us that he didn’t feel right and we were able to get him out of the game before something became worse.
The Mariners placed Phelps on the 10-day disabled list and added recently-acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso to the roster before Tuesday’s game.