UPDATE: According to Nick Camino of WTAM in Cleveland, Indians manager Manny Acta said that Hernandez will start Wednesday against the Angels.
2:01 PM: Roberto Hernandez hasn’t pitched for the Indians this season after being arrested in January on false identity charges in his native Dominican Republic, but that should change very soon.
According to Nick Camino of WTAM in Cleveland, Indians manager Manny Acta said Hernandez will likely get called up to start next week, either against Angels or Athletics.
Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, has a 4.07 ERA and 20/4 K/BB ratio over 24 1/3 innings over his first four tune-up starts in the minors. This includes seven-innings of one-run ball with Triple-A Columbus last night. He’s eligible to return from his three-week suspension today, but the Indians will presumably wait until his turn in the rotation to activate him.
Hernandez has a 4.59 ERA over six seasons in the majors, all with Cleveland. He posted a 5.25 ERA and 109/60 K/BB ratio in 188 2/3 innings last season.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.