Our player profiles continue with a look at reliever David Hernandez. Hernandez went 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 2011 and he compiled a 2-3 record with a 2.50 ERA the following season. Hernandez has great stuff including a fastball that can touch 98 miles per hour, racking up a lot of strikeouts. Ever since general manager Kevin Towers came to Arizona, a strong bullpen has always been a priority. That is why he added Addison Reed during the Winter Meetings. With Brad Ziegler performing better and J.J. Putz coming back many wonder if Hernandez still has a spot in the bullpen.
How 2013 went: Hernandez had his worst year as a Diamondback posting a 4.48 ERA. He was the setup man at the beginning of the year and by the end he was barely holding on to a spot in the Arizona bullpen. Hernandez was very wild walking a lot of opposing hitters and then giving up home runs blowing any chance for a late D’back rally. He lost the life for his fastball and the feel of his breaking ball. He was sent to Triple A Reno which made a huge impact. When he came back to the team in September he re-gained his control, resulting in fewer walks.
Outlook for 2014: With Putz and Ziegler likely competing for the 7th and 8th inning and Reed likely closing in 2014, Hernandez will probably be a middle reliever. Until he proves his command issues are a thing of the past, that is the role he will stay in for the 2014 season.