It's not easy being on the sidelines for Felix Hernandez. The Seattle starter felt a pain running from the back of his right knee down his leg on May 31, and after waiting a few days, it did not subside. So the Mariners trainers stuck a boot on him and had him take some time off, which is proving difficult for Hernandez for a variety of reasons: the ambiguity of his condition and his return, his lack of experience with the situation, and of course, the gradual crawl to insanity that comes from missing playing time.
Hernandez's descent into madness wasn't helped by his teammates playing a basketball game right in front of him.
"I'm going crazy. I don't know what to do. I'm not used to this," Hernandez said, as teammates played on a mini-basketball hoop nearby, three hours before Tuesday night's game with the Indians.
There have been two passes through the rotation now without an appearance by King Felix, and there will very likely be more. The Mariners' ace hasn't hit the disabled list since 2008, when Carlos Beltran slid into his left ankle as he covered the plate. His absence from the Seattle rotation will naturally be felt, as he maintain's the rotation's lowest ERA (2.86) and opponent's batting average (.217).
Hernandez gave an unconvincing "all right" in response to reporters asking how his leg was feeling on Tuesday. He is under orders to simply wait and see how it feels after a few days, at which point, should the pain have lessened or stopped, he'll be cleared to play catch. Hernandez is due to talk to a doctor on Thursday for an update.
Manager Scott Servais was confident that while the injury may take some more time to heal, once it does, Hernandez will not take long to get back out on the mound. Seattle is scuffling with the Rangers for the top spot in the AL West, and currently sits four games behind Texas after being recently swept by them from June 3-5.