Fantasy Baseball Today

Trade, recent performances put Roberto Hernandez back on Fantasy map

By Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Roberto Hernandez has thrown himself into the picture as a viable Fantasy option. (USATSI)
Roberto Hernandez has thrown himself into the picture as a viable Fantasy option. (USATSI)

It's a claim one might have never again expected to make with a straight face. But Fantasy owners should seriously consider picking up Roberto Hernandez and sticking him in their lineups.

Granted, this guy hasn't produced consistently since he was known as Fausto Carmona and Torii Hunter, who was still with the Twins, proclaimed his stuff "filthy" in 2007. But he has shown signs lately of recapturing the natural sink on his fastball and the trade that sent him from the Phillies to the Dodgers provides encouragement in the world of Fantasy baseball for several reasons.

Let's start with the basics. Hernandez owns a 6-8 record and 3.87 ERA, which doesn't seem like much until one considers it's his best numbers since 2010. More impressive has been his outings leading up to the trade. Hernandez has five quality starts in his last seven, including four straight in which he is 3-0 with six runs and 17 hits allowed in 28 2/3 innings.

Now let's delve further into the recent statistics. According to Fangraphs.com, Hernandez has exceeded his season groundball ratio of 52 percent in four of his last six starts. He has allowed just one home run in his last 47 1/3 innings, indicating that the sinker that made him one of the most promising pitchers in the game seven years ago is back to form. His BABIP has been .200 or under in six of his last seven starts, which considering his strengths also translates into a lot of ground balls.

There's no assuring that Hernandez will maintain that success on the mound, but he is certainly worth far more attention that his current owned/start rating of 14/8 indicates. After all, he should not only receive significantly greater run support with the Dodgers than he did with the weak-hitting Phillies, but he will also enjoy home games in a more pitcher-friendly park.

The news that Josh Beckett could be lost for the season is encouraging for the few Fantasy owners of Hernandez, who is set to start in his place Friday night in Milwaukee. Owners should monitor the status of Beckett and begin jumping on Hernandez if he continues his recent surge with a strong performance against the Brewers.

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