67 Strikeouts (3.35 K/9)
43 Walks (2.15 BB/9)
Can you believe that he’s still sticking around? Not only has he caught on with the Mets, he’s managed to pitch himself into their rotation with a solid spring performance (3.07 ERA over 14.2 innings).
He’s proven to be an innings eater in the past, with nine seasons of over 200 innings, and at least 180 for the last eleven years. Unfortunately, he has not been a productive pitcher for the past three, bouncing around to four organizations (Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins & Rockies).
He hasn’t had an ERA under 4.83 since 2005 and his WHIP hasn’t been under 1.43 since 2004. Granted, it hasn’t been his control that was his problem (3.08 career BB/9), so a better defense behind him could lead to a reduction in the number of hits he allows. Is that going to make him usable? Doubtful.
He has been allowing HR in droves the past three seasons, with HR/9 of 1.21, 1.50 and 1.25. Considering he only had a cup of coffee with the Rockies, you certainly can’t blame Coors Field for his problems. His FB% did come back down last season, at 34.0%, so there is minor reason for optimism.
You also have to look at his strand rate, at 64.8%, as an issue. That was the fourth worst in the league. It’s unlikely that he repeats that number, meaning an improved ERA is likely, though could it really get worse?
140.0 IP, 6 W, 4.76 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 66 K (4.24 K/9), 45 BB (2.89 BB/9)
I don’t think Hernandez is going to stick for the entire season as the Mets fifth starter, which is why his innings pitched projection is where it is. The Mets are a team that wants to win now and when Hernandez struggles, which he likely will, they will be forced to turn to one of their many other options (Jonathan Niese, Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia). In fact, to me it could be likely that he falls significantly further below the 140 innings mark.
The Mets offer him a chance to win games, and if he is proving that he can keep them in it, he could be valuable in a pitch-and-ditch type strategy, though only when the match-up is extremely favorable. He was once a fantasy gem, but no longer. Not be fooled by the allure of him now pitching for one o the better teams in the NL.
Is anyone actually buying into using him in 2009?