Felix Worship, circa 2006, Part 1 of Many

Dave · March 2, 2006 at 2:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

From John Hickey:

Felix Hernandez, the 19-year-old right-hander on whom the Mariners have rested many of their hopes, dazzled San Diego Thursday.
Throwing just the first inning of the annual Mariner-Padre charity game in Peoria Stadium, Hernandez struck out the side on just 13 pitches.
Dave Roberts, Mike Cameron and Brian Giles all went down on strikes against Hernandez, who was replaced by Kevin Appier to start the second inning.

Long Live The King.


36 Responses to “Felix Worship, circa 2006, Part 1 of Many”

  1. Evan on March 2nd, 2006 2:19 pm


    Only 4 pitches of improvement to go before he becomes the ultimate robo-pitcher.

  2. Typical Idiot Fan on March 2nd, 2006 2:20 pm

    Only 4 more pitches then is required to strike out every batter in one inning. Good God I love King Felix. If I were a San Diego batter, trying to shake the rust off the offseason and get my groove back to form, the last person I’d want to face is King Felix F. Hernandez. Filthy nasty and unfair.

  3. Otto on March 2nd, 2006 2:25 pm

    I will be glued to the TV every fifth game!

  4. jtopps on March 2nd, 2006 2:40 pm

    I eagerly await the next post “Appier Worship, circa 2006, Part 1 of”…

    oh wait.

  5. dirk on March 2nd, 2006 2:48 pm

    Bill Bavasi nervously sits alone and thinks how good Felix could be as a closer after Eddie is done………….

  6. Choska on March 2nd, 2006 2:56 pm

    Long Live the King. Could we sign him now to a 15 year, $10 million a year contract with performance incentives so he stays motivated?

  7. nickpdx on March 2nd, 2006 3:01 pm

    I was wondering about that strange gust of wind I felt today… must’ve been the sigh of relief from the Pads’ dugout when they saw Appier trot in from the pen.

  8. Smegmalicious on March 2nd, 2006 3:05 pm

    Oh My God! He actually struck out Mike Cameron? I didn’t think that was possible!!!

    In seriousness, this is pretty damned awesome. I try not to get my hopes up too high over Felix. I just couldn’t stand to have them crushed.

  9. Evan on March 2nd, 2006 3:30 pm

    Cameron was probably the guy responsible for those extra 4 pitches. Dave Roberts could well have struck out on 3, and maybe Giles as well, but Cammie was always good at making the pitcher work for his strikeout.

    When Appier came in, did he match Felix’s prowess by giving up 4 HRs on 3 pitches (a feat previously thought impossible for anyone but Jose Lima)?

  10. Smegmalicious on March 2nd, 2006 3:47 pm

    Cameron is the baseball equivalent of the girl you want to date. Sure he makes you work for the strikeout but he pretty much always gives it to you in the end.

  11. basebliman on March 2nd, 2006 3:48 pm

    actually in listening to the game Cammie had the shortest AB, Giles the longest.

  12. gurghi on March 2nd, 2006 3:49 pm

    Long life indeed.

    Anybody read BP’s team health report on M’s? It’s pretty spot-on, I think, except for when it comes to Felix:

    “We certainly hope that Felix Hernandez is the next great pitcher, whether that’s Mark Fidrych, Dwight Gooden, or someone with less in the way of supernova stylings, but Hernandez remains (like all young pitchers) as likely to end up injured as he is to end up on an All-Star team.

    It doesn’t help that he’s been babied or that he had his slider taken away (a move that only makes sense if that pitch was seen to be worse than the others, something not seen in either gold standard studies or in the films of Hernandez). His mechanics remain both violent and off-balance: his head whiplashes forward and his hat is projected forward as fast as the ball on occasions.

    The problem with a pitcher this good and this flawed is that by reducing a flaw, we don’t know if we decrease injury risk significantly, but we know that we often reduce effectiveness. The pitching coach’s job is to balance the two, adjusting here and there to reduce injury risk and increase effectiveness. We have no good measures of that, so we’ll sit back and watch and hope and pray that Hernandez is more the next Carlos Zambrano than the next Ryan Anderson.”

    I thought he’d get a yellow, but he actually gets a red. I think this may be a problem with the TH reports, that they end up speculating about who’s likely to be injured. In any case, I hope they’re wrong.

    You ask me, he’s already bested Little Unit. And if I had to win one game right now, I’d take Felix before Zambrano.

  13. Brian Rust on March 2nd, 2006 3:51 pm

    “. . . Hernandez, who was replaced by Kevin Appier to start the second inning.”

    Calling to mind the words of Thomas Jefferson, when he was introduced as Ben Franklin’s replacement as ambassador to France:

    “No one can replace Mr. Franklin. I am merely his successor.”

  14. pdb on March 2nd, 2006 3:55 pm

    It took him 13 whole pitches? Man, that dude sucks. Better trade him now, while we can get something of value for him.


  15. ChrisK on March 2nd, 2006 3:58 pm

    Having read the Gillick article, Bavasi is now thinking he should trade Felix while he can, to keep Washburn happy and the leader of the rotation for the next 5 years. Bavasi will now start refering to Felix as “the other guy”.

  16. nickpdx on March 2nd, 2006 4:06 pm

    I think this may be a problem with the TH reports, that they end up speculating about who’s likely to be injured.

    Actually I think that’s the essence and purpose of that particular column.

  17. Mike Lien on March 2nd, 2006 4:12 pm

    I just got back from the game, Felixseemed to be in midseason shape already. Impressive kid. Also, Carvvajal looked GREAT, with his fastball jumping out of his hand with good movement.

  18. Bozo on March 2nd, 2006 4:36 pm

    “No one can replace Mr. Franklin. I am merely his successor.”

    Felix, discussing his role as the M’s #5 starter ?

    Nahhh ,,,

  19. jpwood on March 2nd, 2006 5:01 pm

    The only snap in Felix’s delivery is his head jerk. The rest of his attack looks like a refrigerator pivoting on a 500HP V8.
    I used to think he fell too far off toward 1st, but his fielding made a lie of that really fast.
    13 pitches to strike out the side? Why can’t he just pitch to contact and make it 6?
    That’s sick.

  20. Jeff Sullivan on March 2nd, 2006 5:11 pm

    I like the idea of having Appier follow Felix, in that the batters might get thrown off by his total suckiness the way people like to think that following up power pitchers with finesse guys knocks hitters off balance.

  21. nickpdx on March 2nd, 2006 5:17 pm

    That’s like the theory of why my HS team couldn’t hit the guy who threw 52 after facing the guy who threw 80. Never could figure that one out, but man, that noodle-arm dominated us.

    On a totally unrelated note, maybe nobody will believe me but one of the best pitchers I ever faced in high school was WFB. He was a hurler back in his South K days. Maybe he could give Felix some tips on his motion.

  22. seattlesundevil on March 2nd, 2006 5:22 pm

    The King is really the thing that this team needed, especially for the fans. Fans who were under a rock last season in the second half when Felix came up oughta be psyched to see a whole season out of him. And everyone here I know will be glued to their TV’s or at the stadium every 5th day!

  23. Dr. Johan on March 2nd, 2006 5:51 pm

    why would you want to strike-out on a date? I perfer hitting home runs.

  24. Mr. Egaas on March 2nd, 2006 6:34 pm

    God bless him. And let God protect he as well.

  25. wabbles on March 2nd, 2006 6:50 pm

    Appier following King Felix? That IS a whiplashing contrast. Of course, it probably means that the Padres hitters couldn’t adjust and got themselves even more quickly.

  26. David J. Corcoran on March 2nd, 2006 8:07 pm

    Praise the King who is Felix!!!! Let’s clone him 11 times. It’d be worth the investment in developing the technology.

  27. msb on March 2nd, 2006 8:38 pm

    #12– well, to quote Dave when the BP article was brought up in an earlier post today: “The Team Health Report on the M’s was a landmine of inaccurate information, a lack of knowledge about the team, and a mix of author bias tossed in just for kicks. As an article, it would be do a real nice job of keeping your house warm if you lit it on fire.”

