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Felix, Putz and Injury Updates

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~Felix Hernandez continues to be the talk of Peoria. His newest fan? Mike Hargrove.

"Very rarely when people tell you about someone special does that person live up to or exceed the talk," Hargrove said yesterday. "This kid exceeds. This kid is electric."

On Friday, when Hernandez threw to hitters for the first time this spring facing he broke Adam Jones bat on what Jones called "a really heavy change-up."

"It started right down the middle," Jones said, then paused for effect. "And then it dropped."

A broken bat is not an uncommon occurrence. A broken bat from a change-up is. While Adam Jones isn't a seasoned major league veteran or even much an offensive force, Felix broke his bat with a change-up. A freaking change-up.  

It's going to be hard for the organization to hold Felix back if he continues to impress this spring. While they continue to express caution about allowing him to earn a spot in the rotation, their argument habitually reverts back to his age. If he has the ability to get major league caliber hitters out now, does it matter if he is 18? I think it's a safe assumption that for the rest of the spring, all eyes will be glued on Felix.

~On Friday, The News Tribune ran an article about Eddie Guardado and the possible problems that could arise if he goes down with an injury. While having a proven closer is a luxury that big market teams can afford, I don't believe that they are necessary for success. When Guardado went down with his season ending injury at the end of July, J.J. Putz stepped in and performed brilliantly in the closers role for the final two months of the season.

April-July:
ERA: 5.65
SVO: 0 for 4
K/BB: 1.21
BAA: .289

August-October:
ERA: 2.24
SVO: 9 for 9
K/BB: 12.0
BAA: .230

While having a healthy Guardado is better than having an unhealthy Guardado, the M's will be able to survive without him if necessary. Putz and Hasegawa have all had some form of success in the role at one point in their careers and Sherrill pitched well in the role for the Rainers last season.

~Pokey Reese was able to face live pitching yesterday but was held out of defensive drills again due to his sprained ankle. The team hopes he will be able to return to full workouts on Monday.

~The results on Chris Snelling's MRI are due back tomorrow and he is being held out of team workouts until the cause of the pain is diagnosed. He has been able to hit in the cages and took live batting practice yesterday.