Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in Saturday's 6-5 win over Atlanta. His fourth-inning solo shot off Touki Toussaint gave the Phillies a brief 4-2 lead, and Hernandez then smacked a two-run single in the ninth to cap the scoring on the night. It was his seventh homer on the year but first since May 28, and the 29-year-old slashed a brutal .121/.188/.190 during the 15-game power outage, The Phillies are still trying to find a solution in the leadoff spot in the wake of Andrew McCutchen's season-ending knee injury, though, so if Hernandez can heat up again he might get another look at the top of the order.
Hernandez will bat eighth Friday against Atlanta. Hernandez spent eight games as the leadoff hitter after Andrew McCutchen was lost for the season with a torn ACL, but he hit just .125/.222/.188 over that stretch. He'll move to a lower-pressure spot for now, with Jean Segura sliding up to the leadoff spot.
Manager Gabe Kapler acknowledged after Tuesday's 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks that he may consider removing Hernandez from the leadoff role in favor of Scott Kingery, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Since taking over as the Phillies' new table setter June 4 following Andrew McCutchen's season-ending knee injury, Hernandez has gone 4-for-28 while reaching base at a .250 clip in seven games. Hernandez has a long track record of success out of the leadoff spot dating back to 2015, but it appears Kapler may keep him on a short leash while the hot-hitting Kingery continues to make a case for a move up the lineup. Kingery has posted a 1.330 OPS over that same seven-game stretch and is slashing .324/.365/.630 with seven home runs and two steals on the season.
Hernandez leads off Wednesday against the Padres for the second straight game. With Andrew McCutchen (knee) out for the season, the Phillies needed to find a leadoff hitter, and Hernandez is a decent enough fit for the role. His .355 career on-base percentage is a fine mark for a table setter, and he has a fair amount of speed (though he's stolen only three bases so far this season). Hitting in front of Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins should be a nice boost to Hernandez's value if he's able to remain in the role.
Hernandez went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run Tuesday against the Cardinals. Hernandez took Adam Wainwright deep in the fourth inning to supply the game-deciding runs. It was his sixth home run of the season and second in his past three games. Hernandez is quietly hitting a strong .303/.361/.482 through 216 plate appearances this season while also contributing three stolen bases.
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