Felix Hernandez to get extra rest; Cy Young chances take a hit


Felix Hernandez is up to around 225 innings this year on a Mariners team that has been going nowhere since about five minutes after camp broke. As a result, the M’s are going to give him six days rest between starts for his next two starts. Which is a smart move. He’s the future, and the present is pretty meaningless for the Mariners.

Of course, this will likely put a bullet in his Cy Young hopes. It was already a tough road for King Felix, what with the fact that he’s not good enough to somehow force his teammates to score runs for him, but this makes it rougher. Not that it should. Even with CC Sabathia’s great outing last night and Hernandez’s not so great one his last time out, it would take a boatload of scoreless innings by the former and three or four straight implosions by the latter for the numbers which matter to begin to even out.

But, for a healthy number of writers with Cy Young votes, there’s the dramatic narrative to consider. That narrative today says “CC Sabathia pitched a gutsy eight shutout innings in a pennant race last night, and the next day we learn that the sabermetric darling needs extra rest.”  If the win totals weren’t enough to persuade these guys to vote for Sabathia, the narrative almost certainly is.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.