Thursday, August 07, 2014

Welcome to the Blue, Roberto Hernandez!

It has just been announced that the Dodgers have added a new starting pitcher to their stock.  They have picked up veteran Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Roberto Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) in exchange for two players to be named later or cash considerations.

Roberto isn't great, but he is decent as back-of-the-rotation pitchers go.  Hernandez has appeared in 20 games as a starter this season; going 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA.  He has 75 strike outs to go along with 55 walks in 121 innings.  In his last start on Friday against the Nationals he went eight strong innings by spraying 5 hits and giving up one unearned run in a victory.  In fact, of late he has been quite good.  Since July 9th (his past four starts) he is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA.  Opponents are batting just .170 during that time period, so maybe we got him on an upswing.  Roberto throws a hard sinker, slider and change-up, and has added a fastball that can get into the mid-90's.  He is more known, though, as a control pitcher who records outs by coaxing batters to ground out with his sinker.

This pickup makes me wonder if there might be some issues with a starter; namely Josh Beckett.  He's been suffering from various ailments of late, and is the most likely candidate to sit out a start or go on the DL.
UPDATE:  And the shoe has dropped.  Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Matt Gelb informs us on twitter that Roberto will pitch on Friday in place of Josh Beckett.  There is no word yet on who will be sent down, or if Beckett is going on the DL yet.

Per a Jon Weisman report on Dodger Insider:
“Roberto provides us with another big league starting pitcher, who has pitched well this year, particularly the last seven starts,” said Dodger general manager Ned Colletti. “He has postseason experience and helps fortify the rotation down the stretch.”
Obviously, the brass has little confidence in some of the young starting arms in the minors right now. 

BTW, the Fausto Carmona crack has to do with a past assumed identity Roberto once took.  He's one of those foreign born players who faked his age to get a better chance of making it big.  Under the name of Fausto Carmona he was three years younger and regarded as a rising talent within the Cleveland Indians rotation.  Once folks realized he was much older, those opinions started to wane.  He has bounced around since 2013.

In celebration of Roberto officially becoming a Dodger, I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used an AP photo grabbed from an story and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career statistics, via Baseball Reference:

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