The 3 Keys to a Successful Seattle Mariners April
By Asher Young
1. Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez for over a decade has been the pillar of the Mariners rotation. However, many Mariner fans still have a hard time fathoming that the peak of King Felix may have already happened and that he may be in the downswing of his career.
It’s a hard reality to accept considering the dominance that he showed year after year after year.
Last year, Felix had his worst year in over a decade. From 2007-2015 his lowest WAR he posted was 3.4 in 2011, and there were only two other years he posted below a WAR of 4. However, last year his WAR was 1.6.
The Mariners literally missed the playoffs by three games. If Felix Hernandez would have just lived up to his average, the Mariners playoff drought could have ended.
In order for the Mariners to jump out of the gate fast, they need a healthy Felix to lead them. He’s not only the best pitcher they have, but he’s their longest tenured player and has become a leader in the clubhouse.
A healthy and happy Felix leads to a happy and thriving team. It’s worth it to note that in the 7 weeks that Felix was on the DL last year, the Mariners were 18-26 without him. The rest of the season they were 68-50 when he was healthy.
Is it fair to attribute the poor play solely to the fact that Felix was injured? Not completely, but I think it is fair to say it was a factor, and keeping Felix healthy and happy would go a long way to making a strong start to the season.