Wednesday, February 13, 2013 / 9 Days ‘til Cactus League Opener (Feb. 22 vs. San Diego) / 47 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 54 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)
Busy Day in Seattle with King Felix:
It was a special day back in Seattle as Felix Hernandez officially signed his seven-year contract extension making him a Mariner through the 2019 season. Those that get to be around Felix as much as we do not only know how great of a pitcher he is, but how equally great of a person he is. He treats us all the same, from the clubhouse staff to the PR staff, to his teammates, and we couldn’t be more proud to keep him in the family for at least seven more seasons. We included several photos from his news conference in Seattle, including the below photo when he was greeted by members of our front office after coming off the elevators. And here is the official news release that went out to the media this afternoon.
And you can view highlights from the news conference that took place at Safeco Field today in the below video (about as awesome as it gets in my mind):
Getting on the Field:
It was the day that we wait for all winter, when Pitchers and Catchers (along with several position players) took to the back field at the Peoria Sports Complex for the first official day of Spring Training. Pitchers ran through PFP drills (Pitchers Fielding their Position), catchers caught bullpens and coaches roamed all the fields. A total of 16 pitchers threw their first bullpens of the spring, including newcomers Jon Garland and Kameron Loe, and Washington native Jeremy Bonderman.
After a 20-minute meeting in the clubhouse, the players hit the fields around 9:30 am and were kept busy until almost noon. This will be the normal routine for the next week until the first Cactus League game is played on Feb. 22 vs. the Padres.
Manager Eric Wedge talked about the first day of workouts and the signing of Felix Hernandez:
And catcher Kelly Shoppach talked about his first day as a Mariner:
Well, the time has come where you may not want to read the weather section of this blog. Because today was “Bottle-it-up” perfect in my mind. Blue skies, sunny, and just a little crisp in the morning. Temperatures were in the mid 60’s for most of the day. We keep hearing that 70-degrees should be waiting for us this weekend!
Another Roster Move:
The Mariners acquired minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte from the New York Yankees today in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Shawn Kelley. Kelley was designated for assignment when Kelly Shoppach was signed as a free agent.
Almonte, 23, spent last season primarily with Double-A Trenton in the Yankees organization. He hit .276 (88×319) with 47 runs scored, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, 25 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 78 games. The 5-9, 205-pound switch hitter was named an Eastern League midseason All-Star and ranked 5th in the EL in stolen bases (30-for-350. He also appeared in 7 games with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees.
Tweet of the Day:
Quote of the Day:
“The quality and talent level of our pitching staff, from top to bottom, is solid. I can’t really put words to how far that has come. The depth of this group will create a lot of competition, especially for the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the rotation. It is our job as coaches to evaluate and make the best decisions. But I am really excited to see these guys take the mound.”
– Pitching Coach Carl Willis
North Carolina vs. Duke:
Besides being the busy day with the first day of on-field workouts, it was a stressful day for Pitching Coach Carl Willis. Willis is probably one of the bigger University of North Carolina basketball fans that I’ve ever met, and I witnessed him personally act like a little kid when he met Tar Heel legend George Karl. At time of this blog posting the Tar Heels trailed Duke by 5 points, so hoping this turns around. Somewhere Kevin Millwood (huge Duke fan) is probably texting Carl to torment him.
Happy Birthday Julio:
Outfielder Julio Morban turned 21 today and was all smiles when manager Eric Wedge found him in the clubhouse to wish him a Happy Birthday.
On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 14):
Tomorrow will be a pretty similar day in terms of timing, with the team taking the field at 9:30 am for stretch (on Field #3). A total of 15 pitchers are scheduled to have bullpen sessions, and this group will be fun to watch: Charlie Furbush, Josh Kinney, Erasmo Ramirez, Joe Saunders and Tom Wilhelmsen. Top prospects Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, Brandon Maurer and James Paxton are also scheduled to get some extended mound time in.
Today Felix Hernandez signed a new, seven-year contract, the biggest in franchise history, which will keep him in a Mariners uniform through the 2019 season. Felix is truly the King of Seattle, and has embraced the community and the franchise since signing as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela in 2002. Here is a pictorial look at Felix celebrating many of his great moments in a Mariners uniform, and a look ahead to the many more that will come.
The big news of the day in Seattle (and Peoria), and well for that matter, the baseball world, is that the Mariners and ace right-handed pitcher Felix Hernandez have reached an agreement on a new contract.
