NEW YORK -- Wednesday's rainout against the Yankees allowed Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon to juggle his rotation slightly, pushing rookie Roenis Elias back to Thursday's game in New York and moving Felix Hernandez to Friday against the Astros.
The Mariners previously had been undecided on Friday's starter, though All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma was lined up to pitch that day if the club chose to bring him off the 15-day disabled list. Iwakuma pitched four innings in his first Minor League rehab outing Sunday for Triple-A Tacoma in Las Vegas, then rejoined the Mariners and threw a bullpen session on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
McClendon hasn't revealed his plans beyond Friday, but he will have the choice of working Iwakuma in on Saturday now against the Astros or sticking with his original plan of having Brandon Maurer start that game with Chris Young to follow on Sunday.
The Mariners could have Iwakuma pitch another Minor League game on Friday and then be ready to rejoin the club next Wednesday when the Mariners have a doubleheader in Oakland.
Hernandez misses out on his chance to pitch at Yankee Stadium, where he is 4-1 with a 1.18 ERA in six career starts. But the Mariners' ace has had success at Minute Maid Park in Houston as well, where he's 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three career outings.