Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
February 13, 2008 4:04 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
You can read that headline any way you want. A sweat-laden Felix Hernandez just finished his physical, having endured the grueling treadmill exercise -- in which a player finds his top speed, then increases the incline on it every two minutes. Being in shape helps a player in these types of things. Hernandez insists he's in better shape this year than last, having found it easier to carry out his off-season workout regimen for a second straight winter.
Anyhow, once he caught his breath, he paused and gave our blog the spring's first interview. Nope, you won't hear this stuff anywhere else.
On losing the No. 1 starter's job: "I was thinking about it," Hernandez said of the days leading up to the Bedard trade. "I was thinking that maybe Bedard was going to be the Opening Day starter. They told me yesterday and I said 'fine'."
On how Bedard -- who he describes as "a horse" -- and Carlos Silva will help the team: "The bullpen is going to be better because we can throw a lot of innings. We can go deep in the game. The bullpen's got to get some rest. Last year, we used the bullpen a lot, every day. And those guys were tired. Sean Green was tired at the end of the season. And I think those two guys are going to help."
Also, on what new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre expects of him: "He told me 'You've got to throw inside a lot this year'," Hernandez said.
And then: "I love throwing inside. I'm going to prove it this year."
Hear the entire thing right here in this clip.