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February 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Felix Hernandez throws live batting practice; to make Cactus League debut late next week

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez threw a live batting practice session to four minor league players today. He threw 32 pitches over 10 minutes, working in all of his offerings.

“I definitely threw at  a hard speed, goodpitches,” Hernandez said. “It felt pretty good.”

Hernandez said he’s just about ready to where he needs to be in a game.

“I’m almost there,” he said. “I’m almost 100 percent. Like I said, my mechanics are pretty good. I had good balance and I feel good.”

Pitching coach Carl Willis said the plan is to have Hernandez throw live BP again on Sunday or Monday, then make his Cactus League debut for two innings five days later. That means, next Friday or Saturday. First, the team will have to see how Hernandez feels tomorrow, then decide on when the next live BP will be.

“It will be a more intense BP session,” Willis said. “Maybe something closer to a simulated game.”

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