Roberto Hernandez and The Terrible Trade


Sep 9, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starter Roberto Hernandez (55) reacts in the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On August 7th, 2014, the Dodgers received Roberto Hernandez from the Phillies for Player(s) to be named later or cash to help strengthen their pitching depth. This trade has not worked out well for the Dodgers, even though they were desperate for starting pitching after the Josh Beckett injury combined with Zach Lee either not being a real human or not ready. The trade got even worse when word came out that it wasn’t cash that was being sent to the Phillies but instead two capable bodies of flesh. Victor Arano and Jesmuel Valentin were sent to the Phillies* to complete this trade and although this didn’t deplete the Dodgers farm system, it seemed pretty strange to give up two guys who have some useful tools for 2 months of a bad starting pitcher. Now that Hernandez has made his last start in the regular season (and oh please, make it his last pitch thrown in 2014) let’s look back at the glory of his time as a Dodger.

*A reminder that Ned Colletti jokingly bragged about making the trade before the Phillies General Manager knew of Josh Beckett’s injury, so that they couldn’t get a bigger return for Hernandez. So just imagine if the trade happened after Beckett’s injury became public; Joc Pederson would enjoy Citizens Business Park! 

Roberto Hernandez made 9 starts and posted a 4.74 ERA, 5.51 FIP, and 4.43 xFIP in 43.2 IP. He averaged less then 5 innings per start. The Dodgers traded two people for 43.2 innings of terrible baseball. In September, Hernandez posted a 6.10 ERA with a 8.31 FIP. Of course I am working with small samples but it just shows the ridiculousness of this trade combined with how terrible Hernandez is.

In 2014, Chris Perez pitched 46.1 innings. It’s fair to say no one was happy with him as a reliever and was an easy guy to get frustrated by. Roberto Hernandez pitched like he was Chris Perez but as a starter that the Dodgers gave up two prospects for. Perez posted a 4.27 ERA and 5.07 FIP. So, Roberto Hernandez in two months was a starter version worse then Chris Perez. A weird way to look at this and I know this sort of argument is sort of preaching to the choir since no one is really saying Hernandez was a good Dodger. But it’s fun to see how bad a player is when in the end the Dodgers still won the NL West and it might not matter much.

Other cool things Roberto Hernandez did: Gave up a home run in 5 straight starts, a stretch that began with a 4 home run game against the Nationals. It’s pretty funny for a guy who relies on ground balls to give up a home run in 5 straight starts. It’s quite impressive almost. Dan Haren gave up a home run in 9 straight starts and 14 out of 15, so Hernandez wasn’t as impressive as he could have been. He can’t even be good at being terrible!

Life doesn’t work this way but if Hernandez had his 4.74 ERA over a full year, he would have the 5th worst amongst qualified starters in 2014. As it is, his 4.15 2014 ERA lands him at 16th worst, 5 spots below good friend Daniel Haren. (Yes, the Dodgers had some of the worst starters in the game making regular starts for them 2 out of every 5 days for a period of time.)

More fun facts: Roberto Hernandez allowed 18 walks during his time as a Dodger. Carl Crawford has 16 walks in 2014. Maybe that isn’t so fun. Also not fun: Hernandez allowed 4 walks in his last outing, which is the same amount of walks that Dee Gordon has in the 2nd half. Now I’m taking attention away from Hernandez and putting it on Dee Gordon; sorry Gordon you’re great and you don’t need to walk just run and run and run….

Roberto Hernandez was terrible as a Dodger and you didn’t need these words for you to come to that conclusion, all you needed was to watch one inning of him starting. I hope Victor Arano and Valentin don’t amount to anything because it will be frustrating to see, although even if they don’t it doesn’t really change that the Dodgers shouldn’t have given up anyone who had more talent then me and you.** It happened though, and luckily Hernandez didn’t stop the Dodgers from achieving goal #1, and the only other time we should see Hernandez in a Dodger uniform is in the clubhouse drenched in champagne and/or on a World Series float. Seeing him on the mound in the playoffs might end us all.

**This would be a weird time to find out that Corey Seager reads my posts.