In only 2.1 innings, Felix Hernandez allowed four earned runs on only 48 pitches. While it is only Spring Training, there is always reasons for skepticism. The Seattle Mariners signed Hernandez to a seven-year, $175 million extension last February, and they must be sure that everything with Hernandez’s arm is intact. Over the past few years as the ace of the Mariners, Hernandez has logged a ton of innings.
2014 seems to be the year that the Mariners are ready for the playoffs. After signing Robinson Cano to a ridiculous contract, the Mariners have made it clear to their fans that they want to win a World Series. Kyle Seager will see his numbers rise with the addition of Cano. Also, the Mariners hope that Corey Hart can regain his 2010 form when he hit 31 home runs, 102 RBIs, while batting an average of .283.
Obviously, the Mariners have paid a ton of money to improve their batting order. A 3-4-5 punch of Seager, Cano, and Hart is something the AL West needs to make note of.
The Mariners also added Fernando Rodney, which will clearly make their bullpen better. During his time in Seattle, Hernandez has received barely any run support and awful outings from his bullpens. Rodney is coming a successful stint with the Tampa Bay Rays. The combination of him and Tom Wilhelmsen will be one of the best late-inning duos in the entire MLB.
Hernandez now has an 8.31 ERA in Spring Training. He is still one of the premier starting pitchers that baseball has to offer, but there are some concerns over his velocity. In 2012, Hernandez had a recurring back problem that affected his velocity. Mariner fans shouldn’t panic yet, but people should be aware of Hernandez and his health. After all, he is exiting the prime of his career and he can’t be a top pitcher forever.