04/02/12 9:36 PM ET
Catcher Moore pain-free in wrist
By Greg Johns / MLB.com
Moore, 27, missed three weeks of Spring Training after getting hit in the back of his hand while blocking a ball in the dirt and was placed on the DL when the team needed to get its roster down to 28 players for the Opening Series in Japan.
He's unable to be used in Cactus League games while on the DL, but can play Minor League games. The Mariners wasted no time getting him back into action after he was cleared by Dr. Edward Khalfayan.
"I knew I couldn't play in the Cactus League games, so I came in Saturday at 10 a.m. to see Khalfayan, thinking I was going to see him and go home," Moore said. "And they said, 'You're playing at 10:30 [in a Minor League game with the Triple-A club]. So I strapped it on and went out there with about 20 minutes to prepare."
So far, so good, said Moore, who will be eligible to come off the DL on April 9.
"My hand feels great. No soreness, no pain," he said. "As far as hitting, I'm finally getting the timing back. At the point of contact, that's where it was hurting and when you make that [twisting] move out of the zone. But now it's good to go."
The hardest part, he said, was being in the Mariners' clubhouse with nobody else around except for injured center fielder Franklin Gutierrez while the team was in Japan for eight days.
"That was tough. Me and Guti were just in there losing our minds, rehabbing with nobody else here," he said. "You just go out on the field and see nobody."
Moore expects to be in the lineup when the Rainiers open their season Thursday in Tacoma, with the plan to have him catch the first game and then work at designated hitter on Friday as he works his way back.
He'd gone 4-for-6 with a home run, double, four runs and three RBIs in his first three Cactus League games before getting hurt.
Felix not concerned about velocity
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There have been a few raised eyebrows over a slight decrease in Felix Hernandez's fastball velocity this spring, but the Mariners ace said he's not concerned and his manager isn't worried either after another strong outing Monday.
Hernandez topped out at 90-91 mph in four innings of shutout ball in a 7-2 Cactus League victory over the Rockies. He was throwing about 89-90 mph last Wednesday in eight innings of one-run ball in Seattle's Opening Day victory over the A's in Tokyo.
That's a couple of miles per hour slower than Hernandez usually threw last year, but he obviously continues to be effective with his strong arsenal that includes a quality curveball, changeup, slider and cutter.
Is he concerned about his velocity?
"Really, it's Spring Training, man. I'm fine," Hernandez said with a smile. "I was trying to be like Jamie Moyer."
The Mariners beat their former teammate Moyer on Monday as Hernandez allowed just two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in four efficient innings.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge said he's not concerned about the slight drop in speed from Hernandez, who lost about 15 pounds over the offseason.
"Not for me, because he's a pitcher first and foremost," Wedge said. "The action and life he has on his baseball, that's what counts. The velocity will be there when he needs it. He's a guy that has such a tremendous feel to pitch and he's not that far off what he normally pitches at anyway.
"From my standpoint, as long as he keeps throwing the ball the way he's throwing it, particularly the last two starts, that's what we're looking for."
Hernandez was dominant Monday in a 57-pitch outing designed to keep him on schedule for his next start Saturday in Oakland. He pitched well despite admitting to still being tired from a lack of sleep following the transition back from the 16-hour time difference in Tokyo, not to mention the change in motivation from regular season back to one last non-counting Cactus League contest.
"It was a little different," he said. "In Japan there was adrenaline, a lot of people, Opening Day, it was crazy. I loved it. That was fun.
"This was weird. I was just trying to get my work in, throw strikes and work in all my pitches. Just take it like any other game."
• Left-handed reliever George Sherrill and outfielder Michael Saunders both went home early Monday after not feeling well for a second straight day and pitcher Hector Noesi joined the sick crew as the Mariners continued recovering from their trip to Japan.
Dustin Ackley, who was ill the previous two days, was back on Monday, though he didn't play in the afternoon's Cactus League game. Carlos Peguero also returned after a one-day absence and played Monday.
Manager Eric Wedge said Sherrill played some catch before going home and he'll try to get Sherrill, Ackley and Saunders back in action as early as Tuesday when Seattle faces the Rockies at Salt River Fields.
• Hisashi Iwakuma threw three innings of relief Monday, allowing two runs on one hit -- a home run by Wilin Rosario -- with one walk and two strikeouts.
"I felt like he had better life on his ball today," said Wedge. "He threw the ball as well as we've seen him throw it this spring."
• The Mariners Minor League teams open their seasons Thursday, with Triple-A Tacoma hosting Salt Lake, the Double-A Jackson Generals hosting Birmingham, the Class A High Desert Mavericks hosting Lancaster and the Class A Clinton LumberKings hosting Burlington.
The Mariners won't announce the final Minor League rosters until after they set their own 25-man roster on Wednesday, since some of the decisions will have a ripple effect on the Minor League squads.
• Infielder Munenori Kawasaki continued his strong spring, going 3-for-4 to raise his Cactus League average to .450 and also made a strong defensive play as he started at second base Monday. Shortstop Brendan Ryan also had three hits and is batting .367.