Now, with a new season looming, Hernandez is battling another injury (shoulder tendonitis) and hasn't been able to do any throwing. Suddenly, Hernandez is a question mark because of his health and now it looks like he won't be able to work his way into a bullpen battle that might have been his to lose.
Yoel Hernandez' career stats
|YEAR / TEAM||W||L||ERA||SV||G||GS||IP||H||R||ER||HR||BB||KO|
Acquired: Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on November 5, 1998.
Repertoire: Hernandez has the usual compliment of pitches and had worked his velocity toward the mid-90 mile per hour mark.
Pitching: One of the big question marks about Hernandez will be whether his velocity will return after his back injury that caused him to miss all but the first month of the 2006 season. Velocity was never a major calling card for Hernandez, who relied instead on good movement on his pitches. He combined that movement with the ability to locate his pitches well and kept hitters headed back to the dugout. Pitches up in the zone from Hernandez are a rarity which has helped Hernandez keep the ball in the park which is important because he doesn't blow the ball by hitters. Instead, he strikes out hitters when he can and relies on his defense to make plays behind him.
Projection: Hernandez seemed to have a bright future and would have been a lead candidate for a bullpen spot out of camp this spring had he not gotten hurt. Instead, he's going to have to get himself healthy and then prove that he can stay that way and return to his successful form. Hernandez turns 27 in April, so he's at a point where the clock is ticking pretty loudly on his career. He'll start the season at Triple-A Ottawa and look for an opportunity late in the season or possibly before if there is an injury in the Phillies bullpen and he's healthy and pitching well.