What exactly does that mean? Tomorrow Felix will sign the new contract and hold a news conference in Seattle beginning at 2 pm on Wednesday, February 13, at Safeco Field.
Stay tuned for more details about the big event, but in the meantime, just know that The King will be wearing a Mariners uniform for several more years (and let’s get the hashtag #KingOfSeattle trending!)
Felix Hernandez Since 2009 (MLB Ranks):
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez has been voted American League Pitcher of the Month for August.
Hernandez compiled a perfect 4-0 record with 3 shutouts, a 1.08 ERA, 5 walks and 31 strikeouts in 41.2 innings pitched over five starts while opponents batted just .137. Among qualifying starters, the 26-year-old finished first in the AL in ERA, and was T1st in wins, and 3rd in innings pitched. Hernandez threw the first Perfect Game in Mariners history and the 23rd Perfect Game in MLB history on August 15 vs. Tampa Bay in a 1-0 victory. It was the 7th Perfect Game in MLB history to be decided in a 1-0 contest, the first in the AL since 1984. All three of his August shutouts were by 1-0 score, becoming the third pitcher in Major League history with three 1-0 shutouts in a calendar month, joining Carl Hubbell (July 1933) and Dick Rudolph (August 1916).
In an August 4th matchup against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, the right-hander allowed two hits, two walks and fanned six as the Mariners edged the Yankees, 1-0. The shutout marked just the 10th time that the Yankees were held scoreless at the current Yankee Stadium, two of which have come at the hands of Hernandez (also June 30, 2010). After allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and striking out three in a no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 10th, the Venezuela native etched his name into the record books during his next start against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15th, hurling the first perfect game in team history and the 23rd in Major League history in a 1-0 victory at Safeco Field. Hernandez struck out 12 in the 113-pitch outing, becoming the youngest pitcher in nearly 30 years to reach perfection and becoming just the second foreign-born pitcher to complete a perfect game, joining Nicaragua’s Dennis Martinez (July 28, 1991). Hernandez’s roll continued against the Cleveland Indians on August 21st as the 2010 A.L. Cy Young Award winner allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts over 7.2 innings as the Mariners defeated the Tribe, 5-1, in Seattle. In his final start of the month on August 27th against the Minnesota Twins, Hernandez scattered five hits and struck out five in a complete game, 1-0 victory at Target Field. Hernandez became just the fifth pitcher since 1968 to record four 1-0 shutouts in a season, with Bert Blyleven the last to reach the feat during the 1976 season. His five shutouts are a club record, and he is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 to record five shutouts in a 12-start span.
On the season, Hernandez is 13-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 204.0 innings pitched over 28 starts in his eighth season with the Mariners.
This is Hernandez’s third career monthly honor, the 16th AL Pitcher of the Month honor for the Mariners and the 2nd consecutive (Vargas, July 2012). In recognition for his American League Pitcher of the Month Award, Felix Hernandez will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.
Seattle has back-to-back Pitcher of the Month awards for the second time in club history (also: Felix Hernandez & Jarrod Washburn in June & July 2009). Seattle has garnered six of the 23 Pitcher of the Month Awards since the start of the 2009 season.
Others receiving votes included Baltimore’s Jim Johnson (11 G, 10 SV, 0 BB, 8 SO) and Miguel Gonzalez (3-1, 1.91 ERA, 10 BB, 22 SO); Detroit’s Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.25 ERA, 9 BB, 44 SO); and Kansas City’s Greg Holland (2-0, 9 SV, 0.63 ERA, 4 BB, 13 SO).
|June, 1982||Jim Beattie|
|August, 1987||Mark Langston|
|September, 1988||Mark Langston|
|June, 1990||Randy Johnson|
|July, 1991||Bill Krueger|
|September, 1995||Norm Charlton|
|June, 1997||Randy Johnson|
|September, 1997||Jeff Fassero|
|June, 2003||Freddy Garcia|
|June, 2007||J.J. Putz|
|June, 2009||Felix Hernandez|
|July, 2009||Jarrod Washburn|
|Sept/Oct, 2009||Felix Hernandez|
|June, 2010||Cliff Lee|
|July, 2012||Jason Vargas|
|August, 2012||Felix Hernandez|
Heading into the final month of the 2012 MLB regular season, the Mariners wanted to present some interesting facts about American League Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez…
- 2012 Season – Is 13-5 with an American League leading 2.43 ERA in 27 starts this season…leads the AL in shutouts (5) and innings pitched (196.2), 2nd in complete games (5), 3rd in strikeouts (184), 3rd in opponent avg (.218), T3rd in quality starts (19), T6th in wins (13) and 10th with 8.42 K/9.0 IP.
