Scott Servais paused for a moment and thought about the question. The Mariners manager was asked to give his thoughts on the two-inning simulated games that James Paxton and Felix Hernandez had just completed on Friday afternoon.

Instead of giving a static answer about how the ball looked coming out of their hand or pitch command, Servais replied: “I realized how much I miss them. That’s the first thing that came to mind.”

But Servais may not have to miss them for much longer. Both pitchers came out of their two simulated innings of work ready with no health issues and appear ready to pitch in games.

“Very encouraging, positive signs and both guys look on track to get in the rotation next week,” he said.

Paxton threw two innings of 20 pitches, facing an assortment of hitters, including Taylor Motter, Jacob Hannemann and Daniel Vogelbach.