Tag: Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez Injury: Updates on Mariners Star’s Calf and Return

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez has been placed on the disabled list with a calf injury sustained while celebrating a home run against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, per Bob Dutton of the News Tribune. It’s unclear when he will return.

Continue for updates. 

Servais Comments on Hernandez’s Injury

Wednesday, June 1

Manager Scott Servais told reporters that Hernandez strained the calf on Tuesday while warming up to play catch. However, Servais said the team will keep Hernandez’s arm activated while he recovers.

Hernandez Placed on Disabled List

Wednesday, June 1

Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported left-handed starter James Paxton has been recalled from Triple-A to take Hernandez’s spot on the active roster. 

Hernandez Has Been the Model of Health During Career

Hernandez missed a scheduled start on April 22 due to an illness, but he’s otherwise been healthy during the 2016 season—a trend that has carried over from previous campaigns. 

The 30-year-old made 30 starts every season from 2006 through 2015, and he notched fewer than 200 innings pitched just twice during that span.

“I feel the same as I did when I was 21,” Hernandez told Divish in April. “I don’t feel any different. I have my own routine. I do a lot of stuff in the training room and in the weight room, and it’s why I feel that way.” 

A six-time All-Star and 2010 Cy Young Award recipient, Hernandez has posted a record of 4-4 this season while recording an ERA of 2.86.

Should the Mariners ace hit the shelf for an extended period, Servais will need to tinker with his rotation and find ways to avoid a backslide sans Hernandez. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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Hernandez Passes Moyer for Most Wins in Mariners History

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez earned the 146th win of his career on Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays, passing Jamie Moyer to take sole possession of first place on the all-time franchise wins list, per Sportsnet Stats.

Now in his 12th MLB season, the 30-year-old righty had an ordinary game by his own lofty standards, limiting the struggling Tampa Bay lineup to two runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings but with only four strikeouts.

Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte provided most of his team’s offense, recording four hits—including two doubles and a homer—in five at-bats, accounting for three runs and three RBI in the process.

Marte also provided the game’s pivotal moment when he broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning with his three-run homer off Rays reliever Steven Geltz, who had inherited both runners from fellow reliever Dana Eveland, the losing pitcher in the contest.

Hernandez now owns a 3-2 record, 2.27 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, but he surprisingly has just 33 strikeouts (and 20 walks) over 43.2 innings through seven starts.

Although the numbers alone wouldn’t normally be cause for concern this early in the season, Hernandez’s declining velocity (per FanGraphs) suggests age and accumulated innings may be taking a toll.

Granted, it’s still early, and he’s certainly earned the benefit of the doubt.

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Felix Hernandez Passes Jamie Moyer for Most Wins in Mariners History

Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez added another accolade to his illustrious career Monday by becoming the all-time winningest pitcher in franchise history.

Hernandez passed Jamie Moyer with his 146th win, according to MLB Stat of the Day. Moyer took the time congratulate Hernandez on his accomplishment, courtesy of the team’s Twitter account:

The 30-year-old allowed only two runs on four hits to lead the Mariners to a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. He is now 3-2 on the season with a 2.27 ERA.

Sports Radio 950 KJR’s Dave Softy Mahler Show added context to Hernandez’s place in Seattle’s history:

Hernandez has been one of the game’s best pitchers for years, so it was only a matter of time before he became the most decorated hurler ever for the Mariners.

Seattle, sitting at 19-13, is atop the American League West and appears to have the lineup and pitching prowess to make a run at a playoff berth. If Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz continue to provide the offense, the 2010 AL Cy Young winner could find himself pitching in the postseason for the first time in his career.

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How High Will Felix Hernandez Climb Up MLB’s All-Time Strikeout List?

Felix Hernandez‘s quest to take the Seattle Mariners‘ strikeout record from Randy Johnson is over.

Now all King Felix has to do is get as close as he can to the Big Unit on Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeout list. Considering Johnson is one of only four pitchers to record 4,000 strikeouts, this is otherwise known as the hard part.

But that can wait. Though the milestone came in a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Saturday night, Hernandez’s focus should now be on celebrating his latest accomplishment. With his first-inning strikeout of Rafael Ortega, Hernandez became Seattle’s franchise leader with 2,163 strikeouts.

Behold the moving pictures!

Hernandez finished with four strikeouts in seven innings, bumping his career total to 2,166. Beyond being the most in Mariners history, that’s also an awful lot by the standards of active pitchers. Only CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon are ahead of Hernandez on that list.

And that’s not even the most impressive part of the strikeout collection Hernandez is working on.

Because it feels like the right-hander has been with the Mariners since the time of the Taft administration, it’s easy to forget King Felix only recently turned 30 years old. Through the age of 30, only seven pitchers racked up more strikeouts than he has:

Fernandez has some pretty good company in this court. And since he’s only now beginning his age-30 season, the list of pitchers ahead of him should dwindle as 2016 progresses. If he follows his career rate of 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings to his usual 200 or so strikeouts, he’ll pass Pedro Martinez and Don Drysdale for sure, and he could make a run at Bert Blyleven.

From where he stands, Hernandez looks like a lock for 3,000 strikeouts—a club that boasts only 16 members. If all goes really well, he might even have a shot at joining Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens and Steve Carlton in the 4,000-strikeout club.

The latter is an ultra-optimistic projection. But for anyone out there who feels like taking the side of the ultra-optimist, there are a few things to hang your hat on.

Because it’s pretty hard to strike guys out from the bench, the first thing Hernandez needs to make it to the peak of baseball’s strikeout mountain is one thing that’s rarely been in question in his career: durability. Hernandez is the only active pitcher who’s made at least 30 starts and logged at least 190 innings every year since 2006.

Hernandez also has a signature strikeout pitch in his changeup. Houston Astros right-hander Lance McCullers told Ted Berg of USA Today that it’s on the “Mount Rushmore of changeups.” And these days, it’s up to its usual tricks. According to Brooks Baseball, the whiff rate on Hernandez’s changeup was back over 20 percent entering Saturday after it had dipped below that mark in 2015.

Another advantage Hernandez has is that modern baseball is all about the strikeout. Baseball’s strikeout rate has been going nowhere but up for years, and by now we know this is no coincidence.

In 2014, Jon Roegele of the Hardball Times wrote about how huge the strike zone had become. In 2012, Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote about baseball’s increasing obsession with data and how it was helping pitchers more than hitters. Stark also wrote that it probably didn’t hurt that baseball wasn’t as juiced as it once was. Add up these things, and more strikeouts would happen.

So though there’s a huge gap between Hernandez and the tippy-top of baseball’s all-time strikeout list, his credentials and the landscape in which he exists make it look smaller than it is. Another 10 seasons with 200 or so strikeouts to take him over 4,000 sounds almost reasonable.

But let’s talk about that “almost.”

Though King Felix’s track record of durability is commendable in an era when the injury bug has quite the appetite for pitching arms, he’s at an age where his history of durability shouldn’t be taken as a predictor of the future.

Only seven pitchers since 1969 (the year the mound was lowered) logged more innings through age 30 than Hernandez has. And among the players Hernandez is due to pass in 2016 is Sabathia, who’s as good a cautionary tale as anyone. He made it to 200 innings in his age-31 and age-32 seasons, but then his body rebelled and turned him into a shell of his former self.

Lest anyone think the same can’t happen to Hernandez, let’s not forget his elbow sent up some red flags just last season. If that becomes a bigger issue, he’ll be lucky to pitch another five years, much less 10.

It’s also fair to wonder just how much longer Hernandez can be a strikeout pitcher. He may have his good changeup this year, but his velocity is continuing a distressing trend:

That’s a noticeable leak, and the odds of Hernandez reversing it are slim. As Mike Podhorzer of FanGraphs wrote, Hernandez’s velocity may end up “well below expectations given what we would expect him to lose this season.”

This isn’t going to be a one-year thing. Less velocity in 2016 will lead to less velocity in 2017 and less velocity in 2018. That’s how the aging curve works, and it’s among the chief reasons why, as Bill Petti and Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs noted, starting pitchers’ strikeout rates take a marked downturn as they age. In other words: the 8.5 career K/9 rate that’s gotten Hernandez to where he is now isn’t going to stick around for the long haul.

As such, the pie-in-the-sky hope of 4,000 strikeouts will likely remain just that. Even if we assume that Hernandez will stay on the mound for another five to 10 years, the bar probably shouldn’t be set any higher than even 3,000 strikeouts.

But to one extent, that’s also as high as it needs to go. Of the 16 members in the 3,000-strikeout club, only Clemens and Curt Schilling aren’t in the Hall of Fame. If King Felix joins such company one day, he might as well punch his ticket to Cooperstown on the spot.

For now, though, Hernandez can say he broke one of Johnson’s records. There aren’t many who have done the same.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Felix Hernandez Injury: Updates on Mariners Star’s Status and Return

Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is done for what’s left of the 2015 season after exiting his last start with a minor elbow injury, per Bob Dutton of the News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington.

Continue for updates.

Mariners Shut Down Hernandez

Wednesday, Sept. 30

With Hernandez unable to make another start this year, he’ll snap what has been an extremely impressive streak, per Greg Johns of MLB.com:   

Hernandez previously dealt with tightness in his right quadriceps. The injury caused him to leave an April start against the Oakland Athletics early. He didn’t end up missing any scheduled outings because of the issue, though.

The longtime Mariners star has been highly durable throughout his career. With 31 starts this year, he’s made at least 30 starts in 10 consecutive seasons. King Felix has also been one of the league’s best pitchers over that stretch, highlighted by winning a Cy Young Award in 2010.

Since the season is almost over anyway, it makes sense for the Mariners to be extra cautious with Hernandez. The franchise inked him to a massive extension in 2013, so risking further injury to him in meaningless games would be unnecessary. 


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How a Childhood Idol and a Scouting Guru Landed Felix Hernandez in Seattle

Like Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier, Felix Hernandez has become a precious Seattle landmark. No matter how disappointing the Mariners are, no matter how much rain, sleet and even snow (jobs) they produce, King Felix always delivers.

Here he is again, tied for the most victories in baseball at 14-6, an absolute rock in a game of consistency, brilliant as a Pacific Northwest sunset.

It was 10 years ago this month that he made his first start for the Mariners, just a babe on the mound at 19 years and 118 days.

Which makes July 4, 2002, one of the most important days in Seattle franchise history. It was the day the Mariners signed a raw, wide-eyed 16-year-old prospect from Venezuela.

Think the $710,000 signing bonus was worth it?

Especially given that the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees were hot on his trail and, as Hernandez says, offered a few more bucks than did Seattle.

“I think I made the right decision,” he said, smiling, when he talked with B/R recently. “The way they treated my family, I thought this is the right place to be.”

Hernandez is a bit of a different cat, in a very good way, and not only on the mound. He is intelligent, personable and loyal, which all factors into how he landed in Seattle in the first place.

The Mariners first started watching him when he was 14.

“When I was pitching in Little League, I would see all of these people in the stands,” Hernandez said. “And I was like, ‘Who are all of these people?'”

Scouts, he was told.

They’re here to see you.

“So I would try to throw harder,” Hernandez said, a perfectly natural reaction but usually an awful idea. Because the harder a pitcher tries to throw, the better chance he has of losing his control.

That didn’t happen with the future King.

He ratcheted up his intensity, and the level of his game, because, he said, “I like those kinds of challenges.”

He still remembers the first time he saw Bob Engle, the Mariners’ senior adviser to the vice president and general manager at the time.

“Great guy,” Hernandez said. “He was watching me from a corner of [Seattle’s Venezuelan] Academy with his glasses half off, like this.”

Hernandez lowered his face, mimicking a man peering over reading glasses positioned halfway down his nose.   

Today, Engle is the vice president of international scouting for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He laughs when he hears Hernandez’s glasses-half-off memory.

“That doesn’t ring a bell and he’s making me sound old now, and I’m old enough,” Engle said, chuckling. “I can tell you this: He is probably one of most first-class people I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with in this game.

“He is everything on and off the field that you ever want to see.”

It was a scout by the name of Pedro Avila who first spotted Hernandez and recommended him to the Mariners. Avila bird-dogged Hernandez for more than a year before Emilio Carrasquel, another Seattle scout, invited the pitcher to the team’s Venezuelan baseball academy.

The Carrasquels are a prominent baseball family in Venezuela. Emilio’s uncle, Chico, starred as a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics and Baltimore Orioles in the 1950s. He was the first in an astoundingly good run of major league shortstops from the country that included Luis Aparicio, Dave Concepcion, Ozzie Guillen and Omar Vizquel.

Together with Engle, the relationship Avila and Carrasquel forged with Felix and his family was rock-solid.

But something else had happened that sent Hernandez’s imagination running toward the Pacific Northwest as well: the 1998 Randy Johnson trade with Houston that sent minor leaguers Freddy Garcia, John Halama and Carlos Guillen to Seattle.

Garcia, Hernandez’s countryman, went 18-6 for the famed 2001 Mariners club that finished 116-46. Then he won 32 more games for the Mariners over the next three seasons combined before he was traded to the Chicago White Sox.

