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    Felix Hernandez vowed Saturday that his first-ever stint in Seattle’s bullpen won’t

    HOUSTON (AP) —“I’ll be a starter before the end of the year Authentic Jack Morris Jersey Replica Womens Youth Big&Tall Detroit Tigers MLB Shop Free Shipping ,” Hernandez told The Associated Press. “No question about it.”The struggling Mariners ace has made 398 career starts in 14 seasons, never once pitching in relief. He was bumped from the rotation on Thursday night, the latest setback in a tough year in which he has a career-high 5.73 ERA and is 0-4 in his last five starts.For the longtime face of this franchise, it was difficult to digest the team’s decision to have him pitch in relief and he said it took him a couple of days to come to terms with it. Conversations with family and friends and encouragement from his wife Sandra, who he has been with since he was 14, helped.“My wife is here. She flew here,” Hernandez said. “We had a good conversation. And she told me: ‘Just go out there and be the leader that you’ve been all these years. Be you. Be you.'”And that, Hernandez said, is exactly what he plans to do. Though the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner sees this only as a temporary setback, he’s prepared to embrace his new role for the good of a team that’s in contention to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001.“I’m just part of the team and I’m going to do whatever’s possible to help the team,” he said.The 32-year-old Hernandez is 8-10 with a 5.73 ERA in 23 starts for a Mariners team chasing a playoff spot.Hernandez, who has the fourth-most starts in MLB history without a relief appearance, has spent two games in the bullpen, but has yet to appear in a game. He shared his first impressions of the experience.“It’s boring. I’m telling you Michael Fulmer Jersey ,” he said with a laugh.Both nights he’s trotted with closer Edwin Diaz to the bullpen in left-center field at Minute Maid Park, where the Mariners are playing the AL West-leading Astros. Hernandez said he’s picked his brain about relieving, but he’s far from the only one he’s reached out to for advice on the move.“I’ve been talking with everyone in the bullpen him, Alex Colome, everybody,” he said. “(They said) just go out there and have fun.”Hernandez pointed out that he’s appeared in the All-Star game several times out of the bullpen, but admitted that he “might need some time” to get warmed up to enter a game.He said the team didn’t tell him anything specific that they need to see from him for him to get his starting job back, but he knows that he’ll have to improve his fastball command to turn things around.“The problem is my location of the fastball,” he said. “If I locate my fastball, I’ll be good because I’ve got many weapons to go out there and have good games so I have to locate my fastball.”Hernandez said he believes the problem is mechanical and said he’s trying several different things to try and get back on track.When facing reporters following his recent tough starts, including his last one against Texas in which he allowed a career-high 11 runs — seven of them earned — he seemed discouraged and a bit down.It was a different Hernandez who spoke on Saturday. It wasn’t quite the King Felix who threw a perfect game in 2012 and led the AL in ERA in both 2010 and 2014. But there were unmistakable notes of the swagger and bravado that were hallmarks of the presence he had on the mound when he was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers.He smiled easily and cracked jokes, his glossy ringlets bouncing around as he laughed. He said instead of getting mad about the move or letting it hurt his feelings, he’s using it as motivation.“All it does is encourage me to get back,” he said before flashing one last smile. John Gibbons is one of those special “baseball” guys that makes the game fun Leonys Martin Jersey , makes it a little more interesting.On Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla., Gibbons’ second stay as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays comes to an end with the final game of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays, and Gibby is going out in style.He’s having veteran catcher Russell Martin manage the team.Article continues below ...“I’m having a little fun with it,” Gibbons said Saturday. “Let him see how tough it is.”Technically, Martin will be a player/manager, but he hasn’t played since Sept 3 as the Jays have been looking at younger players.While the game will be an emotional one for Gibbons and the Jays, it really has some importance to the home team.Blake Snell didn’t win his 22nd of the season Saturday night, but the Rays won the game 4-3 for their 89th victory of the season — thus giving them a shot at 90 in a year most people thought would be a washout.They could reach 90 wins for the first time in five years.On Saturday night, Tampa Bay notched its 50th home win.Marco Estrada, slated to close the season and the Gibbons Era, was scratched with the sore back that has bothered him through much of the season. Sam Gaviglio will start against another Rays “opener,” likely Ryne Stanek, with several relievers following.“The good thing is it’s nothing major Authentic Alex Wilson Jersey Replica Womens Youth Big&Tall Detroit Tigers MLB Shop Free Shipping ,” said Estrada, a free agent at the end of the season. “It’s something the doctor feels it should be just fine. If we hit the right spot, this should be cleared away for a while. Pretty excited about it. He said, ‘Keep doing your core program, all the stretching you can, and it should help.’ I’ve stayed on it all year. Just sometimes it froze up.”As far as his future, the 35-year-old Estrada said: “Obviously, there’s always a chance of me coming back. I’m not sure in which direction they’re going, (or) if they want to go younger. It seems to be going that way. But I’m never right about these things. So I don’t really know. But I definitely would love to hear from them again. I’m comfortable here. I do love this team.”Snell pitched five innings and struck out 10 in a no-decision Saturday night, finishing his season at 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA — and apparently headed for the second Cy Young Award in franchise history.He came up short Saturday in his bid to become the first pitcher since Justin Verlander in 2011 to win 10 straight starts.“There’s not really much debate in my opinion,” said his manager, Kevin Cash.Said Snell: “I have a good case.”The Rays’ official Twitter account posted: Congrats to @snellzilla4 on an outstanding season. We’re rooting for you.”Toronto hitters struck out 18 times Saturday night.Gaviglio is 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA this season and 0-3 in his last five starts. He is 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in three starts versus the Rays this season, dropping him to 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA in four career starts against Tampa Bay.Cash said before Saturday’s game that Matt Duffy and Ji-Man Choi likely would not play because of injuries.Also before the game, Rays right-hander Andrew Kittredge learned he had been suspended for three games and fined for throwing behind Austin Romine on Thursday. That led to CC Sabathia plunking Jesus Sucre with Sabathia suspended for five games.Kittredge said he might appeal Ryan Carpenter Jersey , but both sentences would be served next season.“I understand, I do, I get it,” Cash said. “I had some really good conversations with MLB, (chief baseball officer) Joe Torre and (senior vice president, baseball operations) Peter Woodfork. And you know what? Kitt, from my understanding, will go through the appeals process and kind of let it be heard, his viewpoint. And then go from there.”

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