The Seattle Mariners are hoping that a little rest goes a long way with their ace, Felix Hernandez.
After slipping on the mound and experiencing back stiffness in his last start, King Felix will miss his start Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and use Thursday's off-day as yet another day of rest. His status to pitch in Friday's game is still unknown.
Seattle's manager, Eric Wedge, told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times,
Felix is feeling better, but no sense in pushing it right now. I know he feels like he can pitch at any point in time, but we're going to make sure that we're careful with this. We've got the off-day on Thursday, so we'll see how he feels again tomorrow and decide where we're going to go from there. We've got multiple options because of the off-day.'
The most encouraging part of Wedge's comments came when he said that a DL stint is "not even a consideration for us right now.'' Wedge also referred to Hernandez' bullpen session and said that it was "just OK, but not to the point where I felt comfortable bringing him back on Wednesday.''
Although Wedge says they are not considering the DL it is important to remember that initially Wedge also felt that Felix would not miss Wednesday's start. Therefore, I would not assume that Hernandez is definitely not going to require a DL stint, but hopefully this extra rest will do the job.
It is a smart move by the Mariners, as any back injury is not an injury to take chances with and with the potential to get an extra two days rest, it appears to be a no-brainier.
Geoff Baker also reports that Hector Noesi will take the mound on short rest after only pitching into the fifth inning on Saturday. The bullpen will be fully staffed as well should Noesi fall short in his outing.
King Felix is pitching to a 3.42 ERA this season with a 4-4 record and 81 strikeouts in 81.2 innings.
Seattle takes on the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday should they decide to let Felix return to action after the off-day.