Felix Hernandez is forced to leave the season opener with a groin injury, but expects to make his next start for the Seattle Mariners.
There were already concerns about the Seattle Mariners‘ rotation during spring training. These worries only intensified when it was revealed Drew Smyly would miss the first six to eight weeks of the regular season, with a left flexor strain.
However, this was nothing compared to the panic which set in, when Felix Hernandez was forced to leave the mound during Monday’s opener in Houston. Was it possible the Mariners’ season could be over before it had barely started?!?!
Fortunately for the Mariners and their fans, the injury was nothing serious. As reported by Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times, Fernandez expects to make his next start, something which was later seconded by his manager, Scott Servais.
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The 30-year old tweaked his groin during the fourth inning, when he as running to cover first base and record an out. He came up hopping, but continued after a visit from the trainer.
However, Hernandez was eventually pulled after the fifth, when his groin tightened up on him. Servais admitted it was probably time to take his star pitcher out anyway, especially at this stage of the season.
Understandably, it’s a huge relief the six-time All-Star is okay, but it’s a shame he had to leave the action. Yes, he gave up two solo home runs, but for the most part he looked good, allowing just five hits and no walks, while recording six strikeouts.
Servais discussed the performance of Fernandez after the game. Speaking to Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle and other members of the media, he said:
"“He was throwing the ball great, really had good stuff tonight even though he made a couple of pitches that hurt him. He was sharp except for the couple of mistakes.”"
You could make an argument for the 2010 Cy Young winner missing his next start in Los Angeles, on Saturday. With the aforementioned reference to it being so early in the season, the Mariners can afford to be extra cautious.
However, this seems unlikely to happen. The competitive mindset of Hernandez probably won’t allow this, especially with the injury being nothing serious.
In the meantime, Servais and the Mariners will attempt to bounce back from their 3-0 loss on Tuesday. Hisashi Iwakuma will take the mound in Houston, as the team looks to even their record at 1-1.
Given the available information, do you share the same confidence as Hernandez, that he will be able to make his next start. Or, taking into account the season has just begun, would you take an extra cautious approach and have him miss Saturday’s game against the Angels? Share your thoughts in the comments section.