There is no way to sugarcoat Enrique Hernandez's 2016 season, because the performance was ugly no matter how you slice and dice the numbers. He was a juggernaut in a small sample against southpaws in 2015, but in 2016 he hit under the Mendoza Line against pitchers from each side of the rubber. He hit .170 on the road but only .205 at home (albeit with a lower OBP). A midseason ribcage injury may have contributed to his struggles at the plate, but Hernandez had fallen deep into the abyss well before that injury came to light. The Dodgers will hit the reset button, and he may even be given a chance to start at second base if an upgrade can't be acquired before the start of the season. If he enters the year as an everyday player, he is worth a flier in deeper leagues, given his age (25) and the fact that he has yet be given a chance in a steady big league role.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Hernandez's participation in the World Baseball Classic will not affect his chances to make the Dodgers Opening Day roster, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports. Hernandez left Dodgers camp last week to join Team Puerto Rico in the 2017 WBC. His time away may actually help his case to make the roster after he went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI in Sunday's win over Team Italy. Hernandez is currently competing for one of the Dodgers final utility spots. His ability to play both the infield and the outfield makes him a favorite to make the club.
Hernandez is slated for a bench role after the acquisition of Logan Forsythe from Tampa Bay. He seemingly had a chance to to start at second base prior to the move, but it was widely anticipated that the Dodgers would upgrade that position, and that indeed happened. Hernandez should get occasional starts in the outfield and the infield against left-handed pitching.
Hernandez will be added to the Dodgers' roster for the NLCS, and is expected to start Saturday in Game 1 versus the Cubs, Buster Onley of ESPN reports. Although Hernandez made frequent starts during the regular season, he did not make the Dodgers' NLDS roster. He will face off against Cubs' starter Jon Lester on Saturday. The Dodgers are likely looking to put a right-handed batter at the plate to matchup with the shouthpaw. Hernandez slashed just .189/.308/.361 versus lefties this season. He also went 3-for-12 with a home run, triple, and three RBI against Lester this year.
Hernandez did not make the Dodgers' NLDS roster, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports. Hernandez made frequent starts for the Dodgers during the regular season, especially against left-handed pitchers. However, his numbers were terribly underwhelming. Over 109 games, he posted a bleak line of .190/.283/.324 and struck out in 26 percent of his at-bats. While the Dodgers play their series against the Nationals, Hernandez will participate in workouts in Arizona and remain an option for the NLCS, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.
Hernandez is out of the lineup Saturday against the Cubs. Saturday's day off seems to be routine, but Hernandez hasn't played well in the majors this season, only hitting .198. With the way Andrew Toles has been playing lately, there's a chance that Hernandez begins to see less playing time.