The Seattle Mariners will be without their ace for at least 15 days as Felix Hernandez has been placed on the disabled list with a strained calf. As a corresponding move, James Paxton has been recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to pitch in Hernandez's scheduled Wednesday evening start.
Hernandez's calf strain is not believed to be all-that serious, and he is expected to only miss his next two starts thanks to the Mariners backdating the disabled list stint.
Felix Hernandez goes on the DL with a calf strain. Paxton recalled.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 1, 2016
Hearing Hernandez injury not serious. With backdating, he effectively misses two starts.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) June 1, 2016
Despite being the ace of the Mariners' staff, Hernandez hasn't been his brilliant self. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Hernandez's FIP has sat at 3.81 which is league average. In 63 innings this season, Hernandez is pitching to a FIP of 4.10. His strikeout rate is down below 20 percent for the first time in his career, and his walk rate is above nine percent for only the second time in his career. It's unclear what is ailing the former Cy Young winner, but he just hasn't seemed like himself the past two seasons.
In 67 innings last year, Paxton battled some issues as well, which contributed to his starting in Triple-A this season. While he worked deep into a couple of games, Paxton's inconsistency and inflating walk rate got him into trouble a couple times. In 47.2 innings with Triple-A Tacoma, Paxton hasn't seemed to iron any of his troubles out. He's allowed 21 earned runs on 41 hits and 14 walks.
The Mariners currently sit just a half-game back of the division-leading Texas Rangers who continue to surge and are 8-2 over their last ten games and are on a four-game win streak. Paxton will face the San Diego Padres Wednesday evening at Petco Park in interleague action.