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Felix Hernandez Headed Back to the DL for Seattle

Is the King turning into a peasant?

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.

Felix Hernandez Career Pitching Stats
Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G CG SHO IP ER SO WHIP SO9
2005 SEA 4 4 .500 2.67 12 0 0 84.1 25 77 0.996 8.2
2006 SEA 12 14 .462 4.52 31 2 1 191.0 96 176 1.335 8.3
2007 SEA 14 7 .667 3.92 30 1 1 190.1 83 165 1.377 7.8
2008 SEA 9 11 .450 3.45 31 2 0 200.2 77 175 1.385 7.8
2009 SEA 19 5 .792 2.49 34 2 1 238.2 66 217 1.135 8.2
2010 SEA 13 12 .520 2.27 34 6 1 249.2 63 232 1.057 8.4
2011 SEA 14 14 .500 3.47 33 5 0 233.2 90 222 1.220 8.6
2012 SEA 13 9 .591 3.06 33 5 5 232.0 79 223 1.142 8.7
2013 SEA 12 10 .545 3.04 31 0 0 204.1 69 216 1.131 9.5
2014 SEA 15 6 .714 2.14 34 0 0 236.0 56 248 0.915 9.5
2015 SEA 18 9 .667 3.53 31 2 2 201.2 79 191 1.180 8.5
2016 SEA 11 8 .579 3.82 25 0 0 153.1 65 122 1.324 7.2
2017 SEA 5 4 .556 4.28 13 0 0 73.2 35 69 1.357 8.4
13 Y 13 Y 159 113 .585 3.19 372 25 11 2489.1 883 2333 1.186 8.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/5/2017.

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.

Although Hernandez has reached a season in which injuries are costing him time, the Mariners still find themselves in the playoff race behind the suddenly strong arm of pitcher James Paxton.

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.

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