Both manager Scott Servais and general manager Jerry DIpoto said that, as of now, Hernandez will stay in the rotation despite his struggles.
The stipulation “as of now” was used by both men in some way, so that limits the scope of their decision or potential decision to a time frame, meaning it could change when it isn’t now.
But as of Monday afternoon, Felix Hernandez will remain in the Mariners’ starting rotation and make his scheduled start on Thursday vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.
Both manager Scott Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed that there has been no decision to remove the one-time ace from the rotation.
“As of now, we’ll stay with the rotation,” Servais said. “It could change, but that’s where we are at.”
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Hernandez is 8-9 with a 5.58 ERA in 21 starts this season. Over his last eight outings, he’s 2-5 with a 6.05 ERA, pitching more than six innings in two of them. He gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in his previous outing in Anaheim, calling it his “worst performance.”
Servais had planned to meet with Dipoto discuss the rotation and the state of the team on Monday morning, but that wasn’t possible with Seattle making two trades in the afternoon.
“Jerry’s been a little busy today,” Servais said. “We’ll continue to talk about it. You just want to do what you can to give your club the best chance to win every time out. We’ve got a limited number of games left to go in the season. We’ve worked very hard to get in this position.”
After discussing his acquisition of two relievers — lefty Zack Duke of the Twins and right-hander Adam Warren of the Yankees — in two separate trades on Friday, Dipoto was asked about the possibility of acquiring a starting pitcher to bolster the rotation.
“Not really,” Dipoto said. “It’s tough to imagine how we are going to fit much more on our pitching staff. There’s a lot of bodies and only so many chairs. We are going to have to be creative in how we work it right now. We aren’t closing the door on the potential to add something to the rotation, but I wouldn’t say we’re hopeful something is going to happen.”
With that revelation, it was obvious to ask Dipoto if he had made any decisions on his rotation going forward, specifically Hernandez’s place in it?
“We are going to let that play itself out,” Dipoto said. “Felix has struggled there’s no question about it. But right now, Felix has been among our five best starters, or in the five we’ve run out there every day. And we are going to continue to go that route until we decide otherwise. As I said, we are focusing right now on the acquisitions we’ve made, but we’ll talk about how it all fits later.”