Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has accomplished some incredible feats in his career. In fact, he will go down as one of the more talented starting pitchers in the majors during his time in the league. For that reason, the Mariners must not waste his talent as so many other organizations have done with great pitchers over the years.
The Venezuela native recorded his fifth straight season with at least 200 strikeouts after he sat down 216 batters in 2013. The feat put Hernandez in a class with two Hall of Famers. He, along with Bert Blyleven and Walter Johnson, are the only players to toss at least 150 strikeouts in their first eight seasons by the age of 27 years old. Hernandez went above and beyond as he has struck out at least 165 batters in all eight seasons.
Hernandez is a Cy Young Award winner, a four-time All-Star and has pitched a perfect game. He also was the American League win leader in 2009 and earned run average leader in 2010. What exactly does this mean? He is simply too good for the Mariners, or at least the product management has put on the field since his arrival to the big leagues.
Hernandez is not meant to put forth outstanding pitching performances in consecutive years only to see his season come to a conclusion at the end of September. He is someone that could be a huge force in the playoffs, if Seattle could ever clinch a postseason berth.
Wasting the years in which Hernandez has pitched at a very high level is a disgrace. The fact is the Mariners must surround him with as much talent as possible in order to make a legitimate run at the playoffs. It is imperative that the franchise take advantage of having one of the best No. 1 starters in the game.
Hernandez is still young enough where he should still pitch lights out. However, it is hard to say with starters, especially since he has already been playing since 2005. At this point, the Mariners cannot afford to take a chance. They must pull all strings and act now or forever be reminded that they were another franchise that let a great talent never get an opportunity in the playoffs.