Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez has decided to sit out the 2020 MLB season due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Felix Hernandez‘s post-Seattle Mariners career is off to an interesting start. Although in reality, ‘start’ is probably not the ideal word to use when describing his situation.
Just one day after the Mariners started summer camp, Fernandez announced that he has decided to sit out the MLB 2020 season due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The news was confirmed in a tweet on Saturday by his agent, Wilfredo Polidor:
You can well imagine there will be criticism from certain baseball analysts and fans about the decision. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price is already receiving a backlash after making a similar decision.
However, from our perspective at least, it’s hard to argue with Hernandez choosing to make his health and safety the number one priority. These are uncertain times for everyone in the United States, and if you’re in a position where you can decide to put your career on pause, more power to you.
The decision by Hernandez comes at an uncertain time for the Atlanta Braves. Four players in the organization have tested positive for COVID-19, including superstar first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Braves for $1 million back in January. It will be interesting to see how the decision to forego the 2020 season impacts his future hopes of continuing to play Major League Baseball.
The 34-year-old is quite rightly regarded as one of the very best players in Seattle Mariners franchise history. He has an extremely impressive resume, which includes six All-Star appearances, twice leading the AL in ERA and — best of all — winning the 2010 Cy Young award.
When Hernandez was on form there was no better pitcher in the game, with his most dominant stretch between 2009-15, His best season was arguably in 2014, when you can make the case he really should have won a second Cy Young award.
As spectacular as Hernandez was, his performances during the last three seasons in Seattle showed it was time for him to move on. During his 15-year career with the Mariners he had a 169-136 record with a 3.42 ERA, along with 8.3 strikeouts and just 2.7 walks per nine innings pitched.
Do you agree or disagree with Hernandez’s decision to not play in 2020? Regardless, do you see him coming back next year and continuing to have a Major League career? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.