Mariners Place Felix Hernandez on IL with Shoulder Injury After 2,500th K

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on September 25, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Seattle Mariners announced that starting pitcher Felix Hernandez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right shoulder Sunday.

The news of Hernandez's injury comes one day after he became the 36th pitcher in MLB history to record 2,500 career strikeouts. 

Despite the historic moment, Hernandez surrendered seven runs to the Boston Red Sox in 2 1/3 innings during the Mariners' 9-5 loss on Saturday. For the season, Hernandez has a 1-4 record with 34 strikeouts and a 6.52 ERA in eight starts. "He has allowed 14 runs in his last two starts over 7 1/3 innings and is 0-4 since winning his first start of the season," according to ESPN.

Hernandez, who has spent his entire career with the Mariners since his 2005 debut, was one of the best starters in MLB during his prime seasons. His performance has dropped off in recent years amid injury issues and concerns about a dip in velocity.

The 33-year-old made at least 30 starts in 10 consecutive seasons beginning in 2006. That number fell to 25 in 2016 and 16 in 2017. He made two trips to the then-disabled list in the latter season because of shoulder problems. He bounced back to appear in 29 games last year.

Marco Gonzales should slot into the role as staff ace, while Roenis Elias could shift from the bullpen to fill the void if it becomes a long-term absence for King Felix.

All told, while Hernandez has still enjoyed flashes of his old brilliance over the past few years, it's unclear whether he can get back to that level for an entire season given his results to start 2019. Every injury setback makes the journey back toward the top of the sport a little tougher.

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