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USA TODAY

The Seattle Mariners intend to finish Felix Hernandez’s streak of consecutive Opening Day begins at 10, which will likely be tied for fourth most in MLB historical past.

Naturally, Hernandez is not pleased about it. It is one other signal of decline for Hernandez, whose play, conduct and, in flip, contract may solely worsen for the Mariners.

Supervisor Scott Servais introduced that Marco Gonzales would begin for the crew. Hernandez, in the meantime, landed fifth within the crew’s rotation, and is not scheduled to pitch till April 1, which will likely be Seattle’s seventh common season sport. Hernandez was requested if he was upset about not getting the beginning.

“Yeah,” he informed reporters, by way of the Related Press. “I knew it was going to occur.”

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When requested if Hernandez felt he may have modified his supervisor’s thoughts with a stronger outing in spring coaching, he mentioned, “No.”

In fact, Hernandez did not do a lot to make a case for himself. As a lot as spring statistics might be meaningless, Hernandez owns a 15.95 ERA in spring ball. That does not instill confidence.

Servais bought the choice as an opportunity for Hernandez to get extra time to arrange for his first begin. In a single significantly stilted second, he was requested about getting held out till the fifth sport of the primary homestead.

“What would you like me to say?” he mentioned, by way of the Seattle Instances.

“I do not know,” a reporter replied.

“Precisely,” he mentioned. “I do not know both.”

The choice is a mirrored image each of Hernandez’s decline and the Mariners’ determination to take into consideration the longer term, even when the youthful gamers do not need to view this season as a rebuilding one. They need to win in 2019 – they do not really feel like ready till 2020 or past. Whether or not the younger core likes it or not, normal supervisor Jerry Dipoto expects his crew to take a “step again” this yr, a euphemistic phrasing for a rebuild, which concerned buying and selling catcher Mike Zunino and starter James Paxton in the course of the offseason.

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With Hernandez, 32, posting the best ERA of his profession in 2018 (5.55), he is not going to be part of that plan, however he is tethered to the group together with his immoveable contract, which pays him $27 million in 2019, the ultimate yr of his deal. So he’ll begin on the backside of the rotation, and if issues do not go effectively, he could land within the depths of the bullpen. The perfect-case state of affairs is that he performs effectively they usually discover a method to commerce him. It is also an unlikely state of affairs.

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The scenario, which has began ugly in 2019, could solely get extra difficult and extra problematic because the season continues.

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a man wearing a red hat: Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) runs out of the dugout to  take the field for the first inning against Tampa Bay Rays  at Spectrum Field.

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