Felix’s pitching plans, plus lineup and more
Felix Hernandez will indeed throw his first live batting practice on Thursday morning at the Peoria complex against Mariners hitters as he steps up his spring routine. Hernandez has thrown three 10-minute bullpens, now he’ll go to live BP before pitching in games.
Look for Hernandez to get his first Cactus League start on Thursday, March 7, when the Mariners have a split-squad day against the Royals and Athletics. That would put him in line for five Cactus League starts — with pitching coach Carl Willis looking to build him up to about 90-plus pitches — before Opening Day in Oakland on April 1.
Also, veteran right-hander Jon Garland will make his first start Thursday against the Giants in Scottsdale as he begins his comeback from shoulder surgery. Blake Beavan is slated to pitch second that day and throw three innings, followed by two innings by Erasmo Ramirez.
We’ve already reported that Danny Hultzen will start Wednesday against the Indians at Goodyear, followed by fellow prize prospect Taijuan Walker. Both are slated for two innings.
As for today? Hisashi Iwakuma and Joe Saunders, two guys who figure to slot in the rotation right behind Hernandez, will pitch one inning each against the Brewers.
Here’s the lineup:
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Michael Saunders LF
Michael Morse RF
Justin Smoak DH
Kelly Shoppach C
Mike Jacobs 1B
Robert Andino SS
Vinnie Catricala 3B
Carlos Triunfel 2B
Hisashi Iwakuma RHP
Also slated to pitch today: Saunders, Oliver Perez, Kameron Loe, Jonathan Arias, Carson Smith, Bobby LaFromboise and Danny Farquhar.