• Taijuan Walker threw four innings in a Minor League game in Peoria on Sunday and totaled 55 pitches, hitting 93-95 mph on his fastball, according to McClendon. The 21-year-old then went to the bullpen and threw another 17 pitches as he returns from a sore shoulder that sidelined him for a week at the start of March.
Walker will start the season on the 15-day disabled list, but is ready to begin a Minor League rehab stint. McClendon said he'll start for Class A High Desert on Friday.
• All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will also begin the year on the 15-day disabled list and he's behind Walker on his return schedule after missing the first six weeks of camp with a sprained tendon in his right middle finger. Iwakuma is with the Mariners on their first road trip and is currently playing catch at 60 feet.
He'll extend that to 90 feet in a few days and then to 120 feet before getting on the mound for the first time to throw a bullpen session in about 10 days, according to McClendon. Iwakuma will then need to throw several bullpens before he can begin pitching in Minor League games or simulated situations to begin building up his arm strength enough to pitch for the Mariners, which would seemingly put his return sometime in early May if all goes well.
• Felix Hernandez will be making his club-record seventh Opening Day start, with five of those having been against the A's. His other opener was against the Twins. Hernandez is 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA in those six games.
While Hernandez has never opened against the Angels, it's hardly a first for the Mariners. Seattle has started its season against the Halos nine previous times (with a 3-6 record), the last coming in 2006. Only three of those have been in Anaheim, with the two teams splitting the first two at Angel Stadium (in 1987 and '90).
• The Mariners have won seven straight and are 22-15 on Opening Day in franchise history, with their .595 winning percentage fourth best in the Majors since they debuted in 1977. The only teams better in that span have been the Mets (28-9), White Sox (23-14) and Orioles (23-14).