King Felix throws first BP of spring

King Felix throws first BP of spring

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez threw his first live batting practice session Wednesday as he continued gearing up for his initial Cactus League start next week.

The Mariners ace will make his Spring Training debut Tuesday against the White Sox at 12:10 p.m. PT at Camelback Ranch in Glendale in Seattle's fourth Cactus League game. That will be the first of two spring starts for the 30-year-old before he joins the Venezuela national team to compete in the World Baseball Classic.

King Felix preparing for 2017

Left-hander Ariel Miranda is slated to start Saturday's Cactus League opener, with right-hander Chris Heston going Sunday. Both games are against the Padres at 12:10 p.m. PT at Peoria Stadium. Veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo then makes his Mariners debut on Monday against the Royals in another afternoon game in Peoria as he readies for his own WBC showing for Mexico.

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"Felix and Gallardo are in there early, just trying to give them a couple turns before they head off to the WBC," manager Scott Servais said. "We have a little longer spring, so we're pacing the guys some. But we'll get some of the younger guys in there early, too, and see what that looks like."

Servais said most of the starters would likely go two innings in their openers.

Worth noting

• Servais said reliever Steve Cishek came through his first throwing session of camp fine after playing catch at 60 feet Tuesday. Cishek is rehabbing from microfracture hip surgery. "Very good, very positive," Servais said. "He feels really good about where he's at."

Tony Zych, Seattle's other rehabbing right-hander, said he'll throw another flat-ground session Thursday, and figures he's about 10 days away from getting up on the mound for a full bullpen session as he works back from biceps surgery.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.