  28. Jon Wells on March 3rd, 2006 12:13 am

    Don’t know if anyone else noticed this but the M’s had four unsigned players prior to today’s game and reached agreement with three of them. The fourth player was Felix and the team RENEWED his contract. This means that the club and the player couldn’t agree on a dollar figure so the club is allowed to pay him whatever they like (because the player doesn’t have enough service time to go to arbitration).

    Sure there’s plenty of time for them to improve the relationship, but this is not a good sign and sometimes it can be the beginning of what turns out to be a sour relationship between a star player and an organization.

    It tells me that that the M’s have not improved from the petty organization that went year by year with Freddy Garcia and took him to arbitration (and moaned to the press when they lost) rather than offering him a multi-year deal somewhere along the way (and saving a ton of money, like the A’s did with Mulder, Hudson and Zito…).

  29. FrankL on March 3rd, 2006 7:27 am

    I’ll be impressed when Felix can strike out the side on eight pitches.

    Until then, he’s just another arm. Dime a dozen.

    /sarcasm off

  30. tacomahal on March 3rd, 2006 11:23 am

    #13, and anyone else, as BP points out, the Mariners have so far not allowed Felix to throw sliders. Yet, in today’s News Tribune, Mike Cameron says, “”That kid is nasty. His first pitch was a fastball, 95-96 mph. Then he threw me a good changeup and two good sliders.”

    Have the Mariners relinquished their no-sliders stand? Or was this a one-time spring training allowance? ANYONE know what the exact deal is here?

  31. msb on March 3rd, 2006 11:30 am

    #30, see #27?

  32. tacomahal on March 3rd, 2006 12:00 pm

    #31, that’s all well and good (though considering the somewhat strained history between BP and USSMariner, I’d take it with a grain of salt until reading it for yourself), but I think it is accurate that the M’s previously indicated they didn’t want Felix throwing sliders. So, I’m wondering now if the M’s have changed course (possibly because Price is gone) or if Cameron was just incorrect when he said Felix threw him sliders. Or is to NOT correct that the M’s limited his throwing of sliders?

  33. DMZ on March 3rd, 2006 12:16 pm

    I don’t understand how this perceived strained relationship means that… what, a commentor is making up that BP wrote that the team doesn’t want him to throw sliders? Because we’ve talked about that too.

    Or… I guess I’m confused by that comment.

  34. Brian Rust on March 3rd, 2006 1:48 pm

    I seem to recall that Felix’s change has enough movement it LOOKS like a slider. Maybe that’s what Cameron saw.

    Wait till he sees the curveball!!

  35. tacomahal on March 3rd, 2006 4:24 pm

    DMZ, apologies for the confusion. The parenthetical remark was in reference to #27’s Dave quote on the alledged inaccuracy of the Health Report. But I don’t care one way or the other on that (which is why I shouldn’t have even addressed it in the first place). My question is simply, what’s the deal on Felix throwing sliders? I know you’ve talked about that topic in the past, and that the M’s have said they don’t want him throwing sliders. So, just wondering if there’s any insight on why he apparently threw them yesterday. Or maybe it’s as #34 suggests, that Cameron was simply mistaken on which pitch he saw.

  36. Rusty on March 4th, 2006 4:04 pm

    Probably a dying thread, and I hope I have the “fair use” doctrine gauged right in the amount of excerpt here from Silver’s recent BP column:

    Because almost any young pitcher who can pitch worth half a damn is going to be hyped to death, there isn’t much in the way of sleeper candidates within this group. Ervin Santana might be an exception, and has a surprisingly good comparables list featuring names like Jake Peavy and Jim Palmer. The other pitcher in this category is Marcos Carvajal, the Rule 5 pick who managed to keep his head afloat while pitching as a 20-year-old in Coors Field. He deserves a purple heart for that, if not a circle around his name.

    Felix Hernandez, if you’re wondering, rates as the 3rd most valuable pitcher and 9th most valuable player in all of baseball. We’ll get into that and all kinds of other fun stuff when we close out our series next week.

    A nice thing to say about Carvajal, and of course the lovefest for Felix continues.

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