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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mariners manager: Hernández to rejoin rotation this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Pitcher Félix Hernández will rejoin the Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation this weekend.

Manager Scott Servais made the announcement Tuesday.

Hernandez has missed three months with right shoulder stiffness. He pitched 3-plus innings Monday night for Triple-A Tacoma in his fourth rehab appearance, giving up one run on four hits and three walks while striking out five.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

-John Greenleaf Whittier

 

 

QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: felix hernandez, mariners

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   1. bookbook Posted: August 21, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5873114)
If Felix plays much longer, he may slip under 50 WAR, but this is not for me a “What might have been” career story. He’s had at least two Cy Young worthy seasons, and a career better than some HOFers.

Injuries and decline came way too soon, to be sure.

Long live the King.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 21, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5873116)
My favorite Felix moment was after his perfect game, doing the on-field interview. He was asked when he started thinking about his chance at a perfect game, and Hernandez replied, "In the second inning." He wasn't wrong to think it, either.
   3. bfan Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5873117)
He was asked when he started thinking about his chance at a perfect game, and Hernandez replied, "In the second inning."


That is a great line and a great story.
   4. Rally Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5873123)
Anyone who wants to read a good book, try Terry McDermott's Offspeed.

About baseball in general but framed around Felix's perfect game.

For his career Felix is very similar to Dwight Gooden in many ways, though off the field they seem like complete opposites.
   5. oscar madisox Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5873127)
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”
-Felix Unger

I fixed it for you, as my handle suggests, for TV viewers of a certain age.

It's an especially fitting epitaph from one Felix about another.


   6. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 21, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5873151)
RE: 5

If you'd been Chinese, you would have won...

"Just Hello

I'd like to sit with you awhile and hear about the folks
I'd like to sit and see you smile at the same old jokes
But since you are so far away, I cannot hope to go
I send along this little token
Just to say 'Hello.'"
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 21, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5873186)
Felix is legitimately loved by the fans in Seattle. The whole "King's Court" thing - to have such a successful marketing promotion built around one player, every time he pitches at home, over almost a decade, is truly remarkable.
   8. Zonk Will Have the Chicken Kiev Posted: August 21, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5873187)
Injuries and decline came way too soon, to be sure.


If instead of just unwinding from injury at age 30 - he completely blows up his arm at age 30 and never pitches again, does he go into the HoF?

My gut says he does.... but then my head says this is kind of wrong. I.e., if his career were truly ended when the problems hit - we give him "might have been" credit, but since he tacked on another ~400 bad innings, we don't?
   9. Spahn Insane Posted: August 21, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5873221)
Is Felix the most accomplished player in the wildcard era who's never played in the postseason?
   10. JJ1986 Posted: August 21, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5873226)
Is Felix the most accomplished player in the wildcard era who's never played in the postseason?
I think so. I'm not sure Kyle Seager isn't #2.
   11. SandyRiver Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5873250)
If instead of just unwinding from injury at age 30 - he completely blows up his arm at age 30 and never pitches again, does he go into the HoF?

My gut says he does.... but then my head says this is kind of wrong. I.e., if his career were truly ended when the problems hit - we give him "might have been" credit, but since he tacked on another ~400 bad innings, we don't?

Look under Koufax, Sandy. He retired after his age 30 season, and while that season was far better than Hernandez' age 30, their overall stats aren't terribly different at that point. Biggest difference looks like win percentage, and that's due to the Dodgers being the much better team on average.
   12. Zonk Will Have the Chicken Kiev Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5873252)
Koufax was exactly who I was thinking of -- along with Dizzy Dean, though Dean was kind of Frankie Frisch special IIRC.
   13. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5873277)
If instead of just unwinding from injury at age 30 - he completely blows up his arm at age 30 and never pitches again, does he go into the HoF?


Along these lines, if he blew out his elbow at 29, got TJS, rehabbed for a year and came back it couldn't have been worse than what he went through. The slow diminution of skills is more tragic than an injury and rehab. Shoot, he could have come back at 31 and been 90% his old self and rattled off 3-4 more solid seasons. If he had done that this would be a different conversation.

He always owned the Angels, but he was fun as hell to watch pitch.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5873278)
I think so. I'm not sure Kyle Seager isn't #2.


