It’s no secret the Philadelphia Phillies were looking for some depth in their starting rotation during the 2013 Winter Meetings. Apparently, that’s exactly why the signed former Tampa Bay Rays starter Roberto Hernandez.
The 33-year-old has shown potential in his eight-year career. With that being said, he hasn’t displayed a lot of talent on the mound for several years. For that reason, the Phillies signing him is a bit of a concern, even if it’s for the sole purpose to fill out the backend of the rotation.
Hernandez’s best season in the big leagues occurred in 2007 when he posted a 19-8 record with a 3.06 earned run average and 137 strikeouts in 215 innings. Needless to say, all of those numbers were career highs. Not to mention, he finished fourth in the American League Cy Young balloting that year. In 2013, he went 6-13 with a 4.89 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 32 games (24 starts).
Obviously, times have changed for the right-hander, which makes one wonder why Philadelphia would even take a chance on him. The Phillies understand he’s someone who once had some success in the big leagues, which brings hope that he will give the team somewhat of a chance to win when he takes the mound every fifth day. The reality is he might not even be able to do that much.
Once again, I get why the Phillies did it, but the fact that he struggles to keep runners off base is a huge concern. The one thing he has going for him is that his career-high 2.97 strikeout to walk ratio last season is certainly encouraging.