By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Even in the glow of a 6-3 road trip, Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon noticed signs of wear from his starting pitchers and indicated Monday that he’d like to do something about it.
About two hours before starting this six-game homestand, he did. The Mariners announced they were backing up their rotation in a way that will buy ace Felix Hernandez a couple of extra days off.
The team announced that Hernandez’s next scheduled start will be pushed from Wednesday to Friday. The Mariners did not immediately name a new starter for the Wednesday afternoon game against the Texas Rangers.
Then after an off day Thursday, the top of the rotation will line up for the three-game series with the Washington Nationals: Hernandez on Friday, Chris Young on Saturday, and Hasashi Iwakuma on Sunday.
Hernandez’s last win came Aug. 11, and since then he has a loss and a no decision without getting out of the sixth inning in either start.
In the Mariners’ just-completed three-game sweep at Boston, all three wins went to the bullpen.
“I think you probably saw a little bit of the grind,” McClendon said. “… Our starting pitching was not very stellar. There’s probably been a little wear. We’ll try to make some adjustments, keep out an eye on the future a little bit.”
McClendon also said the Mariners would likely bring in a couple of pitchers for spot starts once the roster expands in September. He indicated the likely additions would be Taijuan Walker and Erasmo Ramirez, currently with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.