The 2018 season has not been kind to Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez. The 32-year-old has a 5.46 ERA over 28 games. That performance led to Hernandez getting demoted to the bullpen in August, when the Mariners were still in the thick of the postseason hunt.
While many expected Hernandez to be disappointed by the news, it turns out things were much more serious. Hernandez actually considered stepping away from baseball after the Mariners sent him to the pen, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.
Felix Hernandez wondered if he should “go home” after move to bullpen
Hernandez told Miller he thought about taking time away from baseball upon hearing the news.
“I was like, ‘Should I just take my cleats and go home?'” Hernandez says.
In the weeks leading up to the demotion, it had become clear Hernandez was pitching for his job. After a tough start against the Texas Rangers, in which Hernandez gave up seven earned runs, he was sent to the pen. At the time, the Mariners were just 2.5 games out of a wild-card spot.
Felix Hernandez’s wife convinced him everything would be OK
Hernandez’s wife Sandra played a big role in Hernandez dealing with that decision. She met him in Houston to try and console him. She told Hernandez she was proud of him, and that everything would be fine, according to Miller.
“I’m so proud of you,” Sandra told her husband that afternoon. “You don’t have to worry about anything. You’re going to be fine. You’re the same Felix. Just do your thing.”
After some words of encouragement, Hernandez came around.
Felix Hernandez back in the rotation for the Mariners
His time in the bullpen didn’t last long. Hernandez made one appearance in relief, tossing 5 2/3 innings against the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 14. He returned to the rotation the following week, and has posted a 4.50 ERA over his last four starts.
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