Roberto Hernandez sat out the first four-plus months of the season following the revelation that Fausto Carmona was a false identity, but unfortunately for the Indians changing his name hasn’t changed his pitching any.
Hernandez failed to make it out of the third inning last night against the A’s due to an ankle injury and has now allowed 15 runs in 14.1 innings spread over three starts. Within that terrible performance he’s managed a grand total of just two strikeouts in 62 plate appearances, which is worrisome even for a guy who’s never missed many bats.
He also had a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts last season and since what appeared at the time to be a breakout 2007 campaign Hernandez has thrown 659 innings with a 5.06 ERA and ugly 33-51 record. New name, same pitcher.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.