Felix Hernandez tests oblique strain by throwing off flat ground

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Felix Hernandez hasn’t pitched since September 2 due to a minor oblique strain on his left side, but he’s hoping to rejoin the Mariners’ rotation as soon as next week.

According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, Hernandez didn’t have any problems throwing off flat ground prior to yesterday’s game against the Cardinals. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday, potentially clearing the way for him to start Wednesday against the Tigers.

Hernandez is 12-9 with a 3.01 ERA and 200/41 K/BB ratio in 194 1/3 innings over 29 starts this season. He was being mentioned as a potential threat for American League Cy Young Award honors for a while, but a 6.42 ERA over his last six starts has put a damper on things.

A.J. Hinch: “If it was any other time of the year, [José Altuve] wouldn’t be in the lineup.”

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It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.

Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:

He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.

Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”

During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.