Sad news from the King’s Court today.
Marco Gonzales will be taking Felix Hernandez’s spot in the rotation during this ten day trip to the disabled list for the King. Which means that we’ll probably see two, to three, starts from the recently acquired lefty. That means we’ll be seeing Gonzales start against Kansas City on August 5th.
The baseball gods are being cruel by sending Felix back to the DL. Especially since his command appears to be coming back in the second half; let’s take a look at his first half heatmap again.
That’s where Hernandez was locating his pitches during the first 50.2 innings that he pitched. He was constantly leaving the pitches in the middle of the strike zone and opposing batters were making him pay for his poor command. Opponents were hitting .294/.347/.571; and Felix had an appropriately poor slash line of 4.44/5.10/3.82.
In 23 innings during the second half, Hernandez pitching line hasn’t improved that much — it’s now 3.91/5.41/4.44 — but his command has been significantly better.
Felix isn’t leaving nearly as many pitches in the middle of the plate, and the opponent’s’ offensive numbers have decreased accordingly — .218/.403/.662 — throughout the second half. Which means that Hernandez might becoming more comfortable in his role as a middle of the rotation starter…and was going to be huge for the M’s run to the second Wildcard spot.
Unfortunately, the King is on the DL now and instead we get to see Gonzales make his Seattle Mariners debut…but I wish it was under better circumstances.
That being said, baseball sucks.