Felix Hernandez to miss at least one start with oblique injury

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Last week Felix Hernandez had his start delayed due to what the Mariners were calling a lower back cramp, but it turns out it was actually an oblique injury and now he’ll miss the rescheduled start too.

Hernandez was supposed to pitch Wednesday against the Astros, but Brandon Maurer will take his place after a weekend throwing session didn’t go well.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge told Greg Johns of MLB.com that Hernandez’s injury is “a minor oblique strain” but oblique strains tend to linger a whole lot longer than initial estimates and with the team out of contention there’s no real motivation to rush him back.

Hernandez has been his usual excellent self this season, throwing 194 innings with a 3.01 ERA and 200 strikeouts, but also like usual the Mariners haven’t provided him with much run support on the way to a 12-9 record.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin a throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.