The other day Jon Shields over at Proball NW, formerly Bleeding Blue & Teal, had a excellent and detailed post on the changing mechanics of Felix Hernandez, complete with video.
So we asked Manager Don Wakamatsu if he noticed these changes and here's conversation about it.
"He's done that at different times," Wakamatsu said. "Early in the year, we were more concerned about it because he would turn and leak down the hill. Now he turns and comes back and is back and squared up. That's fine if we're talking about the Luis Tiant thing. His ability to get back square before he goes down the hlll – it's not problematic. It's when you try to combine them all is where you get in trouble. It's been more prevalent in his last three outings."
Wakamatsu compared it in a way to Ichiro and his unique batting stance and swing. Felix is just trying something that will help him.
"They are so athletic they can add some personality to their delivery and add some maybe deception to it and still be fine and not lose anything," he said. "That's what we will monitor."
Wakamatsu liked what he saw from the delivery in the all-star game.
"To do it against some of the greatest players in the game and he did it in the all-star game maybe you look at it as both growth but also try to monitor it also," Wakamatsu said.
So Felix is adding deception to his other-worldly stuff, is that really fair?
"I don't mind it," Wakamatsu said giggling. "Again, it's nice to see a player have that comfort level. Again it takes a lot of athleticism and a lot of ability to be able to control the body to do those kind of things. As long as he's able to command the pitches, we'll allow him to continue down that road."
As for Felix, the rotation is slotted as Olson, Felix, Washburn, Bedard.
So here it is over the next few days
Today - Olson vs. Lee
Friday - Hernandez vs. Huff
Saturday - Washburn vs. Ohka
Sunday - Bedard vs. Laffey
So when the game comes around July 25th when the need for a fifth starter would arise, Wak said he would choose from Morrow, Vargas or Rowland-Smith.
"We'll have played Cleveland five games," Wakamatsu said. "It will give us a much clearer picture of what we might need with our choices down in Triple A. Whether it's Rowland Smith, or bringing back Morrow, or Vargas. It will depend on how they're pitching and what we need." at the time.