Mariners Ace Felix Hernandez Just Finished His Best Spring
By Adam Levi
In one of his shortest outings all spring, Mariners Ace, Felix Hernandez, completed his highly anticipated spring warmups with an outing where he had only one blemish.
It was known coming into today that the Mariners were going to send Hernandez to the bump one more time before his Opening Day debut against the Houston Astros next Monday.
Aside from a solo home run that he gave up to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Brandon Drury, Hernandez was perfect, going for two excellent innings without allowing anymore hits, no walks and striking out four.
After Hernandez struck out the last two batters he faced, he headed back to the dugout with his head held high knowing that he had just completed his best spring of his hall of fame worthy career.
When it came to spring ball, the amount of work (innings pitched) Hernandez put in, it was one of the lowest outputs in the last dozen years (13 IP) but there was a reason for that. Hernandez’s primary duty this March was being the ace for his home country of Venezuela in the WBC.
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He added another 7.2 frames in the WBC bringing his total IP to 20.2 which would be his 3rd most innings thrown during spring ball and his most since 2012.
When you combined Hernandez’s ERA between the two competitions, you see that he had an ERA of 2.61 which would give him his 2nd lowest figures for that statistic.
His WHIP calculates out to be .822 which is his lowest in spring ball since entering the warm-up matches in 2006.
Even more impressive, Batting Average Against finished at career-low .176 and his strikeout to walk ratio was a career-best 14:1.
It didn’t seem to matter that Hernandez was traveling back and forth from the WBC to spring training or who he was facing, whether it was national all-stars in the World Baseball Classic or up and coming stars in spring training, Hernandez ran through all of them with ease.
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This doesn’t indicate that he will have his best season with the Mariners or even challenge his 2010 Cy Young numbers, but it does show that the months of hard work that he’s been putting in all winter long seems to be paying off… for now.