Why Texas Should Consider Moving Hernandez
Jonathan Hernandez has been one of the few bright spots to this season as he has developed into one of the game’s better relief pitchers. Jonathan relies heavily on his sinker, throwing it 53.6% of the time averaging a blazing 97.5 MPH. The average wOBA against his sinker is an awful .292. Hernandez’s velocity on all his pitches has increased while his BB% has decreased from 16.7% last season to 7.5% this year. His K% has skyrocketed from 24.4% last year to 32.8%. In short, Hernandez has jumped from promising prospect to a legitimate reliever in the span of a year.
You can say it in many different ways but the same conclusion remains: Jonathan Hernandez has been great this season.
So why would the Rangers want to trade him? Because relief pitchers are unpredictable and hold little value to a team that is not going to compete this season. They can break down at any moment for a multitude of reasons such as injuries or shifts in mental edge. The Rangers have experienced this first hand in recent seasons with guys like Jose Leclerc, Shawn Tolleson, Sam Dyson.
Matt Bush and Jeremy Jeffress went from being at the top of the world in their profession to struggling to not give up runs each time they enter a game. Relief pitchers are just unpredictable in nature as is their value.
Hernandez has been great this season and with the benefit of having five seasons of control left in him, this could give the Rangers one of the better available bullpen pieces that teams will call in asking for.
The Rangers will not be competing for a World Series for the foreseeable future, why waste such a hot commodity on a team that will view him more as a luxury than a necessity? Having great and young relief pitchers is cool, but the Rangers have gained a reputation of being able to develop them moderately easily. Trade them while the iron is hot.