Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 2/10/13
The massive seven year, $175 million contract extension that the Seattle Mariners and starting pitcher Felix Hernandez agreed to on Thursday is now in question because of concerns that the Mariners have with Hernandez's elbow. Hernandez has logged plenty of innings since his debut as a 19-year old in 2005: 1620 1/3 to be exact, which is the sixth most in baseball since 2005. Yet since that debut season, Hernandez has never failed to log at least 30 starts or 190 innings in a season, topping 33 starts and 230 innings in each of the last four years.  Despite not missing any time, there could still be a sign that Hernandez isn't 100%: his velocity. From 2005 to 2007, Hernandez's fastball averaged over 95 mph. It fell below 95 from 2008 to 2010, and has dropped considerably over the past two seasons, sitting at just 92 mph in 2012. A drop in velocity that precipitous is normal, but not for an otherwise healthy 26-year old starter.  If Hernandez's elbow checks out OK after further examinations past the initial physical, then I guess the Mariners are going to continue to go forward with the contract extension. But the fact that news is coming out saying that they might not be entirely comfortable with the deal right now is a little worrisome, considering the drop in Hernandez's velocity. Maybe the velocity drop was just a blip on the radar, considering that his velocity was actually worse in April and May than it was over the rest of the season, and his fastball started to tick up as the year went on. Maybe there's no structural damage, and Hernandez will be throwing 97 mph heaters this spring. But there's definitely a reason to take every precaution when making a potential nine figure investment into a player, and I can't fault the Mariners for that at all. [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL Scout: Saquon Barkley better than Ezekiel Elliott

No harm will come from MLB extending its netting

Ezekiel Elliott’s attorney speculates on NFL’s motivation for legal battle

Philip Rivers on 0-2 start: ‘There’s no worry or concern’

NFL players wrote Roger Goodell seeking support for political activism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

On the similarities between Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant

Todd Frazier, Yankees embracing thumbs down symbol

Tickets for 49ers-Rams game at Levi's going for $14

Sixers still open to trading Jahlil Okafor

Aaron Rodgers has funny quote on never beating the Bengals

Raul Mondesi sentenced to prison for corruption as mayor in Dominican Republic

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Mariners News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker