MLB Network’s Jon Morosi: Felix is Mariners’ key to making playoffs

Apr 3, 2018, 2:55 PM
Felix Hernandez's scoreless outing helped the Mariners beat Cleveland ace Corey Kluber. (AP)...
Felix Hernandez's scoreless outing helped the Mariners beat Cleveland ace Corey Kluber. (AP)
LISTEN: MLB Insider Jon Morosi shares his biggest reason for Mariners optimism

Felix Hernandez’s first start of the 2018 season represented more than just 5 1/3 scoreless innings and a 2-1 opening night win for the Mariners.

“If you wanted to have a script, a narrative for the Mariners to make it to the playoffs, it began with a start like the one Felix gave you in the opener,” MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said Tuesday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk. “… Without him, this team can’t go to the playoffs.”

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Much has been made of the soon-to-be 32-year-old Hernandez’s need to make changes 13 years into his MLB career. Morosi said the veteran right-hander showed in his win over the Cleveland Indians last week that he is doing just that.

“I think it was a demonstration that Felix has shown an ability to adapt,” Morosi said. “He’s not gonna have the same stuff that he had when he threw the perfect game (in 2012). It’s just not quite that point of his career.”

Hernandez could be on his way to a late career resurgence like Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, another former Cy Young Award winner who struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness in his early 30s but bounced back on his way to winning a World Series last year.

“As his contemporary in many ways, Justin Verlander, figured things out last year and adapted, Felix is capable of doing the same thing,” Morosi said.

Hernandez will make his second start of the season Wednesday in the finale of the Mariners’ two-game set in San Francisco. First pitch is set for 4:15 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.

You can hear a highlight of Morosi’s interview with Mike Salk and guest host Bob Stelton embedded above, or you can find the entire segment in this podcast of Tuesday’s show.

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