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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

February 17, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Miggy and Felix

One thing I’ve been pretty happy to see the first three days of camp is that Felix Hernandez seems to constantly be by Miguel Batista’s side. It helps that they’re both in the same pitching group and can converse in Spanish. Their clubhouse lockers here are also only a few yards apart. But I saw firsthand how Batista helped Gustavo Chacin find his way while in Toronto and know that it can’t hurt Felix to have an influence like that around him.
Batista is about to turn 36, but keeps himself in shape like a 25-year-old.
That conditioning is what’s helped keep Batista around the majors — in both leagues — going on nearly a decade now. Batista also seems highly impressed by Hernandez. He told me today that he always thought Roy Halladay was the best young pitcher he’d ever seen when he teamed with him in Toronto’s rotation in 2004.
“But (Hernandez) is four years younger,” Batista chimed in.
Actually, Hernandez is five years younger than Halladay was in 2004. Halladay is actually nine years older than Hernandez overall.
Anyhow, you get the point.
M’s manager Mike Hargrove told us today that he won’t strictly be using innings pitched as a reference point for when to pull Hernandez from games this year. You’ll remember the season-finale last September, when Hargrove and GM Bill Bavasi opted to leave Hernandez in a game against Texas for longer than prescribed because he’d been so efficient with his pitches. The same thing will happen this time around, with pitch counts playing a more prevalent role in when he gets lifted.
No serious injuries to report during Day 3, although reliever Sean Green did experience a cramped up left hamstring and was pulled from the remainder of the workout as a precaution. He’d been warming up for his bullpen session.
Yuniesky Betancourt made a post-workout appearance in the clubhouse, much to the delight of many of his teammates who quickly gathered around him. Position players start undergoing physicals on Monday but some have arrived early.
Finally, poor old Horacio Ramirez just couldn’t get his teammates to pronounce his first name right. (Don’t ask me, I just write these things). Anyway, they’ve taken to calling him “Ho”…Never did see Rene Rivera afterwards to ask him about those Hernandez pitches popping out of his mitt…have a good one folks!

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