- Domination – Over his last 14 starts is 9-0 with a 1.40 ERA (17 ER, 109.0 IP), 5 shutouts, 100 strikeouts (8.3 K/9.0 IP) and a .183 opponent batting average (70×383) – only 2 HR allowed…tied for longest win streak of his career.
- Perfect Game – Threw the 23rd Perfect Game in MLB history Aug. 15 vs. Tampa Bay in a 1-0 victory…it was the 7th Perfect Game in MLB history to be decided in a 1-0 contest, and first in the AL since 1984…struck out 12 batters, 4th-most in a PG.
- Shutouts – Leads the Majors with 5 shutouts, all coming over his last 12 starts (6/28 vs. BOS, 7/14 vs. TEX, 8/4 at NYY, 8/15 vs. TB, 8/27 at MIN)…is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 to record 5+ shutouts in 12-start span…has set a Mariners club record for a single season…joins Bert Blyleven (1989), Roger Clemens (1992) and David Wells (1998) as the only AL pitchers with 5 shutouts in a season over the last 24 seasons (since 1989).
- Awesome August – Went 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA (5 ER, 41.2 IP) and 3 shutouts in five August starts…all three shutouts were by 1-0 score, becoming the third pitcher in Major League history with three 1-0 shutout in a calendar month: Carl Hubbell (July 1933) and Dick Rudolph (August 1916).
- Since the Break – Is 7-0 with an American League leading 1.23 ERA in 9 starts since the All-Star break (4 shutouts)…selected to his third All-Star game, but did not pitch.
- No Margin for Error – Recorded four 1-0 shutouts this season…is just the third pitcher during the divisional era (since 1969) to have four wins with the score 1-0 in a single season (all CG shutouts), joining Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (1974) and Bert Blyleven (1976)…Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson also had four 1-0 shutouts in 1968 (record is 5, last: Dean Chance in 1964).
- Going Deep – Has 16 starts where he has pitched 7.0 or more innings with 1 or fewer runs allowed, leading the Majors, and already setting a club record (he had 15 in 2010 Cy Young season)…next closest AL pitcher is David Price with 11 such starts.
- Felix Quality Start – Recorded 11 starts where he has allowed 1 or fewer runs in 8.0 or more innings pitched…nearly double any other pitcher in the Majors this season; R.A. Dickey & Bartolo Colon both have 6 such starts…Felix had 13 such starts during his Cy Young season in 2010.
- Giving the Bullpen Rest – Pitched at least 7.0 innings in a Major League-high 20 games (David Price is 2nd with 19).
- Stingy – Allowed 2 or fewer runs in an American League leading 19 games (David Price is 2nd with 18).
- Nice Turnaround – In 14 starts since his last loss (June 12 at San Diego) has improved from 4-5, 3.70 ERA to 13-5, 2.43 ERA…during Felix’s 14-start run the Mariners are 35-29 (.547).
- Run Support – Has the 4th-lowest run support average in the American League at 3.84.
- Something For the Effort – In9 no-decisions has a 2.57 ERA (18 ER, 63.0 IP) with a 2.14 run support average… three no-decisions allowing 1 or fewer runs in 8.0 or more innings, tied for most by a pitcher in a single season over the last 15 seasons.
- Sabermetrics – Among AL starters, ranks 1st in WPA (5.2), 1st in +WPA (16.34), 1st in FIP (2.82), 1st in Adjusted Pitching Wins (3.5), 1st in opponent OPS (.579), 1st in Adjusted ERA+ (154), T2nd in WAR for pitchers (5.2), 2nd in WHIP (1.03) and 5th in xFIP (3.28) and WAR for all players (5.3). Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com & Fangraphs.com.
- Adding Them Together – Over the last four seasons (since 2009), combined to go 59-36 with a 2.66 ERA and 855 strikeouts in 128 starts…over this span leads the Majors in ERA, innings pitched (918.2) and quality starts (100), and ranks 3rd in strikeouts.