OAKLAND, Calif. — Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais confirmed Tuesday what Felix Hernandez revealed Monday after working six strong innings in a 7-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics:
Hernandez won’t pitch again this season.
Servais went even further in announcing that right-hander Mike Leake is also being pulled from his final scheduled start Friday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim because of a minor back ailment.
“Mike has battled a little bit of a lat issue,” Servais said. “He’s certainly managed it very well since he’s been with us. If those games meant something, and we were still in the playoff chase, both of those guys would have pitched.”
The Mariners instead will start two rookies, lefty Marco Gonzales and right-hander Andrew Moore, on Friday and Saturday against the Angels in the final series of the season.
Lefty James Paxton, who started Tuesday against Oakland, remains the tentative choice to start Sunday against the Angels in the season finale.
“He would like to make that start,” Servais said. “He missed some time. He wants to get the innings in. We’ll see how it goes (Tuesday) before we make a final determination there.”
Servais also revealed that outfielder Guillermo Heredia is unlikely to play again this season because of an ongoing shoulder problem. Right fielder Mitch Haniger started Tuesday in center field.
Shortstop Jean Segura is still hoping to return this weekend against the Angels after suffering a sprained right middle finger last Saturday in a loss to Cleveland at Safeco Field.
Taylor Motter started Tuesday at shortstop for a third straight game.
Servais said rookie outfielder Jacob Hannemann, who started Monday in center field, will likely get at least one more start. Rookie catcher Mike Marjama is tentatively slotted to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Athletics.
First baseman Dan Vogelbach should also see increased time over the final few games after being limited to pinch-hitting/backup duties since his Sept. 5 recall from Triple-A Tacoma.
Hernandez gave up one run and two hits over six innings Monday against the Athletics in his third (and best) start since returning from a 6 1/2-week absence because of bursitis in his shoulder.
The same ailment forced him to the disabled list for nearly two months from late April to late June. He finished 6-5 with a 4.36 ERA in just 16 starts and is already pledging a new workout routine for the upcoming offseason.
The goal: greater flexibility.
“I know Felix wants to do something different than he’s done (before) in the offseason,” Servais said, “and he needs to. It was nice to see him get the results (Monday) night and have a good positive outing as he shuts it down.”
Leake was 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in five starts after arriving Aug. 30 from St. Louis in a trade for minor-league infielder Rayder Ascanio.
Servais also pointed to a benefit in seeing one final start from Gonzales (1-1 with a 5.51 ERA) and Moore (1-5, 5.34).
“The more we can see them pitch,” Servais said, “it helps make decisions. Both of those guys have shown very well. They haven’t gotten the results they’ve always wanted. But that’s what you’re going to get with young guys.
“They’ve handled themselves really well.”