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April 15, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Tuesday’s pregame notes and line-ups vs. the Rangers

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It’s also Jackie Robinson day today. So you’ll notice all the players are wearing No. 42.

So obviously manager Lloyd McClendon was asked about the line-up and specifically Dustin Ackley. Here is his response.

So there is that.

*** Also on the video, you’ll see that Logan Morrison is day-to-day with hamstring tightness. He’ll be only available as a pinch hitter in an emergency situation tonight.

*** The Mariners had about 3/4 of their position players taking early batting practice today. This wasn’t mandatory. It was all volunteer.

“We have a certain amount of work that we think it necessary,” McClendon said. “But usually when we have extra hitting on the road it’s not mandatory. It is for certain guys, but other guys chose to come. That’s good to see.”

*** McClendon said that as of now, Beavan will start on Sunday in Miami. But that “as of now” could likely be interpreted as … if he pitches well, he’ll start again. If he gets shelled, then Taijuan Walker would likely get the start.

Kuma throws a bullpen

Hisashi Iwakuma threw a 55-pitch bullpen and was quite pleased with the outcome.

“I felt great today,” Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki. “I went into the bullpen like usually do when I pitch a game, threw about 30-35 pitches and then had Jason Phillips throw me some signs so it was like pitching in a game. I was able to command pitches to both sides of the plate and keep the ball down. They released me from throwing the split-finger too and that felt great too.”

There was no pain when he gripped the split-finger fastball. But it was something he worried about going into the session.

“There was a little bit because you have more stress when you split your fingers,” he said. “And with that first joint you do put more pressure there than on other pitches. But I felt no pain. And I was not worried about it all throughout the whole bullpen. So that was good.”

Iwakuma is now scheduled to throw a simulated game on Saturday Friday in Miami.

“It’s a positive,” he said. “I look forward to the next step, facing hitters. So far everything has been good, everything has been smooth.”

Iwakuma knows he’s getting close to finishing the long recovery.

“It’s been a long process,” he said. “But I’ve been able to focus the last couple weeks now that I’m able to throw bullpens. I want to become part of the team soon. Hopefully that’s within a couple of weeks.”

King vs. Yu

We talked to Felix Hernandez about facing Yu Darvish tomorrow. He doesn’t share the anticipation other people do.

“You want to talk to me? For what?” he said, seeming legitimately confused.

When told that people around baseball think that the pitching match-up is a big deal, he replied.

“Is that a big deal? Really?” he said grinning.

So his excitement is a little tempered.

“I just gotta do my job, that’s all I gotta do,” he said. “If he puts up zeroes, then I have to put up zeroes too.”

When reminded of how competitive he can be on the mound, Hernandez laughed.

“It happens,” he said. “I’m really competitive. That’s how I am. I’ve always been like that. Throwing against Texas pumps me up a little bit.”

The Rangers have hit him hard the last few seasons and he’s more than aware of it.

“They got me a couple times, but I got them too,” he said.

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