Seattle Mariners Ace Felix Hernandez has had an awful 2018. Jordan Cordano writes his career isn’t over, but he needs to make some adjuments going forward.
It’s been a long season that looks as if it will be another one where the Seattle Mariners fall short of the playoffs. There have been some positives like the dominance of Edwin Diaz, the smooth swing of Mitch Haniger or the great defensive plays by Ben Gamel.
There have also been the negatives and disappointments in 2018. For example, fans can point to Kyle Seager and his near Mendoza line batting average. But the biggest disappointment this season has been the performance of Felix Hernandez.
More from Seattle Mariners
- Seattle Mariners trade James Paxton. Deja vu or re-imagining?
- Seattle Mariners: November mailbag – Face of the franchise and more
- Seattle Mariners: Zunino part of 5 player swap. What it means for the M’s.
- Seattle Mariners: Mitch Haniger, and Edgar Martinez headed to Japan
- Seattle Mariners: Trading for Joc Pederson from L.A. – 3 scenarios
“The King” has felt more like a pawn in his own game. With career highs in ERA (5.46), WHIP (1.40), and WAR (-1). Felix has had a hard time learning how to transition his game from being a fireball pitcher throwing in the mid 90’s to someone who needs to hit the corners and “pitch”.
At times this season, the former Cy Young award winner has thrown some good games mixed in here and there. When his changeup is working, it’s one of the best in baseball. His fastball, however, when left up in the zone is compared to some of the batting practice fastballs we normally see from Erasmo Ramirez.
After the negatives are brought to the surface, there can still be a light at the end of the tunnel. It just comes down to Felix accepting the fact that he needs to pitch and not just throw to win ball games.
Many great pitchers around the league have had low points in their careers and had to learn how to change up their styles in order to stick around the league. A good recent example of making that transition is C.C. Sabathia. Perhaps, Felix needs to call up the Jamie Moyer or hang out with Wade LeBlanc and learn how to use the breaking ball more effectively and put his ego aside. Gone are the days of just being able to throw the ball by hitters and rely on his raw stuff.
With one more year left on his current contract, Felix has come out and said countless times that he is loyal to the Mariners and does not wish to play anywhere else. He has a no-trade clause in his contract and frankly makes to much money to just be moved.
Hernandez is only 32 years old and that’s still relatively young for MLB player. For the sake of the Seattle Mariners future, and Felix Hernandez future, he has to adapt. Fans should hope that “The King” can step down and be “The Prince.”