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Felix Hernandez Shut Down For Remainder

As noted earlier, the Mariners have opted to shut Felix down, rather than allow him to make an appearance in the season finale on Sunday. As such, his final workload total reads: 34 starts, 3,731 pitches, and 249.2 innings. It's the fifth-highest innings total in franchise history, and the highest since Randy Johnson in 1993. Felix also finishes with the eighth-highest strikeout total, behind four editions of Randy and three editions of Mark Langston.

The reason for doing this is pretty apparent. With most things the Mariners do, there are at least two or three different levels of thinking, most of them hidden. Here, it's out there in the open, shooting off flares. The team doesn't want to tax Felix's arm any more than it already has. Not with so little left to gain. The risk in making one more additional appearance is small - just about as small as was the risk in making the most recent start in Texas - but "small" isn't the same thing as "negligible," and the upside simply isn't there.

What could the upside possibly be? Felix isn't going to strengthen his Cy Young case with five innings against Oakland on the last day of the year. His stock is as high as it's ever going to get. I'm sure Felix would love to at least get one more out so he can reach 250 innings instead of sitting on this obnoxious statistical tease, but again, that's pretty irrelevant, as it's just part of our fascination with round numbers.

The risk is low, but the upside is lower, so the Mariners are erring towards being cautious. Which I'm absolutely fine with. All I ask is that Daren Brown and the team finds some way to get him out there on the field for one final standing ovation. I don't know if that means he hands out the lineup card, or makes a pitching change, or just comes out for a postgame curtain call, but Felix deserves the applause, and the fans deserve to applaud.