Nick Franklin is back in the starting lineup after a two-game hiatus. The line-up is about as expected. At this point, I don’t have any indignation about Michael Saunders not playing. The Tigers have loaded the lineup with right-handers to face Joe Saunders tonight, including former Mariner Matt Tuiasosopo, who is making his first start since Sept. 3.
Felix Hernandez threw a lengthy bullpen session. But he will NOT start Wednesday. Hisashi Iwakuma will start on Wednesday vs. Justin Verlander, while James Paxton will start on Thursday vs. Doug Fister. Pitching coach Carl Willis and manager Eric Wedge have decided to have Hernandez throw one more bullpen session on Thursday morning and then possibly start him on Saturday or Sunday in Anaheim.
“Physically, he felt fine,” Willis said. “He feels too strong because he hadn’t been on the mound in such a long time. And I think because he hadn’t been on the mound in such a long he’s just a little erratic. As far as going out and competing, one more bullpen is going to allow him to just tighten things up a little bit. On the physical side, he didn’t have any issues.”
Willis likened the progression to spring training.
Brad Miller’s strained hamstring is doing much better according to Brad Miller.
“It felt like a big cramp when I was running down to first,” he said. “Obviously I felt it pretty good. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to keep playing. It’s still sore obviously, but it’s feeling better each day. So hopefully as soon as I can, I’ll get back out there quick.”
Miller has never had hamstring issues before in his career. But he isn’t too concerned.
“It’s just something that got a little tight on me,” he said. “But it’s nothing too crazy. They said the strength is there, so hopefully it was just a big cramp and now it’s just sore.”
The Mariners limited his activities on Monday. He played catch and took some swings in the cage. But he did no on-field work.