As far as I can tell, he is. They looked to be the only two in the Top 100 in active career WAR to never play in the playoffs.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:50 PM (#5873288)
Koufax is the ultimate peak candidate but c'mon .... he had 3 CYAs, 1 MVP plus a 3rd-place CYA and 2 2nd-place MVP finishes. He had a 4-year run with an ERA of 2.04 or lower. He had 78 points of black ink, 12th all-time. In modern terms he had 36 WAR in those 4 years.

Felix has one CYA, two 2nd-place finishes and was never considered an MVP candidate (rightly or wrongly). His top WAR season was 7. He has 28 points of black ink. Koufax's 4-year run was just under 1200 innings. Felix's best similar (consecutive) run was about 27 WAR and 9 WAR over 4-5 years is a pretty massive gap. Falling short of Koufax's peak is hardly damning plus Felix added a number of good seasons outside of that so that's not a statement as to his HoF-worthiness, it's simply a statement that, no, he doesn't line up with possibly the greatest pitching peak of the post-integration era.

The better comp, especially if the goal is to sell him to voters, is Halladay who was just elected. Currently separated by just 50 career IP ... but Halladay has a big 15 WAR edge. Two CYAs, two 2nds, a third. The gap here is largely park factor as Seattle has been a very friendly pitcher park.

Schilling is another interesting comp as he has just over 3200 career IP. Felix's prime is just under 2000 IP and 46 WAR from ages 21-29. Schilling's best 2000 inning stretch is ages 29-37 and 59 WAR. The gap there is nearly all PF leading to far different RA9avg scores (i.e. expected opponents' runs vs. average pitcher in average park with average defense). Of course Schilling has not had an easy time of it with the voters.

Greinke seems another reasonable Felix comp but again Felix actually gets whacked quite badly by bWAR standards at least. Greinke is nearly a full season behind in IP but has a 16 WAR edge. Greinke has had some hiccups along the way but those are balanced by two monster seasons so his best 2000 consecutive inning stretch looks to be 24-33 and 50 WAR so that's only a little better than Felix's prime. For completeness, Halladay's best 2000-inning stretch is around 55 WAR and that excludes a 7-WAR season just before it.

So Felix's prime doesn't match Schilling or Halladay but is probably close enough to Greinke to call a draw, then each of those guys adds substantial value outside of that 2000 inning stretch to pretty convincingly move away from Felix.

Of course Felix has (or should have) a much stronger case than Hunter and I'd personally take him over any of the relievers, etc. but he's gonna have a tough time against his peers (which include Verlander and Scherzer too). Still, weak ballots ahead. He'll probably hit the ballot before any of those guys which might get him off to a solid start then he'll stall when they hit the ballot but then he'll probably jump when they leave. Without looking at it too much I'll guess a voting history somewhere in the Morris-Mussina-Schilling range. At worst, a probable VC selection.
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 21, 2019 at 08:21 PM (#5873298)
Koufax was exactly who I was thinking of -- along with Dizzy Dean, though Dean was kind of Frankie Frisch special IIRC.

Dean went in via the BBWAA. He had a short career, but had a 30-win season, won an MVP and finished second twice (he's 37th all-time in MVP shares), and had an above-average amount of black ink for a HoF pitcher crammed into a 5-year peak. He also threw a shutout in Game 7 of the World Series, and was incredibly quotable and generally famous. Deserving or not, I don't think he needed much help from Frisch.
   17. bookbook Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:50 AM (#5873358)
I don’t know, Felix seems to fall in or just behind the Dave Steib, Kevin Appier level. Those guys never sniffed the Hall. They don’t give out trophies for being better than Jack Morris,
   18. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2019 at 01:59 AM (#5873367)
I don’t know, Felix seems to fall in or just behind the Dave Steib, Kevin Appier level.

Possibly but those guys also had the misfortune of hitting the ballot when folks still remembered all those 60s-70s studs with 4500 innings, 300 wins, 3000 Ks, etc. (And were then followed by Clemens, Maddux, etc.) Halladay has set the modern standard for a guy with fewer than 3000 innings, it now remains to be seen how far they will lower those standards in an attempt to keep electing pitchers. And neither of those guys won a CYA or ever came particularly close -- Appier 3rd once in his ONLY season with CYA votes (he only made one AS team too) while Stieb never finished better than 4th (more years with votes and more AS games than Appier though). Stieb has 17 points of black ink, Appier 4.

I'm pretty confident that voters will have little choice but to emphasize "dominant" 7-10 year stretches for SPs when it comes to HoF voting ... or elect almost nobody. I'll agree it's not clear Felix will meet the standard ... and I forgot about CC who he might debut with.

Felix currently 7th in active pitcher WAR. I suspect he'd get more support than the under-rated Hamels in 6th but maybe not more than the "clutch" Lester in 8th. If Sale returns to health, he'll pass Felix. After that -- he's got 18 more WAR then Bumgarner while being just 4 years older. Strasburg is 20 WAR behind and only 3 years younger. DeGrom 20 and 2; Gerrit Cole 30 and 5. By bWAR, Nola is the best of the younger guns with 20 WAR at 26 but that's based on last year's heavy dose of BABIP over-performance. Thor has one 5 WAR season so far -- with another 7 consecutive, he'll catch Felix.

Obviously (1) there's a very good chance at least one of that group will go on a big run and (2) there's a very good chance some will still be effective after 33 and will catch up then pass him in WAR. I suppose by the time they get CC, Verlander, Greinke, Kershaw, Scherzer in, Felix might well still be too far away with too little time left to make it over the line. I am pretty confident (as confidence in future VC behaviour goes) he'll get in by the VC.
   19. DanG Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5873385)
If this season is King Felix' last, then he has a near-zero chance to make the HOF. I don't see the narrative/achievements that it takes for a SP with his short career to make the Hall.

Here are the SP in the HOF with the fewest Wins:

Player          W   L ERA+  WAR WAA/     IP From   To
Dizzy Dean    150  83  131 43.7 27.1 1967.1 1930 1947
Addie Joss    160  97  142 46.9 26.2 2327.0 1902 1910
Sandy Koufax  165  87  131 53.1 30.6 2324.1 1955 1966
Lefty Gomez   189 102  125 43.1 19.6 2503.0 1930 1943
Rube Waddell  193 143  135 60.4 34.2 2961.1 1897 1910
Ed Walsh      195 126  146 63.7 36.8 2964.1 1904 1917
Dazzy Vance   197 140  125 62.5 38.7 2966.2 1915 1935
Jack Chesbro  198 132  111 42.3 17.1 2896.2 1899 1909
Rube Marquard 201 177  103 34.9  9.6 3306.2 1908 1925
Roy Halladay  203 105  131 65.4 40.4 2749.1 1998 2013 

Four of these wilt under modern scrutiny; Joss, Gomez, Chesbro and Marquard are not precedents for any future elections. The rest have much more impressive resumes than Felix Hernandez.

Here are non-HOF pitchers with the most WAA, having 150-189 wins:

Player          WAA/   W   L  WAR ERA+     IP From   To
Clayton Kershaw 47.2 166  71 65.0  159 2239.1 2008 2019
Max Scherzer    38.9 168  87 58.1  133 2252.0 2008 2019
Bret Saberhagen 36.6 167 117 58.9  126 2562.2 1984 2001
Cole Hamels     36.3 163 118 58.1  124 2668.2 2006 2019
Roy Oswalt      32.3 163 102 49.9  127 2245.1 2001 2013
Dave Stieb      30.7 176 137 56.5  122 2895.1 1979 1998
Kevin Appier    30.6 169 137 54.9  121 2595.1 1989 2004
Urban Shocker   28.6 187 117 54.5  124 2681.2 1916 1928
Ron Guidry      26.3 170  91 47.8  119 2392.0 1975 1988
Wilbur Wood     25.9 164 156 52.1  114 2684.0 1961 1978
Jimmy Key       25.8 186 117 49.0  122 2591.2 1984 1998
Felix Hernandez 25.4 169 132 50.6  118 2696.2 2005 2019
Eddie Rommel    25.3 171 119 50.3  121 2557.0 1920 1932
Hippo Vaughn    25.2 178 137 46.8  119 2730.0 1908 1921
Dizzy Trout     24.3 170 161 45.3  124 2725.2 1939 1957
Jon Lester      23.4 187 106 45.7  121 2500.0 2006 2019
Mark Langston   23.3 179 158 50.0  107 2962.2 1984 1999 

A few of these guys stayed on the BBWAA ballot more than one year (Shocker, Guidry, Wood, Rommel), but none stayed on for the maximum.

