Arizona Diamondbacks GM discusses David Hernandez's struggles
Because even if the reliable J.J. Putz got hurt or faltered, setup man David Hernandez was ready to step right in and lock down games.
Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 2011 season, Hernandez posted a 7-6 record with a 2.94 ERA with 15 saves in his first two years with the D-backs. He struck out 175 in 137.2 innings of work, and looked very much like a closer of the future.
Then 2013 happened.
Hernandez's promising future has turned disastrous, as the 28-year-old has gone 4-6 with a 5.32 ERA. He's allowed 10 home runs, which is more than the previous two seasons combined.
He's been scored on in eight of his last 14 appearances, and been generally awful since the calendar turned to June.
"He's been much better at home than he has been on the road," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Wednesday. "Of late he's even struggled a little bit at home, but if you look at his home and away splits, he's much better at home."
Hernandez is 2-2 with a 3.97 ERA in 22.2 innings at Chase Field this season, whereas he's 2-4 with a 6.57 ERA in 24.2 innings on the road.
Towers attributed Hernandez's improved play at home to the support he receives from fans, adding that confidence is an important part of being a reliever.
"When you're feeling good and you feel confidence throwing that fastball where you want," he said, "with David it's just, the velocity is still there it's just bad location."
The GM believes his reliever is in a rut right now, where even his good pitches get hit hard. Comparing him to Heath Bell, who has also struggled at times this season, Towers said he believes Hernandez's breaking ball has been less effective this year than in years past.
"It's been a rough year for him," he said. "He knows it.
"It's tough and the confidence isn't there; our job is to just try to put him in areas to where he can hopefully start to slowly regain that confidence before we start putting him in meaningful innings late in the game."
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Arizona Diamondbacks reinstate Daniel Hudson, Cody Ross from the disabled list
- Dose of Venom: Anderson dominates, Diamondbacks finish home stand with win over Rockies
- Anderson, Hill, big 7th inning lift Diamondbacks over Rockies: By The Numbers
- Dose of Venom: Matzek, Rockies silence Diamondbacks
- Nuno's strong outing squandered as Rockies shut out Diamondbacks: By The Numbers
- Augie Ojeda, former Arizona Diamondback - Friday August 29Doug and Wolf chat with former Diamondback Augie Ojeda.
- Travis Lee, former D-backs first baseman - Thursday August 28Travis Lee shares some stories and memories from playing with the D-backs.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday August 28Derrick Hall discusses the home plate rule in the new instant replay system.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday August 27ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian believes Matt Williams is good for the Nationals.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 26D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discusses possible changes to a six-man rotation.
- Reggie Sanders - former Diamondbacks outfielder - Tuesday August 26Reggie Sanders discusses the Diamondbacks' alumni game coming up this Saturday.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday August 21Derrick Hall gives his thoughts on the new MLB commissioner.