The Mariners placed ace Felix Hernandez on the disabled list Wednesday, according to multiple reports, the day after he left his start in Detroit after two-plus innings with what manager Scott Servais described as "a dead arm."
Hernandez was diagnosed with "shoulder inflammation," MLB.com reported, and is expected to miss "at least" two to three weeks.
“He had some tightness in his shoulder when he went out for the second inning,” Servais told reporters Tuesday (via the Seattle Times). “It’s really a dead arm situation.”
Hernandez asked not to speak to the media — which is unusual, the Times noted — after what became an ugly 19-9 loss. More telling: The right-hander was visibly upset as he exited the clubhouse.
Hernandez flew back to Seattle on Wednesday morning to meet with team doctors, who made the diagnosis.
Before exiting Tuesday's game with no outs in the third, Hernandez gave up a run in the first and a three-run homer in the second, a start that made even Tigers players take notice.
“I haven’t seen him like that in forever,” said Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler, who has 84 career at-bats against Hernandez. “Hopefully, he’s healthy. He didn’t look right.”
Hernandez, 31, has enjoyed a career relatively free of arm problems, though a calf strain sidelined him for over six weeks in 2016. As a minor-leaguer in 2005, he missed a month with bursitis in his shoulder, and in 2007, his second full season in the majors, he spent time on the disabled list with inflammation in his elbow.
Felix Hernández (shoulder) put on 10-day disabled list. Since his MLB debut (Aug. 4, 2005), his 2,442 1/3 IP are the most by any pitcher.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 26, 2017
Hernandez is 2-2 in five starts with a 4.73 ERA in 2017, well above his career ERA of 3.18. The 2010 AL Cy Young winner is 156-111 in 12-plus MLB seasons, all in Seattle.
Servais tried to downplay the situation but admitted that shoulder problems for a pitcher can be problematic.
“He just didn’t have much tonight,” Servais said. “It was like dead arm. He didn’t have any pain or anything like that. Nothing was coming out. And he just didn’t feel good. Any time it’s a pitcher and his shoulder, you are concerned. Hopefully he’s OK.”
In another move Wednesday, the M's placed outfielder Mitch Haniger on the DL with a strained oblique. He also left Tuesday's game in the third inning.