The last couple of seasons have been tough on starting pitcher Felix Hernandez and his Seattle Mariners‘ teammates. Not only has Hernandez lost velocity on his fastball, he also has found himself on the disabled list for the second time this season.
Seattle placed Hernandez on the 10-day DL with biceps tendinitis and called up left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales to make his Mariners debut, according to the Seattle Times. Gonzales was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill.
In April, Hernandez was placed on the DL for bursitis in his shoulder, and the pitcher has struggled in 2017. He was activated on June 23 and was 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA in eight starts upon his return from the disabled list.
He is currently in his 13th season with the Mariners, but it appears that Hernandez has hit a wall of sorts over the past few seasons. While the biggest struggle for Hernandez has been the lack of run support provided in games that he has started, his fastball is not as effective as it once was. With that said, he has only posted double-digit losses in five of his 13 seasons at the major league level.
|13 Y||13 Y||159||113||.585||3.19||372||25||11||2489.1||883||2333||1.186||8.4|
The concern now is that he is starting the decline that most pitchers cannot come back from — not named Bartolo Colon. He still has an impressive 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings ration in 2017 though, and that is a good sign following the 2016 season in which he only posted a 7.2 K:9 ratio.
But if Seattle wants to make a strong push at a playoff spot, they will need help from the ruler of the King’s Court.