Hernandez has been able to hit in a batting cage twice a week despite the shutdown of most facilities, the utility man said Tuesday in an interview with David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports. "We were able to find a facility that's opening just for us twice a week, and we're able to get our work in," Hernandez stated. He also indicated that he has been working out five days a week in preparation for a potential resumption of play. Should the 2020 season take place, Hernandez figures to again get plenty of playing time in a super-utility role in his sixth season with the Dodgers.
Hernandez is likely to log time at second base this season, though the division of playing time remains uncertain, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. While many expected Gavin Lux to claim a near-everyday spot in the lineup after dominating in the minors last season, Gurnick suggests that the 22-year-old could feasibly begin the campaign back at the Triple-A level. Even if Lux does make the big-league roster, the Dodgers are likely to find a fair amount of playing time for veterans Chris Taylor and Hernandez throughout the season, with second base being the primary position for both players. It bears mentioning that the mechanical adjustments Hernandez made to his swing over the offseason appeared to pay off in Cactus League play, as he posted a .300/.323/.667 slash line with three home runs and nine RBI before spring training was suspended.
Hernandez has been working on a mechanical adjustment to his swing, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. According to Hernandez, the adjustment is focused on preventing his hips from flying open during the course of his swing. Though the utility man is batting only .182 thus far in spring training, both of his hits have left the yard, and he leads the Dodgers with five RBI.
Hernandez signed a one-year, $5.9 million contract with the Dodgers on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports. Hernandez hit .237 with 17 home runs, 64 RBI and four stolen bases in 130 games a year ago with Los Angeles. He'll be in line for a utility role heading into the 2020 campaign.
Hernandez went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in a 7-3 extra-inning loss to Washington on Wednesday in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Hernandez connected off Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg in the second inning to put the Dodgers up 3-0. Hernandez drew the start in left field Wednesday and finished the series 3-for-7 with a pair of extra-base hits and a walk. The 29-year-old experienced a decline in most of his offensive numbers during the regular season, seeing his OPS drop from 2018's .806 to .715. He still offers positional versatility and occasional pop, but not enough to mitigate the .237 batting average and .304 OBP he posted in 2019.