Felix Hernandez is the last Mariner you would ever see in the video room. Any time he has been asked about looking at film, be it of the opposition or himself, he would always dismiss the question with an "I never look at the video."
Felix believes he knows himself and he knows the hitters he faces and that he doesn't need to cloud the waters by mulling over tape. It is something he has had no use for until now.
After once again saying he had a problem with his fastball following his last start, I asked him if it might be time to look at the tape. He said it was. Today I followed up with him to see if he got anything out of watching the tape. It sounds like he did.
"I was watching film yesterday, and it looked terrible," he told me. "Everything, my upper body is up, I'm not finishing my pitches, not just because of my back. I went to the films before my bad back, and still like that. I am not pushing with my back leg, not finishing my pitches. It surprised me a lot."
Felix said that in those outings while he was on the mound it felt like he was doing everything right. The film showed something else.
"That's what I feel. Everything right but then I see it," he said. "And the results are not there. I have got to make an adjustment."
First thing is first, however, for Felix. He must get healthy. When he tried to throw Monday he felt discomfort in his back when he pushed off his left leg. He shut it down quickly and resumed treatment. He will attempt to throw again Wednesday and if that goes well he could throw a bullpen on the off-day Thursday. He is hoping to start Sunday.
It is not easy for Felix to miss a start but he is listening to his body and his trainers.
"They know what they're doing, and I appreciate that," he said. "I have to be smart, but I want to pitch, too. They pay me to pitch, so I want to be out there every five days."