Mariners manager Scott Servais told reporters prior to Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers that staff ace Felix Hernandez will return from the disabled list and start Friday against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field, and that Hisashi Iwakuma will also be activated and will start either Saturday or Sunday.
Addtionally, SS Jean Segura, the American League’s leading hitter when he sprained an ankle June, is also expected back sometime this week.
The 31-year-old Hernandez has missed nearly two months because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder. The six-time All-Star tossed six shutout innings in a rehab start Saturday for AAA Tacoma.
The American League Cy Young Award winner in 2010, Hernandez went 2-2, 4.73 in five starts before going on the disabled list in late April.
Iwakuma, who has also been rehabbing a shoulder injury, has been out since early May. He will pitch for the Rainiers Monday. Iwakuma went 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six starts before landing on the DL.
The Mariners have been plagued by injuries to their rotation this season. Hernandez, Iwakuma and James Paxton all have spent considerable time on DL over the past seven weeks while Drew Smyly, projected in spring as rotation regular, has been sidelined since late March with an elbow strain.