White Sox face Mariners ace Hernandez (Jul 15, 2017)

BY AP • July 15, 2017

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox head into the second half without their top pitcher. The Seattle Mariners, meanwhile, are preparing to move ahead with ace Felix Hernandez at complete health and hoping to discover a bit of his old form as the teams continue a three-game series on Saturday.

A day after the White Sox dealt left-hander Jose Quintana to the crosstown Cubs, players were still digesting the news on Friday. Infielder Tyler Saladino compared the move to dealing with a death in the family while slugger Jose Abreu doesn't expect the trade to be the last one general manager Rick Hahn makes before the trade deadline.

But as the White Sox remain in full-blown rebuilding mode, players admitted moving on without Quintana -- who was scheduled to pitch Sunday against Seattle -- would be difficult.

"This was his house and he let me come in and be a guest," said pitcher Derek Holland, who will start Sunday against the Mariners after Mike Pelfrey pitches Saturday against Hernandez. "The way he treated me was perfect. Just the way he carried himself, he worked hard, being there for the younger guys coming through the system."

Pelfrey was named Saturday's starter on Friday when Holland was pushed back to start Sunday. He is 3-7 in 16 starts this season and is coming off a no-decision on July 9 against the Colorado Rockies.

Pelfrey is 1-1 with a 3.70 ERA in four career starts against Seattle.

Hernandez (4-3) is coming off a two-hit, eight strikeout effort against Oakland on Sunday. It was a start that Hernandez deemed his best of the season.

Hernandez was sidelined 54 games earlier this season with a shoulder injury, but was dominant in his most recent start after returning with mixed results. And as the Mariners shift into the second half with plenty of issues to address, they're hoping Hernandez can build off of his effectiveness.

"I trust myself," Hernandez said according to the Seattle Times. "I'm going to help this team."

Mariners manager Scott Servais said Friday that this week's All-Star break allowed him time to reflect on a first half when Seattle finished four games under .500 and four games back in the American League wild card standings.

But rather than rehash was didn't go right, Servais said the break came at a good time for his team, which hopes to rebound starting this weekend against the White Sox. Seattle started it off nicely as Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer in a 4-2 victory on Friday night.

"More than anything, the second half is kind of a restart," Servais said. "You just sort of wash out what happened in the first half, especially if you didn't have the first half you wanted (individually) to have. How can I start over?"

With the White Sox expected to be sellers at the trade deadline, the next few weeks will likely a continuation of a process that started on Thursday when Hahn traded Quintana.

Several more mainstays -- including closer David Robertson and third baseman Todd Frazier -- have had their names tossed out as possibly being on the move. Hahn declared on Friday that the White Sox are "very much open for business."

And as the White Sox move on without their resident ace, difficult or not his former teammates know he likely won't be the last familiar face to depart.

"I think we all know that this is a business and there's not too much that we can control about those decisions," Abreu said on Friday. "If the team believes that this is the right move for us to be a better team for the future, I'm all in on that."

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