Mariners cautious with Felix's workload

Mariners cautious with Felix's workload

SEATTLE -- Another scheduled off-day between starts means right-hander Felix Hernandez will make his third consecutive start with five days in between.

King Felix is slated to oppose the Blue Jays on Thursday. And after that?

"We'll address it after that," interim manager Daren Brown said on Sunday. "I would say he's going to be on his fifth day after that."

If that holds true, Hernandez would face the Rangers on Sept. 28 in Arlington, putting him position to also start the regular-season finale against the Athletics on Oct. 3 at Safeco Field.

"He understands what we're doing," Brown said. "With the off-days we've had, it's been easy to do. Everybody stays on line."

In the big picture, which might not include the Cy Young Award factor, it is more important to keep Hernandez healthy.

"He's 24 years old and has thrown 233 innings," Brown said. "It' something we'll have to monitor. We talk about stressful innings. I saw a stat on him a couple of days ago on how many scoreless innings he has pitched out of the 233. To me, the number was amazing."

That number is 193 -- and counting.

"I know I sound like a broken record, but he's important to where we're trying to go and he's somebody we're going to keep a close eye on and take care of him. We'll have to look at everything -- innings and number of pitches. He's thrown more pitches than anybody else."