ANAHEIM -- Felix Hernandez won't be making his scheduled start Wednesday against the Angels, but could be ready to return as early as this weekend, manager Eric Wedge said Tuesday.
Hernandez's lower back tightened up after he felt a "tweak" during his last start against the White Sox on Friday and the right-hander said it still feels "uncomfortable" when he raises his left leg to throw. He played catch briefly on Monday, but was stopped as soon as he told the trainers it still wasn't right.
"It didn't feel that bad, but it has to be perfect to where I don't feel anything," Hernandez said Tuesday. "That's why they said, 'No, you're not going.' They're just trying to prevent something real bad. But I'll be OK."
Wedge said the 2010 Cy Young Award winner will play catch Wednesday to gauge his progress.
"He wants to pitch and I love that," said Wedge. "But we'll work off how he feels."
Hernandez has been a workhorse, starting 30 or more games for six straight seasons. He understands the need to be cautious, but that doesn't mean he likes it.
"They know what they're doing," he said. "I have to be smart, but I want to pitch, too. They pay me to pitch, so I want to be out there every five days."
Hector Noesi will pitch Wednesday in Hernandez's spot against the Angels, going on three days' rest after throwing just 68 pitches his last outing. But with days off Thursday and this coming Monday, the Mariners have some flexibility.
If Hernandez isn't ready by Sunday, they could conceivably hold him back until Tuesday and just keep the other four starters on their normal schedule with the off-days.
Seager brothers have a day to remember
ANAHEIM -- It was a pretty good day Monday for the Seager family of Concord, N.C.
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager raced into the visiting clubhouse at Angel Stadium after batting practice just in time to see his youngest brother, Corey, being selected with the 18th pick of the first round by the Dodgers in the First-Year Player Draft.
At virtually the same time, middle brother Justin, a junior-to-be at UNC-Charlotte, was hitting a double in what turned into a four-hit game in Green Bay, Wis., in a collegiate summer league contest. And still beaming from ear-to-ear, Kyle then went out and laced a home run in the first inning of the Mariners' 8-6 victory over the Angels.
Who won bragging rights in the Seager household?
"I don't know," Kyle said, still smiling on Tuesday afternoon. "Justin got the most hits, Corey was a first-rounder. I think I'm taking third in that discussion. But that's a good day."
Seager said seeing his brother selected so high by the Dodgers was "one of the most memorable moments I've had" and set off a celebration in the Mariners clubhouse.
"I just lost it. It was unbelievable," said Seager, himself a third-round Draft pick of the Mariners in 2009. "When I got drafted, I was just nervous. I was definitely more excited to see him get picked."
Corey Seager, 18, a shortstop, is six years younger than Kyle, but four inches taller at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds as a graduating senior at Northwest Cabarrus High in Concord. The two have never played together because of their age difference, but worked out together last offseason.
"He's going to be special. He's got a lot of talent," Seager said. "I just told him to enjoy it. This is an amazing moment in your life and an unbelievable accomplishment. It's really special for me as his older brother, just to see all that he's done and to have your younger brother have that much success."
Franklin Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with two singles for Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday while playing all nine innings in center field. He's now hitting .333 (4-for-12) in four rehab games.
After throwing out Angels speedster Mike Trout on Monday, Miguel Olivo leads American League catchers with 10 runners caught stealing. He has thrown out 38.5 percent (10-of-26) of attempted stealers.
Seager was hitting .365 with runners in scoring position going into Tuesday's game, the sixth-best mark in the AL. He was also tied for sixth in doubles with 16.
Former Mariners reliever Mike Jackson (1988-91, 1996) will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's 4:15 p.m. PT game against the Dodgers at Safeco Field in the continuing series of returning players for the 35th anniversary season celebration.