|Mariners ace Hernandez ready for return Tuesday|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 May 2007 17:16|
``It feels like it's been a year,'' he said. ``It's not fun to sit down and do nothing.''
The 21-year-old right-hander left his start against Minnesota on April 18 after one-third of an inning. He allowed three runs, walked two and threw a wild pitch before he summoned trainers to the mound.
Before that, he had allowed four hits in 17 scoreless innings - including a one-hitter at Boston.
While on the DL, Hernandez had two scheduled starts scratched: May 4 in New York and May 9 at Detroit.
Hernandez said his goal is to throw 85 pitches against the Angels on Tuesday. Seattle manager Mike Hargrove is thinking more conservatively.
``He probably won't go (more) than 75-80 pitches,'' Hargrove said.
Hernandez was at home Friday with a 102-degree temperature and flu-like symptoms while his teammates were beating New York. So the fact he threw an extended bullpen session less than 24 hours later surprised Hargrove.
But not Hernandez, who was itching to get some extra work in the bullpen.
``My temperature's down, I feel better now,'' said Hernandez, who said he threw approximately 50 pitches.
His manager has been most impressed with how Hernandez has handled the injury.
``The big thing that we're really happy about, if there's anything to be happy about, is that he was honest,'' said Hargrove, who said he has seen older pitchers overdo it and then end up on the disabled list longer.
Cha Seung Baek made four starts in Hernandez's place in the rotation and went 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA. It was thought that he would take Jeff Weaver's rotation spot. Weaver, 0-6 with a 14.32 ERA, went on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of shoulder tendinitis.
But Hargrove said Saturday he was pretty sure Weaver would have a spot in the rotation when he is ready to return.
Weaver has been a flop after signing a one-year, $8,325,000 contract. In 22 innings, he has given up 50 hits and 35 earned runs.