Hideki Irabu announces retirement, again

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Hideki Irabu came out of retirement last season to pitch for the Long Beach Armada in the independent Golden Baseball League and looked decent enough to sign on with another independent league team in Japan.
Unfortunately his comeback was short-lived when a wrist injury led to his release and now the 40-year-old Irabu is retiring again. Presumably for good. “I’ve decided to retire and consider what to do next in my life,” said Irabu, who last pitched in the majors for the Rangers back in 2002.
Fun fact via Baseball-Reference.com: There have been 1,902 pitchers in MLB history to throw at least 500 innings and Irabu has the 38th-worst ERA at 5.15.

Félix Hernández to rejoin Mariners’ rotation for final start of 2018

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Mariners starter Félix Hernández will come off of the disabled list to make his final start of 2018 on Wednesday against the Athletics, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Hernández has been on the disabled list since September 8 with a right hamstring strain.

Hernández, 32, has endured the worst season of his 14-year career. He’s 8-13 with a 5.46 ERA and a 121/57 K/BB ratio over 151 2/3 innings. Hernández wants the opportunity to finish 2018 on a good note. He said, “I feel good. No problems. It’s 100 percent. I just want to finish strong and show them I can still pitch. It wasn’t a big injury. They just wanted to give me some rest.”

Hernández is under contract for one more year at $27 million. He has been the face of the franchise for the last decade, but if he doesn’t show he’s capable of beating major league hitters by the end of spring training next year, the Mariners may not be able to afford to give him a spot in the starting rotation. Despite a second-half slide, the Mariners were competitive in the AL West this year, entering the All-Star break 58-39, five games out of first place. With some roster fine-tuning, the Mariners could give the Astros and Athletics a run for their money. Hernández’s involvement with that effort remains to be seen.