ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -The Seattle Mariners placed ace right-hander Felix Hernandez on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, shelving their hard-throwing 21-year-old until at least May 4.
Hernandez left his start Wednesday night against Minnesota after getting just one out. He allowed three runs, walked two, threw a wild pitch that scored a run, then waved trainers out to the mound to remove him from the game. Hernandez was diagnosed with a muscle strain inside his right elbow and forearm, and was kept from throwing for five days.
Hernandez threw briefly on Monday as Seattle opened a two-games series in Texas, then was put on the DL, retroactive to April 19. Seattle recalled right-hander Cha Seung Baek from Triple-A Tacoma to start against the Rangers.
``Felix was expected to miss about 10 days. Even in our best-case scenarios the earliest we had him pitching was May 2,'' Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said. ``This move will not materially change the schedule on Felix and, hopefully, removes any pressure he may feel to try and rush back.''
Hernandez was dominant in his first two starts, allowing four hits in 17 scoreless innings, including a one-hitter in Boston. Hernandez was lauded by team physician Dr. Edward Khalfayan for pulling himself from the game against Minnesota, saying if Hernandez had continued to pitch with the strain, he could have stressed the elbow so severely he would have required elbow-ligament replacement surgery.
Hernandez is expected to have two bullpen sessions before returning to the rotation.
Baek was 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA in three starts with Tacoma. Last season, Baek went 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA in six starts with the Mariners during August and September.
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