Diamondbacks setup man David Hernandez was expected to pitch for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, but for reason that aren’t yet clear, he was ruled ineligible. Fortunately for him, a relief spot just happened to open up on Team USA with Chris Perez getting hurt Friday, and Hernandez was named his replacement on Saturday.
Hernandez, 27, had a 2.50 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings out of the pen for the Diamondbacks last season. The right-hander is a third generation Mexican-American who grew up in Sacramento. He told the Arizona Republic earlier this month that he was looking forward to pitching for Mexico.
“It’s almost like a family reunion,” he said. “That means a lot to me, seeing my family get together for one cause.”
Update: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports that Hernandez was declared ineligible to pitch for Mexico because it was his great-grandparents who were both in Mexico, not his grandparents.