WWYD Re: Felix
Now that he's been removed from the rotation?

On the Slack SSI general chat Ice used the term "make a path" as a way of describing how the M's should approach dealing with a broken Felix, who has one more year on contract at about $27 million. I like that phrase as a guideline. You present Felix with as generous a path as you can, one that preserves his dignity as best you can. If Felix takes it and acts the part, good. If he doesn't you have a plan B that is not as attractive to him or to you.

The cost of Felix is sunk. Even a traditionalist like me understands that. You have to decide if he's a potential asset in any capacity. If you decide he isn't, what good does it do to leave him on the roster and drag your club down?

Me, I'd find some way to swing through August (find some ailment that justifies a 10 day DL stint that can be extended, or some such thing). Then when rosters expand in September you can carry him without the need to pitch him except in blowout losses. There is no need to DFA him now UNLESS, as you say, he behaves in such a way as to be a negative influence in the clubhouse.

Then I'd give Felix the offseason to prepare for a spring that will be make or break for him. I'd also add pieces that can pick up his innings if he can't cut it. If he buckles down to prepare for next season and shows enough to consider him a fifth starter or better next spring, you keep him until he proves otherwise. If he doesn't, you DFA him then.

Oh, and I'd also try to find a way to have a couple of conversations with key players about the situation. Not that you let the inmates run the asylum, but you have the potential for treating him this way being even more of a negative impact on the clubhouse than a "bad attitude" Felix. The "guys" have to weigh Felix' negative impact on their pennant chase vs. their loyalty to and respect for The King. Frankly, it's the same dilemma the fans, the GM, and the manager have.

Edited to add:

It goes without saying that you offer Felix an honored "Mariners Ambassador" position with the club. This post is more about on-field matters.

Comments

1

This is probably my one potentially presecient addition to the Think Tank, of which I’m usually playing the part of observer. From 2000-2003, Hernandez played the spot starter, innings eater for the Yankees, a vital role that made him a valuable contributor to some great teams. We will see if it works for Felix.

The 6th inning quality start is dying. A roto season spent  chasing the QS has demonstrated this to me most vividly. Very good starters who once could give you a 4.50 ERA in 2/3 of the game are finding the sixth inning a killer. At one tome, 6 and 3 was “quality”. These days, to do this with any regularity is high quality to elite. The long reliever could become a lot more than pitching chum In the coming years. It’s something Orlando did for the Yankees in many crucial situations, and it separated them from other teams.

Teams are gonna need a bridge and a few teams are experimenting with this reality. IF Felix can play that role, it will be a big one.

2

Rick, based on his performance the last few years do you think Felix can be successful doing this? It seems to me his troubles haven't been limited to the end of a five-inning stint. But your proposal is worth considering.

Felix mental state will go a long way towards determining if this is a real option. Can he accept such a role? I suppose eventually it's that or retire, so perhaps he can at some point. The question becomes when is that?

Thanks for chiming in, my friend.

3

 There are probably many reasons why he can’t, but he’s got great bendy stuff, a heart of a champ, and if he can, he’ll be valuable.

5

Thanks, Doc. I have to say, if I had to say right now I would not hold out more than a 33% chance that Felix salvages something for the end of his career. Why? Because I think if he was going to he would have by now. Coaches have talked to him about the need to do so for two-plus seasons now.

6
tjm's picture

He's gotta quit throwing the two-seamer and he has to find a different fastball he can control. The cutter is so obvious a choice I've no idea why he hasn't made the switch.  This is the pitching coach's job. It'sa virtually his only job. Felix needs to be told.

7

How do you guys weigh the following two possibilities:

(1) He refuses to pitch better (stubbornness, indifference, pitrch selcection or location, etc.)

(2) He can't pitch better (injury or sheer wear and tear on the arm)

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