By Any Name, The Philadelphia Phillies Cannot Expect Much From Roberto Hernandez
The question marks for Roberto Hernandez began as early as lying about the date of his birth certificate.
Born as Fausto Carmona, he was arrested in January of 2012 for using a false identity to gain a U.S. Work Visa. He was three years older than he reported on the Visa, and was suspended for three weeks by the MLB for the misrepresentation, something that also led to him taking a $7.5 million salary hit from the Cleveland Indians.
Now known as Hernandez, he brings a whole new set of question marks in attempting to earn a rotation spot this spring with the Philadelphia Phillies. None of those questions surround the date of birth, but the expiration date of his arm. Over 2012 and 2013, Hernandez was 6-16 with a 5.12 ERA. Before that, as Carmona, he was not significantly better, going 54-66 with a 4.59 ERA from 2006 through 2011. Although he has had some highlights in his career, like going 19-8, that was in 2007, which was a long time ago.
And this is a guy who can win a job with the Phillies? The thinking in camp is that he won’t, and that the rotation will consist of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick and either Jonathan Pettibone or newcomer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. As recently as 2011, Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for Cuba in the (real) World Championship game and has looked good early in preseason workouts. Gonzalez might make the team, but right now looks no worse than a long reliever and ahead of Hernandez.
Too many questions leave Hernandez as the odd man out.