Ramon Hernandez’s rough season came to a painful end Monday night, as the Rockies catcher tore his left hamstring while running to first base on what proved to be a ground-rule double.
Hernandez previously missed a big chunk of the season with a hand injury and finished with just 52 games after playing at least 80 games in each of the previous 12 years.
He also hit just .217 and in Hernandez’s absence the Rockies have turned to 23-year-old rookie Wilin Rosario behind the plate. Rosario has shown great power with 24 homers, 15 doubles, and a .521 slugging percentage in 352 plate appearances, but that comes with an ugly .298 on-base percentage and league-leading 19 passed balls.
He’s still very much a work in progress, but Rosario has played well enough that the Rockies would no doubt be willing to hand him the starting job for next season … except Hernandez is under contract for $3.2 million as part of a two-year deal signed in November. Given his age and health status a backup role is probably best for Hernandez at this point, but that’s a big salary for a part-timer and the Rockies would probably love to unload his contract this offseason.
Coming off a career-worst year and hamstring surgery at age 36 that’ll be a tough sell.