Mariners demote Hernandez to bullpen
Longtime Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is moving to the bullpen. Hernandez will not make his next scheduled start Sunday at Houston as he transitions out of the rotation and into a bullpen role, manager Scott Servais said.
"He's done an unbelievable job as a Mariner," Servais said. "And I certainly don't take any of this lightly, but I just think to try to make the best decision for the ballclub and really the best decision for Felix at this point is just take a breath. Step back, gather yourself."
While Hernandez has appeared in 398 games with the Mariners since 2001, he has never pitched out of the bullpen in the major leagues.
Hernandez, a 14-year veteran, and six-time All-Star has lost four consecutive starts and has a 7.85 ERA in his past six outings.
The 32-year-old has a career-worst 5.73 ERA in 23 starts. Hernandez is 168-124 with a 3.32 ERA in his career.
"Certainly, respect him and everything he's done here throughout his career, but these things happen and ultimately it's about the team," Servais said. "It's never easy but again hopefully he takes it the right way. He'll get a chance to pitch at some point down there and maybe he can work his way back in the rotation. We'll see. He'll let us know on that."
Servais said the Mariners would announce a starter for Sunday prior to that game, but indicated additional conversations would take place before any decision is made.
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