5 Tweaks the Mariners Must Make ASAP
Tweak 4: Remove Felix Hernandez from the Rotation
Yes, I understand this hurts. But you have to be real with yourself: Felix Hernandez is hurting this team. It doesn’t matter how much you want to deny it, the King as we knew him is dead. Trying to revive him in 2018 is only going to be at the detriment of the other 24 players on the roster.
Nobody want’s this to be true. But it is. The facts are undeniable. There is no logical reason for not making this move, only emotional ones.
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I’ll even extend an olive branch to the supporters of the King. The Mariners are collapsing, but it’s not all his fault. Jerry Dipoto could have used a little bit of foresight, or even simple logic, to know the Mariners rotation couldn’t hold up for 162 games when the free agent market fell into the lap of the team.
But this doesn’t excuse the fact that Hernandez is one of the biggest issues with the team right now. And desperately trying to find any excuse to keep handing Felix the ball is simply an emotional override of all that is logical and smart.
These are the types of decisions that are hard. These are also the decisions that separate good franchises from, well, the Mariners. No, there isn’t a full-proof solution. Erasmo Ramirez isn’t ready. Roenis Elias isn’t either.
Christian Bregman and Casey Lawerence aren’t all that exciting and offer very little upside. Rob Whalen might be the best option right now. But just because it’s uncomfortable to think of any of those pitchers as safer bets than Felix doesn’t mean it’s true.
Every time the Mariners send Felix to the mound, they are declaring that they are more than willing to lose that game. In 2018, this is simply unacceptable.