At home in Venezuela, Hernandez was enthralled. He made it a point to watch as many of Garcia’s starts as he could.

One game from that era remains crystallized in Hernandez’s mind: Garcia’s Game 2 start in the 2001 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. Working on just three days of rest after beating Cleveland 6-2 in Game 4 of the AL Division Series, Garcia pitched well over 7.1 innings but emerged with a tough 3-2 loss to the Yanks.

“I was like, ‘He’s good,'” Hernandez said.

Hernandez was 15. He and his family had a direct connection with the Mariners now in Avila, Carrasquel and Engle.

More and more, it was easy to envision himself one day wearing a Mariners uniform.

“He was a young man who had good size,” Engle said. “Good arm strength, for a young man, [his pitches] had good rotation, good breaking-ball potential. He had a pro delivery, what I would call a pro delivery.”

What still stands out to Engle to this day was the moment when he asked Hernandez where he learned that delivery.

“I taught it to myself by watching major league pitchers,” the kid told the scout.

“I thought that was quite impressive for a 14-year-old, 15-year-old,” Engle said. “The story takes its own path and, obviously, we know the results today.”

But they couldn’t know them yet, not as the Mariners pursued Hernandez and waited until, under major league rules, he turned 16, the legal signing age.

So they watched and waited. Waited and watched. All the while working to box out whatever other teams picked up the scent.

“I don’t think there was a race to get him away from the other guys because the family, particularly the father, was very well-grounded with what he wanted to do,” Engle said. “He knew how he wanted to assist and direct his son.

“We conveyed a program and the way we wanted to go about things. Ultimately, it was their decision. I don’t know of any other club that spent as much time in the house with Felix and his father and mother. That was probably the key.”

Man-hours? Engle couldn’t begin to add them up.

“It was considerable,” he said. “We had many appointments, many meetings. You can pretty well tell when things are going well, or if it’s tough going. We seemed to have good makeup and good chemistry among all of us. I think that was the key.”

Said Hernandez: “I like when people are honest and talk to your face. They told my dad they would send me to the United States right away [to start his professional career in the minor leagues], not to the Dominican Republic.

“I didn’t want to go to the Dominican.”

Not when Garcia, Guillen and others were right there in Seattle. Not when the Mariners were still a juggernaut and he felt he could reach out and grab the major leagues right then.

“That was a big point,” Engle said. “His ability and his potential, what he demonstrated at the time was that he should go immediately to the States. Looking at his progression, looking at how quickly he moved, it basically was a no-brainer for all of us.”

So, no, the Yankees and the Braves didn’t have a chance. Even if the money was larger.

When the time came, Avila and Carrasquel sat down with Felix Sr. at a restaurant near the Hernandez home to work the deal.

“My father called me and said they were offering this,” Hernandez said. “I think this is the right amount of money. And you’re not going to the Dominican Republic.”

Hernandez told his father: “Let’s do it.”

The Mariners sent him right to Seattle when he signed, introducing the 16-year-old to the organization during a three-game series, suiting him up for batting practice and allowing him to luxuriate in his new surroundings.

Como esta, nino?” Garcia asked.

What’s up, kid?

Some 13 years later, it is a phrase Hernandez still remembers vividly. The way he remembers it, he spent most of that weekend hanging around the lockers of Garcia and Guillen.

Now, it is his turn to take young pitchers under his wing, and when he does, willingly and eagerly, he does so while wearing No. 34 on the back of his jersey. Yep, same as Garcia.

Years pass. At 38, Garcia is still pitching, for Monterrey in the Mexican League.

“I talk with Freddy quite a bit,” Hernandez said.

At 29, Hernandez now boasts one AL Cy Young Award (2010) on his resume, with the possibility of more ahead. He threw a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2012. The guy even wore a Kuma Bear hat in support of teammate Hisashi Iwakuma during Iwakuma’s no-hitter Wednesday.

Like the Space Needle, it is impossible to imagine the Seattle landscape without him.

And him without it.

“I like the city,” said Hernandez, who flashed his loyalty by signing a seven-year, $175 million deal in 2013. “What I want is to make the playoffs. The fans need it. The city needs it.

“Last year with Robinson Cano, we came close.”

Now, as has too often been the case despite his glittering work, it’s wait till next year in Seattle.

But as ever, the ace remains.   

“That tells you something,” Engle said. “It transmits something about Felix’s head and heart.

