Felix Hernandez, struck in the right forearm by a line drive in a Cactus League game against the Chicago Cubs Monday, avoided serious injury. He has a deep bruise that will force him to miss at least one spring training start. Barring other aggravation, the six-time All-Star should be good to go by Opening Day.
“It stinks,” Hernandez told mariners.com Tuesday. “I’ve been feeling pretty good, now I’ve got a line drive off the elbow. But it happens. I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready for Opening Day. No worries.”
In the second inning Monday, Cubs C Victor Caratini lashed a liner off Hernandez that dropped the 14-year veteran to his knees.
“That was bad. Real bad,” Hernandez said. “I can’t explain how bad it was. I’ve never felt anything like that before. I finished the pitch and saw the ball coming and was just, ‘Oh, my God.’ My brother asked me yesterday, ‘Why didn’t you pick up the ball and throw to first?’ And I was like, ‘Dude.'”
“Unfortunately, this is a little bit of a setback,” said manager Scott Servais.”It’s not the end of the world. I think we’ll get a ball in his hand as soon as possible.”
Hernandez twice went on the disabled list last year with shoulder injuries that limited him to 16 starts. He is the second Seattle starter sidelined this spring, following Erasmo Ramirez, who is recovering from a lat strain.