SEATTLE MARINERS

Three things: Who is picking up the slack for the Mariners?

Jun 1, 2016, 1:28 PM

Everything started well for the Mariners this week, as they shook off three weekend losses to the Twins by pounding the Padres a combined 25-7 in back-to-back wins to close out their homestand and finish with 30 wins before June for the first time since 2013.

A new question appeared late Tuesday afternoon, though. That is where we start our weekly three things to watch with the Mariners:

1. What’s up with Felix?

James Paxton was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday night for Triple-A Tacoma, starting up the rumor mill about why. The reason was revealed Wednesday morning: Felix Hernandez has a right calf strain that requires time on the 15-day disabled list, and Paxton was promoted to take his spot in the rotation, including the start Wednesday night in San Diego. Hernandez has been strong this season, but he hasn’t quite looked like the perennial Cy Young candidate Mariners fans are used to — especially not in his last outing in which he gave up six runs in six innings in a loss to Minnesota. With the DL move retroactive to May 28, he’s only expected to miss a couple starts. Will he be back to his old self when he returns, or is this a sign of more issues to come for the 30-year-old righty after eight straight years of 200-plus innings?

2. Who’s picking up the slack?

The Mariners have embraced the “A New Hero Every Night” slogan, and that philosophy has certainly been needed ever since Leonys Martin joined Ketel Marte on the disabled list last week. The loss of the Mariners’ two biggest rally starters definitely appeared to have an effect in the Twins series, but the offense figured things out against the Padres. Kyle Seager homered in both those wins over San Diego, and Nelson Cruz, Seth Smith, Adam Lind, Dae-Ho Lee and Franklin Gutierrez all chipped in, as well. Marte should be back early next week, and Martin isn’t expected to be far behind, but until then, will Seattle continue to get production up and down the lineup to make up for their absences?

3. Home sweet … road?

Seattle treaded water on its homestand, going an even 4-4 before heading back out on a five-game road trip. Oddly enough, that was pretty good news. The Mariners are 12-14 at Safeco Field this season, so a .500 showing over three series was an improvement. Meanwhile they’ve been on fire when away from Seattle, posting an 18-7 record as of Wednesday’s opener in San Diego. Starting the day a half-game behind Texas, the Mariners are in prime position to move back into first place in the AL West if their road success continues.

Date Starting Pitcher
Tuesday, September 27 @ 6:40 pm

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Sunny
High 78° | Low 56°
Roof is open
Rangers at Mariners today at 6:40pm

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Ty France Mitch Haniger...
Mike Salk

Salk: 5 keys for Mariners to finish playoff push in final 10 games

The Mariners are closing in on clinching a playoff spot, but they're coming off a brutal road trip. Mike Salk breaks down what they need to do.
8 hours ago
Mariners Luis Castillo...
The Associated Press

Mariners believe rotation set for future after Luis Castillo deal

In the middle of putting the finishing touches on the largest and most complex contract in franchise history, the Mariners began discussions about another impact deal.
1 day ago
Mariners Adam Frazier...
Brent Stecker

Mariners Breakdown: Reconciling painful collapse with playoffs in grasp

Bob Stelton of Seattle Sports' Wyman and Bob explains why he thought Sunday was the worst single-game loss in Mariners history and much more.
1 day ago
Mariners Dylan Moore...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: What happened on Mariners’ rough road trip, what’s next and injury updates

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer looks at the team's struggles on their recent road trip, looks ahead to their 10-game homestand, and provides injury updates.
1 day ago
Mariners J.P. Crawford...
Joe Fann

Fann: Fair or not, Mariners players carry burden of franchise’s playoff drought

Joe Fann puts into perspective how the Mariners players and fans look at the franchise's 21-year playoff drought and the team's recent struggles differently.
1 day ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Where Mariners’ quest for playoff spot stands after collapse in KC

How fans should be feeling about the Mariners' chances of ending their postseason drought in less than two weeks and how they are actually feeling right now are probably two different things.
2 days ago
Three things: Who is picking up the slack for the Mariners?