Hernandez is a 35 year old veteran pitcher for the Washington Nationals who has, so far, had an incredibly ‘lucky’ 2010 Major League Baseball Season. On the surface, he appears to be having a sparkling year. He has 4 wins against just 2 losses and his earned run average (ERA) is a miniscule 1.62.
If you look a little bit closer at his 2010 statistics, however, there are major warning signs pointing towards the inevitable ‘market correction’ that’s waiting patiently in the wings. Look at his lack of strikeouts. In 55 innings this season Hernandez has only had 19 strikeouts. This means opposition batters are putting the ball in play. All the time. Up to now, Washington’s defence has been catching the balls in play, and Hernandez is escaping further damage. Amazingly, hitters are posting a .054 batting average on balls in play. That’s a completely insane figure, and will even out, the question is only ‘When?’ Hernandez is currently leaving 98.6% of the runners he puts on, on base. If he kept that up for the entire season, he would instantly walk into the Hall of Fame as the greatest pitcher to have ever played the game. That figure is going to come crashing down.
The fact of the matter is, up to now, Washington’s defensive players have bailed Hernandez out. They are catching everything. Out of pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings, Hernandez has given up more line drives than anyone in baseball. Eventually they are going to start falling to the grass, as opposed to in to a player’s mitt.
Remember, this is a pitcher who rears back for ‘a little extra’ on his fastball and hits 84mph.
Fantasy baseball actually proves helpful in suggesting that Hernandez might be ‘out-punting his coverage’ at time of writing. Hernandez was drafted on average in 260th spot. That’s pretty low down the pecking order. Furthermore, only 70% of players in Yahoo and ESPN fantasy baseball ‘own’ him. That means there are 30% out there who know that eventually this joy ride is going to end.
On top of all that, historically Hernandez is not a dominant, swing and miss, front line ace. He is a work-horse, a competitive and proud battler who will give you 200+ innings and generally keep your team in the game. He is not a Cy Young candidate. His life time career ERA is 4.39, a whopping 3 points higher than his current ERA of 1.46. He has won 160 games in the Majors, however on the flip side of that coin he has lost 153.
Assuming no one is injured and the Nationals don’t have to juggle their rotation, here are Hernandez’s next few games.
- Tues May 25th – San Francisco
- Sun May 30th – San Diego
- Fri Jun 4th - Cincinnati
- Thu, Jun 10 - Pittsburgh
- Tues June 15th - Detroit
On one of those nights Eisler Livan Hernandez is going to get rocked.
You could approach this upcoming schedule in a couple of ways. You could ‘root’ for Hernandez until June 15th, hoping he keeps weaving his magic tricks until then, and unload your bankroll on Detroit. Or you can just get started right now, start by backing San Francisco on May 25th.
On a somewhat related note, if I was a Livan Hernandez owner in Fantasy baseball, I would start shopping him around the next few weeks as he pitches against the likes of San Diego and Pittsburgh. He might collect another couple of wafer thin ‘great’ starts against those Punch and Judy line-ups and you might be able to lure some unsuspecting rookie into giving up a solid bat for him. His value is going to plummet dramatically on June 15th or even before then if the Reds or Giants get to him, and the roof comes caving in on his ‘lucky’ season.
So, hop in with me, the water is good, lets circle like sharks, humming the ‘Jaws’ theme tune, until the inevitable shellacking appears. It’s only a matter of time.