Oscar Hernandez got a little run in the big leagues last season when Chris Herrmann got hurt and Welington Castillo needed a bow down the stretch, recording 11 at-bats in four games. With such a small MLB sample size, Hernandez's 2016 season is best reviewed by looking at his minor league stats. He batted .295 for High-A Visalia with a .866 OPS, but those numbers fell to .194 and .609 when he made the jump to Double-A. The organization will likely opt to return Hernandez to Double-A to see if he can improve his performance there, then move him to Triple-A later in the season. No matter where he starts the season, Hernandez will need at least a half-season of developmental time before he is ready to assume the backup catching duties from Jeff Mathis or Juan Graterol in the big leagues.
Hernandez was sent back to Double-A Mobile following Sunday's game against the Red Sox. Hernandez collected just two hits (though one home run) in eight at-bats for the Diamondbacks in his short time with the club but will now rejoin the team with which he slashed .196/.235/.433 over 29 games this season. The team didn't announce a corresponding move but it will likely be Welington Castillo's return from the bereavement list.
Hernandez got the start behind the plate Wednesday, and hit a go-ahead solo homer in the 12th inning that proved decisive for the D-Backs, who won 3-2. Hernandez was recently called up for a temporary stint with Welington Castillo on paternity leave and Chris Herrmann on the DL, but proved to be the hero Wednesday. He will likely be sent back to the minors in the next couple days with Castillo returning, so don't go rushing to add the young catcher.
Hernandez was recalled from Double-A Mobile on Tuesday. Welington Castillo hit the Paternity Leave List on Tuesday, so Hernandez will come up to provide some insurance behind Tuffy Gosewisch with Chris Herrmann on the DL. Castillo isn't likely to miss more than a day or two, so Hernandez's stay with the big league club could be a short one.
The Diamondbacks optioned Hernandez to High-A Visalia on Monday, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Hernandez spent all of last season with the big club as a Rule 5 pick, but he appeared in just 18 games with the big club, and his assignment to High-A indicates the team still believes he has plenty of developing to do.
Diamondbacks catcher Wellington Castillo isn't in the starting lineup for Friday's game, the third straight game he's missed with tightness in his left hamstring. Castillo will be replaced by Oscar Hernandez for the third straight game. Hernandez has started four games, all in the last seven.