Mariners starter Hector Noesi didn’t make it out of the second inning last night. And that means, for now at least, the Mariners no longer plan on having him make it back into the rotation this season.
Noesi is back in the bullpen and the plan is for any remaining action he sees to be of the relief variety. That could change if there’s an injury or something, but that’s the plan for now.
“We’ll use him mainly for length in the bullpen and he’ll get other opportunities to pitch,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Wedge said there are several things Noesi needs to work on ahead of next season. He gave up a leadoff homer last night on an 0-2 pitch, a count that has plagued him all season long.
“I just want him to have more presence on the mound,” Wedge said. “He’s got to execute pitches and finish hitters off. The ball needs to end up where you want it to end up up here, otherwise, it gets really bad really quick. The guy has good stuff. If you look at what he has, fundamentally, with his arsenal of pitches, he should be doing better than what he is.”
Wedge said only Noesi ultimately knows how to make things go better. He did mention “the intangibles” of pitching and “your focus, your execution of pitches, your concentration, or your work in-between starts” as possible areas Noesi can improve upon.
Photo Credit: AP
Moving on to other things, Felix Hernandez is this year’s Mariners nominee for the annual Roberto Clemente Award, given to a ballplayer who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Hernandez received the nod for the multitude of hospital visits he makes each year, as well as granting wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alaska and Washington. Hernandez also assists that group in fundraising efforts and donates an assortment of autographed items for auction each year.
This season, Hernandez also helped promote — through public service announcements — the Run of Hope, a 5K run and 3K walk to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund.
Hernandez also took part in an extension of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Refuse to Abuse campaign. He participated in a program that provides sports coaches in the region with skills to mentor young male athletes and teach them non-violence and responsibility.
He is also active with The Martinez Foundation and an advocate for The Humane Society of Seattle/King County through various fundraising events.
Earlier today, I asked Hernandez about the nomination.
“I feel really good about it, really good,” he told me.
I asked him whether he’d heard much about Puerto Rico native Clemente while growing up in Venezuela.
“I knew about him a bit,” he said. “But obviously, not as much as I do now that I’m here in the major leagues. It’s a big honor.”
Hernandez is looking forward to Seattle’s visit to PNC Park in Pittsburgh next season, where there is a giant statue of Clemente, a 15-time MLB all-star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash in 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Fans can vote for any of the representatives of the 30 MLB teams by visiting this link.
Former Mariners infielder and South Kitsap native Willie Bloomquist is this year’s Aarizona Diamondbacks nominee.
Three Mariners have won the award before: Harold Reynolds in 1991, Jamie Moyer in 2003 and Edgar Martinez in 2004.