“If there’s one thing I can say about him, he’s first class on the field and off the field, which is just as important. We’re all proud of him and he should be proud of himself and his accomplishments, and the way he’s handled himself for so many years.”


Scott Miller covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

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What to Make of Felix Hernandez’s Recent Imploding Act

Even the great ones stumble. So there’s not necessarily cause for panic in Seattle after Felix Hernandez turned in another rough outing Friday night.

But man, that was one rough outing. 

Hernandez endured easily the worst start of his brilliant 11-year career, surrendering eight runs on five hits and recording just one out in a 10-0 blowout loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

It was a historic night for the ace right-hander, though not the kind he’d prefer, as ESPN Stats & Info noted: Since 1969, only 11 other pitchers have been tagged for eight earned runs or more without getting at least two outs.

So you brush it off and move on. Some days you don’t have it. That’s baseball, and other platitudes.

Except this isn’t the first time recently that King Felix has looked more like a commoner. 

On June 1, he coughed up seven runs in 4.2 innings against the New York Yankees. Coming into that start, he owned a 1.91 ERA. Now, after Friday’s debacle, it’s ballooned to 3.38.

That’s still a respectable mark. And overall, Hernandez is having a typically stellar season. But two shaky appearances—admittedly sandwiched around a seven-inning, one-run showing June 6—have got to set off at least a few alarm bells for the Mariners

The most obvious, and troubling, explanation is that Hernandez is battling an undisclosed injury. The only other time he lasted just one-third of an inning was in 2007, when he exited with an elbow strain.

Maybe he is dealing with some phantom ailment. But it hasn’t popped up in any unconfirmed whispers, let alone reliable reports. He tweaked his ankle May 17, but manager Lloyd McClendon declared his ace to be “fine,” per Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times.

The stuff showed up for Hernandez briefly Friday when he rung up touted Houston rookie Carlos Correa with a knee-high 91 mph fastball on the outside corner.

Mostly, though, he made location mistakes, and the ‘Stros, to their credit, made him pay.

Take the two-run shot Jason Castro smacked to extend the lead to 8-0 in the first. Catcher Mike Zunino wanted a fastball down, Hernandez left it up, and the left-handed Castro launched it the other way, over Minute Maid Park’s cozy left field porch.

That’s life in the big leagues, where a few inches can mean the difference between resounding success and stunning failure. 

Speaking of which, Hernandez wasn’t helped by his defense, as MLB.com‘s Greg Johns and Brian McTaggart spelled out:

Before the Astros teed off on Hernandez with the two first-inning homers, the Mariners’ ace got in hot water with some shoddy fielding contributing to the mess. Utility man Willie Bloomquist, making his fifth start of the season at shortstop, was slow on a throw to first as Jose Altuve turned a routine grounder into an infield single leading off the game.

Later, Hernandez himself made a bad throw on a play at the plate, which was definitely on him but not an indictment of his pitching.

It’s entirely possible this start and the one against the Yankees were outliers, anomalous blips in what will otherwise be a predictably dominant season for the five-time All-Star and 2010 American League Cy Young winner.

Hernandez, after all, has lasted at least seven innings eight times this season and threw a complete-game, four-hit shutout on May 27. Don’t bet your college tuition on the King staying down.

“I think it’s a lot of luck,” Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said after he launched a grand slam off Hernandez June 1, the sixth time he’s taken the M’s stud deep, per Newsday‘s Erik Boland. “He’s a great pitcher. I’ve faced him so much. There’s very few guys that for 10-plus years you face on a regular basis. He’s one of them. I’ve just gotten a couple good pitches to hit.”

If Hernandez takes the ball next time and reverses his luck—and offers up fewer pitches to hit—he’ll calm a lot of nerves in the Pacific Northwest, where fans are already plenty anxious about the fourth-place Mariners.

But if he gets whacked around again, this stumble will start to feel more like a fall.


All statistics current as of June 12 and courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Hernandez Becomes 4th-Youngest Pitcher to Reach 2,000 Strikeouts

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez became the fourth-youngest pitcher in major league history to record 2,000 career strikeouts when he hit the mark during the fifth inning of Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

At 29 years and 32 days, Hernandez entered Sunday’s start with 1,995 career strikeouts, needing just five more to become the 73rd player in MLB history to reach 2,000.

After striking out four batters through the game’s first four innings, King Felix caught Athletics outfielder Sam Fuld looking to start the top of the fifth.