So I think that Hernandez needs to get to 190 Wins to have any traction with the Hall voters. He simply doesn't have the body of achievements (like Kershaw and Scherzer have) to overcome the brevity of his career.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5873391)
So I think that Hernandez needs to get to 190 Wins to have any traction with the Hall voters. He simply doesn't have the body of achievements (like Kershaw and Scherzer have) to overcome the brevity of his career.

I'm pretty surprised we're even discussing this.

2700 IP, 169-132, 3.38 ERA, 118 ERA+, 50 WAR. That's not a viable candidate on either traditional or sabre grounds.

Johan Santana blows him out of the water.
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5873396)
Snapper beat me to it with then Santana comparison. Johan is pretty close to the perfect example of
What happens if a guy of Felix’s caliber blows out his arm rather than having a slow decline. And he answer is he is one-and-done on the HOF ballot.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5873398)
I don't know of anyone who can remember the 1970s who wouldn't have put Catfish Hunter into the Hall of Fame (and he never got a slot on my mandatory 15-player Hall of Merit ballot).

look at that peak for a team that won 3 straight World Series, and his postseason efforts.

ding him for ERA+? how about dinging today's pitchers for IP totals?
   23. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5873443)
I don't know of anyone who can remember the 1970s who wouldn't have put Catfish Hunter into the Hall of Fame (and he never got a slot on my mandatory 15-player Hall of Merit ballot).



"Catfish played his entire career [1965-1979] for Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner. That alone should get him into the Hall of Fame." -- George Grande, MC at Catfish Hunter's Hall of Fame induction, 1987.
   24. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5873457)
Four of these wilt under modern scrutiny; Joss, Gomez, Chesbro and Marquard are not precedents for any future elections.


Joss has a very good case for the Hall: Second-lowest ERA ever, still has the 14th-highest ERA+ ever, literally pitched until he died. He was elected by the Vets Committee in 1978, when they weren't doing anything particularly wacky, and I suspect that if he hadn't been, he'd be at the top of a lot of people's lists of "most-deserving non-HOFer."
   25. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5873459)
Snapper is right, of course.

Hernandez is an awful HOF candidate. Forget his career marks. He just wasn't that good. His bWAR7 is 38.6, which is below all but some of the sketchiest HOFers. And even his best season by WAR (7.2) is hardly noteworthy. It's excellent, but it's not like he's got a couple of Grienke-like monster seasons to cling to.

   26. DanG Posted: August 22, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5873493)
Joss has a very good case for the Hall: Second-lowest ERA ever, still has the 14th-highest ERA+ ever, literally pitched until he died. He was elected by the Vets Committee in 1978, when they weren't doing anything particularly wacky, and I suspect that if he hadn't been, he'd be at the top of a lot of people's lists of "most-deserving non-HOFer."
Joss has received very little support for the Hall of Merit. He was never the league's best pitcher. Kind of the Felix Hernandez of his era.

Most Pitching WAR 1899-1913:

Player             WAR WAAERA+   W   L     IP   Age
Christy Mathewson 98.6 65.7  147 337 157 4216.0 19
-32 H
Cy Young          86.6 51.0  137 271 180 4003.0 32
-44 H
Eddie Plank       72.6 39.3  122 269 155 3675.1 25
-37 H
Vic Willis        63.0 33.4  116 224 192 3685.0 23
-34 H
Ed Walsh          62.5 36.5  147 190 121 2871.1 23
-32 H
Joe McGinnity     60.7 31.8  120 246 142 3441.1 28
-37 H
Rube Waddell      59.9 33.9  135 193 142 2947.1 22
-33 H
Walter Johnson    58.8 40.1  176 151  97 2070.1 19
-25 H
Mordecai Brown    51.2 30.4  149 206 108 2655.0 26
-36 H
Addie Joss        46.9 26.2  142 160  97 2327.0 22
-30 H
Noodles Hahn      45.4 29.1  132 130  94 2029.1 20
-27 
   27. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:31 PM (#5873637)
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”


Scully paraphrased these lines in the final inning of Game 5 of the 1984 World Series. I think I've heard it at least a hundred times.

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