Sometimes it's funny how things work out. After being told he wouldn't make the Giants' Opening Day roster, David Hernandez was granted his release, soon thereafter signing with the Braves. He began the season toiling at Triple-A Gwinnett, posting a 1.12 ERA in eight appearances before being dealt to the Angels, who called him up to the majors immediately. The journeyman right-hander put up a 2.23 ERA in 36.1 frames with 37 punchouts and just eight walks before being traded again, this time to the Diamondbacks to fortify their bullpen over the final two months. Hernandez fanned 15 with one walk with Arizona, but four homers in 18 innings fueled a 4.82 ERA. However, he did record 10 of his 18 holds with the Snakes, demonstrating he can still get it done in high-leverage scenarios. There are more dominant options, but if you're looking for a cheap source of holds, Hernandez will require a minimal investment.
Hernandez worked around a base hit to turn in a scoreless eighth inning en route to his 17th hold of the season in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Padres. Hernandez has been on a roll lately, turning in scoreless outings in 10 of his last 11 appearances. He worked as the primary setup man to Archie Bradley on Sunday with closer Fernando Rodney receiving the afternoon off, but when all three players are available, Hernandez probably ranks third on the bullpen depth chart.
Hernandez tossed a perfect eighth inning and notched a strikeout in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Giants. Hernandez was also credited with his 13th hold of the season, and his fifth as a member of the Diamondbacks. It appears the right-hander may rank behind only Fernando Rodney and Archie Bradley in the Diamondbacks' bullpen hierarchy, as he entered the contest after Andrew Chafin, whose effectiveness in a setup role has waned in the second half. That being said, with Rodney in no danger of losing the closing gig and Bradley having been the Diamondbacks' top reliever all season, there's little chance of Hernandez entering the conversation for saves anytime soon.
Hernandez came in to record the final out of the ninth inning Saturday against the Cubs, nailing down his first save of the year. The Diamondbacks had a 6-0 lead heading into the ninth inning, but closer Fernando Rodney was still summoned and he failed to finish the inning, creating a save situation for Hernandez in the process. This was a one-off opportunity for Hernandez, who has not given up a run in four innings since joining the Diamondbacks a couple weeks ago.
Hernandez struck out the lone batter he faced to collect his first 2017 hold as a member of the Diamondbacks in the team's 10-8 win over the Cubs on Thursday. Hernandez entered the contest in the top of the seventh inning after starter Zack Greinke was pulled upon allowing the first batter of the inning, Javier Baez, to reach base on an infield single. Though Baez was able to steal second off Hernandez, the reliever got the job done in his team debut, striking out Ben Zobrist before giving way to Andrew Chafin. While Hernandez was used for matchup purposes Thursday, he seems more likely to make full-inning appearances more often than not with his new (and former) team, likely forming a key part of the bridge to closer Fernando Rodney.
Hernandez was traded to the Diamondbacks on Monday in exchange for minor-league pitcher Luis Madero, Buster Olney of ESPN reports. The veteran reliever has put together a career year with the Angels this season, producing a 2.23 ERA and a 37:8 K:BB in 36.1 innings pitched. Hernandez should see plenty of high-leverage innings in his new home, although save opportunities may be hard to come by with Fernando Rodney and Archie Bradley likely ahead of him in the pecking order for ninth-inning duties.