If you play fantasy baseball through ESPN and Roberto Hernandez is not available in your league, be very careful in a lightning storm, because traditional odds are obviously not in your favor.
Hernandez is having his best year since 2010, when he made the American League All-Star team and was known as Fausto Carmona. Still, while his overall numbers aren’t bad in real baseball, they don’t come anywhere near justifying an add to your fantasy team. Having said that, the numbers over his last seven outings are a little different.
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So, let’s answer the question. Does this hot streak make Roberto Hernandez a good add?
Why you Should Consider Roberto Hernandez
We know the numbers are solid, but are they sustainable? Well, a good way to begin to answer that is to look at the potential opponents. Assuming Hernandez stays healthy and starts every fifth game for the Phillies, this is what he’s looking at.
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Considering the Phillies are long out of the playoff race, it is an admittedly big assumption to assume that the rotation won’t be jumbled — especially in September. But assuming that doesn’t happen, that’s a pretty nice group of games. I’m don’t like the starts in Anaheim or Oakland and a few others concern me a bit but overall, this is a stat-friendly group of opponents.
Why you Shouldn’t Consider Roberto Hernandez
Just about everything else, I’m afraid.
First off, let’s assume he continues this pace. It deviates a little bit because the ratios don’t work perfectly, but this is roughly what you could expect.
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The ERA and WHIP look great, but a few negatives jump right off of the page at me?
- A 3.64 K/9 ratio?
Yup, and I actually rounded that up a little bit from his number over the last 7 starts, which is 3.61. Generally speaking, if you come in with a K/9 ratio of around 6, you need to be paired with a high K guy to make up for the lost strikeouts.
Not only is Hernandez not a 6 K’s per 9, but he’s not even close.
- A 3.00 BB/9 ratio?
Yes, and again, the projections benefited from some slightly favorable rounding compared to what he’s done over the last seven games. Now mind you, a 3.0 BB/9 ratio isn’t bad, it’s just not that great, especially when you compare it to such a paltry strikeout rate.
Now, the qualifier with those projections is that he’ll stay at a similar pace. But when you’re not elite with walks and are clearly pitching to contact, you’re WHIP isn’t going to be anywhere near 1.04.
Mind you, these are only negatives that apply to Hernandez’s skills. There are a few other outside factors that need to be considered here, too.
- Lack of Run Support
Take just about any offensive metric you can find and I promise that the Phillies are below average, or just downright bad. I will grant that guys like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Marlon Byrd stayed put, so they can score some runs. But the lineup has been mediocre, even with those guys. So, thinking it’s going to change is pretty optimistic. Also, any of those guys can still be moved.
Even if they stay put and hit really well, it opens up another problem.
- Bad Bullpen
The Phillies bullpen ERA is one of the worst in the game.
I will say that Jonathan Papelbon staying does help ease some of the uncertainty that was there about the ninth inning. It also helps to know that Ken Giles is there as a strong set-up guy and a possible closer if Papelbon is moved.
Still, you probably noticed that through this strong stretch, Hernandez is averaging about 6.2 innings per game. Giles and Papelbon aren’t going to get all seven of those outs, not every game anyway. I just don’t trust many people in that bullpen to hold a lead.
Now, if your league counts quality starts instead of wins, the last two things aren’t as much of a concern. But outside of the potential opponents, the negatives far outweigh the positives.
What to do with Roberto Hernandez
I often think the fantasy baseball community over thinks things. When that happens, they tend to miss out of some really great surprise players. Having said that, keeping Hernandez off of the roster long term is the right move.
As a streaming option, you could probably do worse, especially if you’re streaming for a quality start/win and don’t need a big strikeout day.
I don’t think Roberto Hernandez will be completely ineffective for the rest of the season, but I don’t see any fantasy value there. I’d look elsewhere for any needs that extend beyond 1-2 starts.