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Mariners may manage Felix Hernandez more carefully in 2018

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During his end-of-season press conference on Tuesday, Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto mentioned that ace Felix Hernandez may be managed differently next season in order to get him to 30 starts. That may include utilizing pitch counts or skipping a start every now and then, Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com reports.

Hernandez, 31, made 16 starts this season and finished with a disappointing 4.36 ERA and a 78/26 K/BB ratio in 86 2/3 innings. The right-hander battled bursitis in his throwing shoulder for most of the season, missing two months between late April and late June and another month and a half between the start of August and mid-September.

Hernandez is under contract for two more years, earning $26 million in 2018 and $27 million in 2019. He also has a conditional club option in 2020 that the Mariners may exercise depending on his health.

Mookie Betts, Javier Baez leading off the All-Star lineups

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I can’t imagine what it’s like to fill out the lineup card for an All-Star team. Most of the guys are 1-4 hitters on their own teams, but you gotta slot most of them someplace lower. Egos are probably a consideration. Strategic stuff. “Which top of the order or middle of the lineup hitter is batting eighth?” is both a difficult and thankless question.

Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch have to do it anyway, and today they released the All-Star lineups. Seeing Bryce Harper batting sixth and Manny Machado batting seventh is just not part of the usual baseball experience:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Mike Trout, CF
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, LF
7. Manny Machado, SS
8. Jose Abreu, 1B
9. Salvador Perez, C

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Javier Baez, 2B
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Bryce Harper, CF
7. Nick Markakis, RF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Willson Contreras, C

Not that this is gonna hold for long what with all of the substitutions.