Hernandez will opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns regarding COVID-19, according to his agent, Wilfredo Polidor. The veteran right-hander was included on the team's 60-player roster pool and was competing with Sean Newcomb for a spot in the starting rotation, but he'll elect to sit out the 60-game season to help protect himself and his family, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Hernandez joins the growing list of players who have opted out, including David Price, Ryan Zimmerman, Welington Castillo and Joe Ross. Kyle Wright figures to be the next man up to compete for a rotation spot for Atlanta.
Hernandez will be a part of the Braves' 60-man roster, Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Hernandez signed with the Braves as a non-roster invitee in January and was competing with Sean Newcomb for a spot in the rotation during spring training, so it's no surprise that he'll be a part of the team's 60-man roster. After a solid spring, the 34-year-old could see time in the major-league rotation to begin the season as a result of expanded rosters.
General manager Alex Anthopolous said Wednesday that the Braves will limit their starters to 2-to-4 innings their first couple times through the rotation, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. After a three-month shutdown and with only a three-week secondary spring training before the start of a 60-game season, it's not much of a surprise teams will be cautious with their pitchers right out of the gate. Hernandez joined the Braves as a non-roster invitee and was enjoying a solid spring before play was suspended, but he was still in competition with Sean Newcomb for the No. 5 spot. Both pitchers could see innings through the first couple turns of the rotation as the Braves -- and teams across the league -- utilize the expanded roster to cover innings.
Hernandez gave up one run on six hits and two walks over five innings while striking out six in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox. The last time the 33-year-old was a reliable fantasy asset was 2016, but Hernandez is attempting to turn back the clock in camp for Atlanta. He now sports a 1.98 ERA and 14:5 K:BB through 13.2 spring innings, and King Felix appears to be in the lead to claim one of the open rotation spots for the Braves.
Hernandez struck out two and walked one over two scoreless, hitless innings Saturday against the Orioles, Gabriel Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The veteran right-hander tossed 30 pitches in his first game action for his new club. Hernandez is fighting against the next wave of Atlanta pitching prospects for a spot in the rotation in camp, a path that got a little easier with Cole Hamels (shoulder) likely to begin the season on the injured list, but the former Mariner ace will need to stay sharp this spring just to prove he still belongs in the majors -- much less in the rotation of a World Series contender.
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