Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hot Stove Update: Giants Sign David Hernandez

David Hernandez, RHP.  DOB:  5/13/1985.  6'2", 230 lbs.

2016 Phillies:  3-4, 3.84, 72.2 IP, 3.96 BB/9, 9.91 K/9, 11 HR, 14.2 HR/FB.

The Giants kept fanning the dying embers of the hot stove even as spring training was getting underway in Arizona with yet another minor league deal with a spring training invitation and conditional MLB deal for 1.5 M which seems to be a popular number for these kind of contracts.  Maybe that is the de-facto minimum wage for all non-pre-arbitration players these days?  Anyway….

You may remember David Hernandez from his days as a Arizona Diamondback.  His best season was 2012 when he posted a 2.50 ERA with a 12. 91 K/9 and a 2.90 BB/9.  The next season his ERA ballooned to 4.48.  Then he missed the 2014 season with Tommy John surgery.  Last year he found himself in Philadelphia where he posted a 2.93 ERA in the second half of the season.  His average FB velocity last year was 94 MPH so his arm is definitely healthy again.  His big problem over the last 2 seasons has been a big tendency to give up dingers.  AT&T Park should help with that.  If he stays healthy, I think there is a high probability that David Hernandez will be on the Opening Day 25 man roster.


The signing of Hernandez adds to the intrigue and competition for bullpen spots in addition to several position battles through spring training.  I wonder if the Giants felt like some guys were feeling a bit too comfortable and entitled last year?  Back to the bullpen.  Barring injury, Mark Melancon is a lock to be the closer and Will Smith is close to a lock for lefty setup man.  Strickland and Law are probably in.  That leaves 3 spots open for competition if the Giants choose to carry 7 relievers which seems likely, although they carried 8 for much of last season.

The Giants usually carry a long relief/6'th starter type in their bullpen and the competition would seem to be among Albert Suarez, who had that role last year and the loser of the Matt Cain/Ty Blach battle for 5'th starter(Blach has options, so could be sent to Sacramento).  That would leave 2-3 spots for the remaining competitors.

40 Man Roster players with MLB experience:  Suarez, Blach, Steven Okert, Josh Osich, George Kontos, Cory Gearrin.

Minor League FA's with MLB experience and ST invitations:  Jose Dominguez, Bryan Morris, Neil Ramirez, Matt Reynolds, David Hernandez.

How do you see the bullpen shaking out?


MLBTR is reporting that RHP Alex Reyes of the Cardinals, who I recently profiled in a "Fantasy Focus:  Impact Rookies" segment, will likely have to undergo "Tommy John" surgery to repair a torn UCL.  If true, this is just one more example of an increasing direct correlation between velocity and probability of UCL injury in pitchers.  Once again, only about 50% of pitchers who undergo TJ surgery ever make it all the way back to their previous level of velocity and performance.


  1. Well, it's a bit of a surprise, but I'm all for it. The cost is peanuts in MLB terms. At worst he's here for a cup of coffee. But if he succeeds then he's giving us some depth.

    (Ugg, I hate Blogger's set up for comments. Editing is incredibly tough.)

  2. You say it like it is, Doc!
    With a cut-and-paste from above:
    "If he stays healthy, I think there is a high probability that (insert player name here) will be on the Opening Day 25 man roster"!
    David Hernandez is one of several that definitely fits there.
    Gotta love the competition that the Giants are setting up for everyone except 6 position players, 4 starters, and 1 closer! And Smith, Law, and Strickland are probably "safe."
    This WILL be an interesting Spring!

  3. http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/christian-arroyo-could-be-next/

    1. I read that article. Someone left a comment expressing one possible surprise might be a better ranking of the farm system. I left a post in response to that post I'm copying below:

      I don’t ever see them stopping that drum-beat. The Giants play in a park where offense-by-homerun is a non-starter. So they draft according to what will work for them — contact hitting, gap power and defense. And it’s not that the Giants have actual bad power. They are MLB average on HRs hit on the road.

      But analysts are often way to stuck on ‘home-run’ potential for prospects, weighing it in as 1/5th a prospects value not understanding that it may be true for the Yankees, but it’s not for the Giants.

      Bottom-line is that AT&T, with it’s dense, low-altitude, humid, cold-air doesn’t let the ball carry for a whole bunch of reasons.

      Just from the colder game-day temperature, the average fly ball travels about 5-to-7 fewer feet at AT&T than in the warmer parks around the country. Also, colder baseballs lose some of their ability to rebound and thus don’t fly as far and AT&T park is, over-all, one of the coldest parks in MLB.

      THe humidity causes the ball to lose some of their ability to rebound off the bat, so it travels shorter. The Rockies, who play in a high, dry stadium put the game balls in a humidifier set at 70F and 50% humidity. The HRs, even before they adjusted the fences, dropped from 3.20/game to 2.39/game.

      And, of course, the park is at sea level. That denser air helps shorten the flight of the ball. And while many parks are at sea level, many are not. Colorado has it the worst as balls hit there have 18% less wind resistance. But other parks, especially in the midwest, gain around 5% in this factor.

  4. So, if David Hernandez makes the team, he probably won't be the first option out of the pen in Colorado and Arizona without a safe lead!

  5. Would have been nice to have checked the numbers first, but Hernandez doesn't have bad results from AZ or CO.

  6. Giants sign Aaron Hill to minor league contract?
    Say it ain't so, Joe!