Is this the face of a major leaguer?
Lookout Landing has more about Felix Hernandez this afternoon, and about rumors that he may make the major league roster. Steve Nelson takes a look at some pitchers who have made the majors at a young age, and concludes that "There is no reason to believe that a pitcher is somehow more protected from injury in the minors than in the majors." If the guy is ready for the Show, emotionally and physically, then he's ready for the Show.
Now, my personal bias is to be careful with young pitchers. In the case of a prodigy like Hernandez now or Zack Greinke last spring, it is certainly tempting to move the guy fast. I can understand the temptation. And I agree that keeping a guy in the minors does not necessarily reduce his risk of physical injury. But I do think it can hurt a player psychologically to be pushed into a situation he isn't ready for. Note that there is a big difference between pushing an elite prospect like Felix or Zack, and pushing someone who clearly isn't ready, like Logan Kensing.
Now, if I were the Mariners, I would send Felix to Triple-A and leave him there until May. If he's dominating the PCL at that stage, as Greinke was dominating the PCL last spring, then you promote him. But that's just my opinion.
What do you guys think? Let's have a discussion in this thread about the risks and rewards of promoting young pitchers rapidly. Is Hernandez ready? Where would you stick him and for how long?