SEATTLE -- In recognition of his work within the Seattle community, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is the team's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Players were selected based on their dedication to giving back to their community, as well as their performance on the field. It is the second consecutive selection for Hernandez.
"It's an honor, man, for real," he said. "All the stuff that we do for this city, with the kids, with everything, it's an honor to be there, nominated. There's high competition, but I'm just glad to be nominated."
Each Major League Baseball team has one nominee -- as announced on Tuesday, which is Roberto Clemente Day -- and fans can vote at MLB.com/ClementeAward through Oct. 14. Fans who vote will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the winner will be announced.
Hernandez has become one of the most popular players in Seattle during his eight seasons with the Mariners, winning the American League Cy Young in 2010 and being selected to three All-Star teams. Earlier this season, King Felix tossed the first perfect game in Mariners history.
In addition to his achievements on the field, Hernandez has been an active community member with his charity work. Hernandez has been active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for many years and has visited hundreds of children with life-threatening medical conditions in local hospitals.
This year, Hernandez helped promote the Run of Hope Seattle 5K Run and 3K Walk to benefit Seattle Children's Hospital and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund. He also has been active with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Refuse to Abuse campaign and The Martinez Foundation.
Other local charities and non-profit organizations Hernandez has been involved with in the past include Esperanza, South Park Community Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Special Olympics of Washington, Boys & Girls Clubs and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
"Felix is the total package," manager Eric Wedge said. "I can't say enough about him. You hear things coming in. I haven't been here that long, but just to see what he does off the field, how he carries himself, whether it be a good day or bad day, the way he handles himself, how generous he is with his time, amongst other things, just how generous he is with people. Well deserved."
The Mariners' past winners of the award are Harold Reynolds (1991), Jamie Moyer (2003) and Edgar Martinez (2004).
Noesi returns to bullpen after rough start
SEATTLE -- After Monday's ugly outing, the Mariners have decided to move Hector Noesi back into the bullpen instead of having him go ahead with his scheduled Sunday start. Noesi gave up seven runs in just 1 1/3 innings on Monday in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Sept. 4.
Noesi started the season in the Mariners rotation but was optioned to Tacoma in early July after beginning the year 2-11 with a 5.77 ERA. The right-hander worked twice out of the bullpen after being recalled and the plan was for him to make at least two starts before the end of the season.
"You don't rule out a chance of another start, just because you never know how it's going to play out with everybody else," manager Eric Wedge said. "We'll use him mainly for length in the bullpen and he'll get some other opportunities to pitch."
Wedge said he still believes Noesi has a good arsenal of pitches, but needs to improve his presence on the mound.
"It could be a number of different things, only he really knows," Wedge said. "If you talk about the intangibles that you need to have up here when it comes to your focus or your execution of pitches or your concentration or your work in between starts. Whatever it may be, there's a number of different things that go in to being a Major League Baseball player and being a Major League starting pitcher."
Blake Beavan will take Noesi's spot in the rotation and will start on Saturday. Jason Vargas, who was originally scheduled to take the mound Saturday, will be bumped to Sunday.
Wells' sore neck healthy enough for action
SEATTLE -- After missing three days with a stiff neck, Casper Wells was in right field and batting seventh on Tuesday.
Wells said before the game that his neck felt good after a hitting in the cage and the next test was taking batting practice on the field, which he took in its entirety.
"I don't worry, I just play," Wells said about if he'll be limited. "If something happens, it happens."
Wells had started just once in the previous seven days prior to hurting his neck before Saturday's game. Despite the injury limiting his playing time in recent days, Wells said it hasn't frustrated him.
"Obviously, I want to be out there playing," he said. "It's kind of unfortunate that it happened before the game, but I had other things in mind for that day, so got to take every day for what it is. I'm able to get out there and play right now."
After beginning the season hitting just .193 through 47 games at home, the Mariners are hitting .259 at over their last 26 games at Safeco Field.
Michael Saunders is hitting .328 (20-for-61) with 15 runs, two doubles, two triples, six home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 17 games. His .721 slugging percentage and 1.118 OPS ranks second in the Majors during that span behind the Rangers' Adrian Beltre.
Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.