Felix Hernandez suffers a setback in his attempt to recover from right shoulder issues and return to his previous form for the Seattle Mariners.
We recently asked five questions which will help determine how successful the 2018 season is for the Seattle Mariners. Arguably the biggest key is the health of the starting pitching.
We know the rotation has talent, but they were dogged by injury issues throughout last year. James Paxton had his most career starts yet, but still spent time on the DL, while Hisashi Iwakuma only made six appearances and is well past his best.
There was also the (not so small) matter of Felix Hernandez, who had his fewest starts since becoming a regular part of the rotation in 2006. Battling right shoulder issues throughout the year, he had the worst FIP of his professional career, along with his highest ERA since his second year in the Majors.
Hernandez will probably never return to the form which saw him regularly compete for the Cy Young award. However, he can still be an effective contributor if he is managed properly and shows more dedication.
As such, when the six-time All-Star had to leave Monday’s Cactus League game in the second inning, there was understandable panic among teammates, coaches and fans alike. He was hit in the upper right forearm by a comebacker and was in clear pain as he left the field.
Coming so soon after Erasmo Ramirez‘s minor lat strain, this is the last thing the Mariners needed. However, provisionally at least, it seems the situation is not as bad as first feared.
As reported by MLB.com’s Greg Johns, x-rays on Hernandez’s arm have come back negative. He will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis, to determine when he’ll be able to pitch again.
Now of course this is the Mariners, so there’s always the possibility the x-rays came back negative due to, for example, swelling. However, objectively speaking, the initial results are still promising as they revealed a bruise but no broken bones.
We’ll know more in the coming days. For now though, at least, it seems the M’s have dodged a major catastrophe at the most precarious position on their roster.
“He’s going to be out a little while. We’ll know more in a couple days. It’s unfortunate it happened, but lucky it’s not any worse than it is. We’ll just wait and see how he is the next couple days.”
Any concern about Hernandez’s injury status, despite the initial prognosis? Or are you confident the Seattle Mariners have avoided anything too serious? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.