Felix feels good after bullpen, eager to return

'I'm going crazy right now. I just want to pitch,' Mariners' ace says

Felix feels good after bullpen, eager to return

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez just wants to pitch.

The Mariners' ace was adamant after a 43-pitch bullpen session on Friday that he was ready.

"Everything was good," Hernandez said. "Ball was coming out pretty good. Good pitches, down in the zone. And the most important thing: my calf feels better."

Hernandez has been on the 15-day disabled list with a right calf strain since June 1. The plan has been to bring him back shortly after the All-Star break. Before that, the Mariners want him to throw a simulated game on the road in Houston and two rehab games, one in Class A Everett and one in Triple-A Tacoma.

Hernandez hasn't enjoyed the time off.

"I'm going crazy right now," Hernandez said. "I just want to pitch. That's all I want."

Manager Scott Servais knows how much Hernandez wants to be out on the mound. But he also knows how much the Mariners need Hernandez to stay healthy after coming off the DL. Rushing his rehab process could lead to problems down the road.

"He's pretty important to where we need to get going in the second half," Servais said.

Hernandez said they've told him every day to be careful and not push too hard. But that message hasn't sunk in.

"It's me," Hernandez said. "I just want to be on the field as soon as possible."

Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.