The San Francisco Giants have brought former D-Back and Phillies pitcher, David Hernandez, in on a minor league deal. He will join them in Scottsdale.
The San Francisco Giants have been looking for added bullpen help. After all, they lost three guys from their bullpen last season, and had brought in only one player. They bumped it up to two with the addition of Hernandez.
Hernandez will jump into the mix that’s vying for a spot in the bullpen. Out of the right handers in the ‘pen, you have to figure Strickland and Law’s spots are a lock. There is a good third spot available there though and potentially a fourth. Hernandez will have a lot of competition for it.
Hernandez has a fantastic K/9 rate, only dipping below 8 in his first two years in the bigs, where he was used mainly as a starter. He throws hard, and has a lot of swing and misses. The biggest concern is not that he is only a couple years removed from tommy john, but his BB/9 rate.
For comparison, Derek Law‘s BB/9 was only 1.5 last season, Hunter Strickland‘s was a 2.8, and Casilla’s was a 2.9. David Hernandez’s BB/9 last season was a 4. In short, Hernandez throws heat, and can strike out a lot of guys, but will also walk a lot of guys.
So does he have a shot at a bullpen role? I think he has an outside shot. However, the Giants will be inclined to stick to guys they are familiar with. I also think that if he was a left-hander, you might be able to say more comfortably that he could make the roster. Unfortunately for him, the right-handed reliever field is quite crowded, which will hamper his chances.
I actually think he ends up with the team at some point this season. His family lives in Elk Grove, CA just 20 minutes from Raley Field, home of the Giants AAA affiliate. His contract is strictly a minor league deal. So as he will most likely accept an assignment there, there is always a good chance he ends up in a Giants uniform at some point next year. Injuries happen, and people struggle, which could lead him to being up there.