You may have heard from some baseball scribe somewhere that any reliever can close. The Phillies are putting that theory to the test by already anointing David Hernandez -- a pitcher with a 4.41 ERA since the start of 2013 -- before spring training even begins. To be fair, he pitched only two of those three seasons, spending the middle one recovering from Tommy John surgery, and there's reason to believe the other two were marred by the injury as well. He showed good stuff when he returned last June, so there's a chance he could get back to being the guy who struck out 98 over 68 1/3 innings with a 2.50 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 2012. How much should you wager on it, though? As bad as the Phillies figure to be, Hernandez should be one of the last two or three closers off the board.
Manager Pete Mackanin said the "field is wide open" when asked who would close for the Phillies next season, CSN Philadelphia reports. Hernandez is considered a front-runner for the closing gig, but the Phillies brought in Ernesto Frieri, Edward Mujica, and Andrew Bailey as non-roster invitees to compete for a job as well. The team has an opening at the back of their pen after sending Ken Giles to the Astros this offseason.
Hernandez is the likely candidate to take over closing duties for the Phillies after Ken Giles was traded to Houston on Wednesday, CSN Philadelphia reports. Hernandez was one of the better setup men in baseball before missing all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Now further removed from surgery, the Phillies are hoping he will regain his old form. The team has not officially commented on their plan for the ninth inning now that Giles is gone, but Hernandez does look like the best option out of the current group of relievers.
Hernandez signed a one-year contract with the Phillies on Wednesday. Hernandez elected free agency following a 2015 campaign in which he posted a 1-5 record with a 3.28 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 33.2 innings with the Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old reliever will join a relatively weak Phillies bullpen, and should serve in a middle relief role for the club.
Hernandez elected free agency Monday. The 30-year-old reliever will test the free-agent waters this winter, after posting a 1-5 record, 4.28 ERA, 1.307 WHIP, and 33:11 K:BB in 33.2 innings with the Diamondbacks. On a positive note, he was able to maintain a 94-MPH-plus fastball throughout the campaign.
Diamondbacks pitcher David Hernandez was forced to leave Wednesday's game against the Phillies after being hit by a line drive in the left ankle by Andres Blanco in the sixth inning, reports MLB.com. Hernandez allowed two hits over 1/3 innings before leaving with the ankle contusion.