The Seattle Mariners find themselves in a truly awful spot after Felix Hernandez was placed on the DL with bicep tendinitis. Already down to two legitimate starters prior to the injury, the Mariners found that number drop to one after the announcement. Hernandez hasn’t been great in 2017, but in the last month has been a much better pitcher.
With a rotation that consists of James Paxton, Hernandez, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo, and Erasmo Ramirez, the loss of Felix was one the Mariners couldn’t afford. Because of that, they will be forced to find some option, somewhere, to fix the hole left.
In 2017, Miranda has had moments of brilliance, but overall has been really poor. Gallardo has been better after returning to the rotation from the bullpen, yet still doesn’t seem like a viable starter week in and week out. Ramirez, acquired to be a versatile bullpen/rotation Swiss army knife performed as-expected in his first outing, surrendering 3 runs in just 3.2 innings of work.
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Already, some were hoping newly-acquired Marco Gonzales would be called up from AAA to fill Ramirez’s spot, but now, he will be tasked with filling in for Hernandez, leaving the Ramirez hole still unfilled. In the Mariners quest for the postseason, they cannot handle having 3 (maybe 4) unreliable starters in their rotation.
Simply put, Jerry Dipoto is going to have to make at least one August waiver trade to get a starter. And frankly, it doesn’t really matter what it takes to get it, because any player that will clear waivers likely won’t demand too steep of a return. Dipoto needs to go out, use all his trade pieces, take on salary, and get the team some pitching help. This team will frustratingly fizzle out about .500 this year if they don’t get any help, and it’s punting on the talent this team has to not add a starter.
When the news broke of Felix’s injury, the news also broke that Dipoto had been scouring the market for pitching help. That is encouraging, but now he has to complete the process and make a deal. This team is in the thick of a playoff run, but that run will come to a screeching halt without rotation help.