PEORIA, Ariz. - Miguel Olivo is a catcher, not a doctor, which helps explain how his natural optimism had to be tempered a bit Sunday.
After getting a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on his left leg, where he strained a groin muscle a day earlier, Olivo walked back into the Seattle training complex on his own. And he was confident.
“I think I’ll only miss a week,” Olivo said. “They won’t be able to read the MRI until (today), and I’ve got to go see the doctors now, but I feel great.”
And then, Olivo saw the team physicians and trainers.
“I don’t feel it walking forward, I feel it when I push side to side,” Olivo said after his consultation. “But we’ll give it 1-2 weeks and then we’ll see after that.”
The Mariners would love to have Olivo back in a few weeks – they’d be happy to have him ready to play opening night April 1. They’re just not sure about the timetable on an injury that hasn’t yet been analyzed.
The team found a facility that could give Olivo an MRI on Sunday, but there was no radiologist on duty, so the test results won’t be read until this morning.
“I know I’ll be back soon because I like to work hard and when you work hard, things get better,” Olivo said. “This is the first time I’ve had any injury. I’m not going to be like a little baby. I’m not going to baby sit that thing. I’ll work hard and follow the doctor with one week’s rest and then we’ll see.”
On that point, he’s right. We’ll see.
In the meantime, veteran Josh Bard started behind the plate against San Francisco and Adam Moore is expected to catch today against Oakland.
FELIX ON PRACTICE
Felix Hernandez makes his exhibition debut today, scheduled to work three innings against Oakland.
If he pitched three quick innings, would he lobby for another?
“No, three is enough,” he said.
Doesn’t he need to practice lobbying his manager? Hernandez tapped his head.
“It’s all up here,” he said.
LANGERHANS WINGS IT
Outfielder Ryan Langerhans has been playing first base in some games, and if you’re wondering why, it’s to rest his left elbow.
Langerhans had offseason surgery to remove chips from that elbow, and while he’s been throwing all spring, he hasn’t cut loose on a throw yet. He’s played in the outfield and at first base.
“I’ve been stretching it out every day,” said Langerhans, who’s been on a throwing program. “It’s feeling great, so they’re letting me go.”
Penciled in to play center field on Sunday, Langerhans was given the OK by trainers to throw full strength for the first time since camp opened.
ASLEEP AT PLATE
Nate Robertson allowed four runs in three innings, and the Seattle offense remained stagnant as San Francisco beat the Mariners, 6-1
Held to six hits – two by Langerhans – the Mariners’ spring record dropped to 3-4-1. Five of Seattle’s hits were singles, and with runners in scoring position, the team was 1-for-7.
Non-roster right-hander Charlie Haeger, the resident knuckleball specialist, returned to workouts Sunday after missing a week with an ailing back. There’s still time for Haeger to show what he’s got out of the bullpen, although a starting job now appears less likely. Why? Other candidates for the back end of the rotation have emerged in the week Haeger missed. Jack Wilson was back in camp working out a day after being sent home with flu-like symptoms, but he didn’t play in the game. Relievers Brandon League, Garrett Olson and Chaz Roe each had a scoreless inning against the Giants.
Seattle plays at Oakland in a 12:05 p.m. (PST) game. Probable starting pitchers: Hernandez vs. Guillermo Moscoso of the A’s.