ANAHEIM -- As soon as Felix Hernandez throws his first pitch Sunday against the Angels, he'll be ineligible to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game, a circumstance that doesn't make "The King" happy.
Major League rules now call for pitchers who throw the Sunday before the Midsummer Classic to be replaced so that there'll be enough pitchers available to throw in the All-Star Game. MLB waits until Sunday's starters actually throw a pitch before eliminating them, however, just in case weather or something unforeseen changes the situation.
"I'm disappointed," Hernandez said on Saturday. "If I go there, I want to be part of it and pitch. But it's a rule they made and there's nothing I can do about that."
Hernandez says he'd normally throw a bullpen session on that day and would gladly pitch in the All-Star Game, which he's done once before, in 2009, when he threw one perfect inning in the game at St. Louis.
As it stands, he'll make the most of things as he travels to Phoenix for the festivities.
"I'm going to be part of it anyway," Hernandez said. "I'll be watching, enjoying the game and the Home Run Derby. It would be more fun if I was able to pitch, but it happens."
And, no, he didn't lobby the Mariners to change the rotation so he could pitch in the All-Star Game.
"This is my team," he said. "This is more important."
When Hernandez and others are scratched -- with Detroit's Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay's James Shields also scheduled to pitch Sunday -- it's likely that Mariners rookie Michael Pineda will be one of the replacements.