Mariners starter Félix Hernández continued to struggle on Tuesday, coughing up 11 runs (seven earned) on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts in six innings against the Rangers. That brought his ERA on the season to 5.73 with a 99/46 K/BB ratio in 124 innings this season.
Manager Scott Servais was non-committal when asked if Hernández would make his next scheduled start, which would be Sunday in Houston against the Astros. Per ESPN, Servais said, “We’ll see. You have to take a look at where we’re at going forward here. The next time that spot [in the rotation] comes around, we’ll be over in Houston. They’ve also got a good club.” Servais continued, “We’ve got to give ourselves a chance every time out there to win the ballgame. It’s tough to win.”
Hernández, 32, is owed the remainder of his $26 million salary for this season and will earn $27 million next year. That, and the fact that Hernández has been a fan favorite during his 14 years with the franchise, will make it difficult for the Mariners to go through with moving him out of the rotation. But it may be the smartest thing to do, as the club entered Wednesday’s action 7.5 games out of first place in the AL West and two games out of the second Wild Card slot in the AL.