Felix Hernandez wants reporters to know he’s not as old as they think
Felix Hernandez has been around seemingly forever, but he took an opportunity to remind reporters he’s not as old as they may think.
Earlier this year, Hernandez agreed to a minor-league deal with the Atlanta Braves after spending the first 15 years of his major league career with the Seattle Mariners. Ahead of his first season with the Braves, Hernandez was asked whether he is preparing differently for season No. 16 compared to others. According to The Athletic’s Dave O’Brien, the former Cy Young Award winner was quick to point out he’s not “that old.”
#Braves' Félix Hernández laughed and playfully cut off a line of question about whether he had to do any different prep this offseason given his age: “I’m not that old. I’m 33, ok? I’m not that old.”
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) February 13, 2020
It does feel like Hernandez should be older than he is considering he’s creeping up on a 20-year career. However, Hernandez was just 19 years old when he made his major league debut. The question regarding preparation is a valid one though because Hernandez has a lot of mileage on his right arm. He’s topped the 200-inning mark eight times and has two other seasons with over 190 innings pitched.
Hernandez has struggled in recent seasons to duplicate his early success. While he’s not old in terms of age, he will have to fight the perception that his best days are behind him, which is what his 6.40 ERA from last year suggests.