Hernandez would later notch another strikeout on his final pitch of the game, ultimately finishing with six strikeouts over seven innings, having allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk to improve to 6-0 on the season.

His 2,001 career strikeouts are good for 72nd on the all-time list, with only Bert Blyleven, Sam McDowell and Randy Johnson reaching 2,000 at a younger age.

An early favorite for the Cy Young Award in the American League, Hernandez has a 1.85 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 50-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 48.2 innings to complement his 6-0 record through seven outings.

While a strong candidate to eventually reach 3,000 career strikeouts, the 29-year-old has yet to pitch in the postseason.

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MLB Opening Day 2015: Key Takeaways from Baseball’s Opening Act

The beginning of April means millions of fans tune in for MLB Opening Day 2015, but what did we learn from the first day of meaningful baseball?

Some teams came out of the gate firing like the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. Both teams crushed their opponents, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers, with an eight-run shutout performance.

While some teams launched bombs over the outfield walls, others relied on their Aces paired with their bullpens to carry them to opening-day victory. Six teams successfully threw Opening Day shutouts this year.

Both Felix Hernandez and Johnny Cueto struck out 10 batters as their teams won their first game of the season.

Although the above mentions put in solid performances they were not the whole story. Lets take a look at the good, the bad and the funny from Opening Day. 


Trout vs. King Felix Part Two

Reigning MVP Mike Trout began the season just the way people expected, but the rest of his team did not follow suit as they fell 4-1 to the Seattle Mariners.

The 23-year-old star hit a home run to center field off Felix Hernandez in his first at-bat of the season Monday.

If this sounds familiar, that is because it is. Trout tagged King Felix for a home run last year in the outfielder’s first at-bat to jump-start his MVP season.

On top of the quick start at the plate, Trout also provided one of his vintage defensive plays by robbing Mariner’s first baseman Logan Morrison of a homer.

However, Hernandez had the last laugh on the day as Trout finished 1-4 from the plate with three strikeouts. The Mariners did not surrender another run on the day and Hernandez only gave up one more hit in his seven innings.


Return of Baseball’s Villain

After missing the entire 2014 season due to suspension, Alex Rodriguez returned to the New York Yankees as the biggest villain in baseball.

Villain? Apparently nobody told Yankees fans about the player’s past transgressions. Rodriguez enjoyed a strong ovation as he stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat of the season.

Rodriguez’s on-field performance was nothing to laud as he earned a single and a walk in his three plate appearances.

As the current face of steroids in baseball, his performances will be scrutinized all season, and he will be polarizing wherever the Yankees play.

Some Yankees fans held up signs spelling out “#Forg1v3” during his first at-bat since 2013, but opposing fans may not be so welcoming. 


Sometimes You Just Can’t Hold It

The start of the Major League Baseball season officially kicked off with the game between St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs on Sunday night, but the Cubs defeat was not the only bad part about the night for Chicago fans. 

The Cardinals won 3-0 over the Cubs behind a routinely strong pitching performance by Adam Wainwright, but the renovations to Wrigley Field took the main stage. The new construction is not complete, leaving the bathroom situation at the stadium pretty dire.

The lines for the restrooms left fans waiting 30 minutes or more, and this wait appeared to lower the standard for what qualifies as a toilet.

Some fans opted to relieve themselves at their own convenience through the use of plastic cups. Then these cups were left in corners of the concourse.

There will be plenty of 3-0 games this season, but the Cubs will hope the organization and sanitation failure of Opening Day does not repeat themselves. In order to prevent this, there will be portable toilets installed at the stadium to help make up for the lost amenities until the renovations are finished in late May, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

The 2015 Opening Day churned out major headlines all day, bypassing both the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals. Not often does conversation of the previous World Series champs title defense fall by the wayside.

If the rest of the regular season serves to be just as entertaining as the Opening Day, it should be an entertaining season.

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Bleacher Report’s Full 2014 MLB Awards Preview, Predictions

As the baseball industry awaits the first big transaction of the offseason—sorry, Adam Lind for Marco Estrada doesn’t exactly get the juices flowing—the focus shifts temporarily to another matter, the individual awards.

Until there’s a major move either in the free-agent market or on the trade front, the chases and races for MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year and Rookie of the Year hold our attention.

Starting Monday, Nov. 10, and continuing every evening through Thursday, Nov. 13, the winner of each honor in either league will be announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

With all of the finalists—three per for all four awards—having been determined earlier this week, here’s a preview of the choices and a rundown of the predicted winners.

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