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Struggling Felix remains in rotation 'as of now'

Right-hander has posted career-high 5.58 ERA after 21 starts
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- With uncertainty over the health of James Paxton as he came off the 10-day disabled list and the non-waiver Trade Deadline looming Tuesday, Mariners manager Scott Servais declined to commit firmly on Monday to whether Felix Hernandez will remain in his rotation after another rough start on Saturday in Anaheim.

Hernandez's next scheduled turn is Thursday against the Blue Jays at Safeco Field.

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SEATTLE -- With uncertainty over the health of James Paxton as he came off the 10-day disabled list and the non-waiver Trade Deadline looming Tuesday, Mariners manager Scott Servais declined to commit firmly on Monday to whether Felix Hernandez will remain in his rotation after another rough start on Saturday in Anaheim.

Hernandez's next scheduled turn is Thursday against the Blue Jays at Safeco Field.

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"As of now, we'll stay with the rotation. That could change," Servais said prior to Monday's series opener with the Astros. "But as of now, that's where we're at."

General manager Jerry Dipoto, who has traded for three relievers in the past four days, said the club wasn't strongly pursuing any new starters prior to the Trade Deadline, however.

"Not really. It's tough to imagine how we're going to fit much more on our pitching staff," he said. "There's a lot of bodies and there's only so many chairs, so we're going to have to be creative in how we work it right now. We're not closing the door on the potential to add something else in the rotation, but I wouldn't say we're hopeful that something's going to happen."

Video: SEA@LAA: Hernandez strikes out Simmons for 1st K

Hernandez saw his ERA rise to a career-high 5.58 after allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings to the Angels. Servais said Sunday that he'd talk to Dipoto upon returning to Seattle about the rotation situation, but the Mariners were pulling off trades for relievers Adam Warren from the Yankees and Zach Duke of the Twins on Monday.

"Jerry is very busy today," Servais said. "We'll continue to talk about it. You just want to do what you can to give your club the best chance to win every time out. We have a limited number of games left in the season, we've worked very hard to get in this position.

"We have to get our offense going. It was nice to see some positive signs yesterday. But it's everything. It's starting pitching, it's bullpen, it's where we're at in with our lineup. You look at all facets. You're going to see a lot of players shuffled here and [changing] teams over the next couple days. You've already seen it happening and we're right in the mix of all that stuff, too, just trying to figure out a way to get better to help our chances down the stretch."

Dipoto spoke to reporters later in the afternoon about the trades, but didn't want to get too far into Hernandez's situation.

"We'll let that play itself out," he said. "Felix has struggled, no question about it. Right now Felix has been among our five best starters, the five we've run out there, and we'll continue to go that route until we decide otherwise. We're focusing right now on the acquisitions we've made. We'll talk about how it all fits later."

Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez appears close to coming of the disabled list, but he was making his third rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma on Monday and wouldn't be able to join the rotation until Saturday at the earliest.

That means the club will likely stick with Hernandez for now, unless they call up Christian Bergman or another of the Tacoma starters for a spot start.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez