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July 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Sunday notes: Ramirez to DL, Kinney called up, Felix reaction and more

Lots of news today for a sleepy Sunday.
The nuts and bolts: The Mariners placed Erasmo Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain. Manager Eric Wedge called it “about our best-case scenario. It’s not serious. He should be OK.”
To take Ramirez’s spot on the roster, the Mariners called up 33-year-old reliever Josh Kinney from Tacoma, where he was 1-0 with three saves and a 2.70 ERA in 27 relief appearances. Catcher Adam Moore — once the Mariners’ “catcher of the future:” — was designated for assignment to make room for Kinney on the 40-man roster.
Kinney could be needed today because of the workload for the bullpen yesterday.
“I just told him to be ready from the first inning on,” he said.

Wedge said that with an off day, and Kevin Millwood believed to be ready to return to the rotation, no adjustments are necessary. Here’s how they pencil in leading up to the All-Star break: Vargas today, Hisashi Iwakuma tomorrow, Felix Hernandez on Tuesday, Hector Noesi on Wednesday, day off Thursday, Millwood Friday, Vargas Saturday and Hernandez Sunday.
Back to Ramirez: He left after a pitch to Mike Aviles in the third inning, but he said he first felt something in his right elbow on a curveball to the prevoius batter. He then threw a fastball, and it felt fine, “but when I started throwing a fastball to Aviles, my elbow got tight a little bit, a little sore. I called the catcher and told Olivo, I feel like something is tight in my elbow. I was afraid to push myself and break my elbow or something.”
Olivo called out the trainer, and Ramirez was pulled from the game.
“They asked me if I wanted to continue. I wanted to continue, but at the same time, I was afraid to try to do more and get injured more. It’s not a big pain, but it’s still scary.”
Kinney, meanwhile, got a call late last night from Tacoma manager Daren Brown that he was getting the call up. He appeared in 13 games last year with the White Sox, and 24 games with the Cardinals in 2008-09.
“It’s an exciting day for me and my wife,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier. It’s not my first time in the big leagues, but that phone call never gets old. I’m truly grateful to experience that phone call every ballplayer wants to hear. It’s a good day to get up here and get started. The clubhouse is beatiful. It’s a lot more than I expected, it really is.”
Here’s Wedge on Felix Hernandez making the All-Star team: “Felix is an All-Star. Like I told you after his last outing, that’s the best I’ve seen him since I’ve been here. For me to say that about a guy that good, that’s saying a lot. It’s well-deserved. He’ll help them if it’s needed. I’m excited for him and his family.”
As mentioned before, Hernandez is scheduled to start Sunday before the All-Star Game. Last year, that would have made him ineligible to pitch on Tuesday, but the rules have been changed and such starters can throw in the game if they want to. Hernandez indicated he would like to pitch in Kansas City even if he starts Sunday, and Wedge said he had no objections.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with that. The only reason I would is if I felt he was in any type of harm’s way, and I don’t foresee that happening. Most guys throw their bullpen that second day anyway. Sometimes he does the second day, sometimes the third day. With the workload he had in his previous start, I’ll keep a close eye on this start. He felt good in his bullpen the other day, which is a great sign.”
Hernandez said he was awakened this morning by pitching coach Carl Willis telling him he had made the All-Star team.
“It was nine in the morning. I said, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, “Congratulations, you made the All-Star team.’ I said, OK, thank you, I’ll see you in two hours. And went back to sleep.”
It’s exciting. It’s truly an honor to be in an All-Star Game. Last year, I didn’t get to pitch. I think this year I’ll get to pitch. It would be awesome. The first time, I only threw seven pitches, so it was pretty short.”
Asked what he likes most about the All-Star Game, Hernandez siad, “Everything. The game, the home run derby, spending time on the field with my kids watching the home run derby. It’s unbelievable. A good experience.”
Texas manager Ron Washington told reporters why he selected Hernandez.
“I thought it was important to get presence, a big-time pitcher. Nothing fazes him. He’s going to be out there when the lights are on, Felix rises. The lights will be on. It was making sure that I get some presence. He brings a lot of presence.”
Washington said Felix has indicated he will exercise his option to pitch in the game even if he starts next Sunday.
“I don’t think in Felix’s case he’s going to come to the All-Star game and not want to be a part of it.”
Michael Saunders is still suffering from the flu bug, and Wedge said, “He feels worse today than yesterday. We’re trying to figure it out. Obviously, he has some kind of bug. He’s laying in the training room right now. He tried to get it g ing yesterday late in the game, but wasn’t able to get there. He had another tough night last night, and he’s not feeling good today.”

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