Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 32 of 286. Stay tuned.
Elieser Alexis Hernández is a 6′, 210 lb. right-handed pitcher from Ocumare del Tuy, in Venezuela, which is also the hometown of former Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. Born on May 3rd, 1995, Hernández signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros on May 31st, 2012.
Hernández muscled his way up through the Astros system over the next six seasons, going 5-5 with a 3.68 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and 88 whiffs in 73 innings mostly for the Buies Creek Astros in the single-A Carolina League in 2017. On December 14th, the Miami Marlins chose him in the Rule 5 Draft.
Rule 5 Draft
The conditions of the Rule 5 Draft are as follows:
The selected player must remain on the major league roster for the duration of the season, and not get sent down to the minor leagues.
If the player is sent to the minor leagues, the losing ball club may reclaim him.
Hernández did stay on the Marlins 40-man roster for the duration of the 2018 campaign, less some time on the disabled list.
The Marlins took a shot in the dark to keep Hernández through 2018, maybe a little before he was ready for time on a major league roster. They’re free now to continue his development in the minors, or the majors if they are confident in his current skillset.
Just as the season started, Hernàndez was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a tooth infection, which would keep him inactive until May 10th. In his first five major league appearances, through the month of May, he started three times and pitched 18 innings, going 0-2 with a 2.50 ERA. He gave up 20 hits and just one walk, striking out nine and surrendering a slashline of .290/.300/.464. On May 16th, he started on two days rest and earned no decision in a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing three hits and a walk over five innings. It was the first time which Hernàndez appeared in an eventual victory for the Miami Marlins.
Hernàndez played in seven more games in June, starting twice and striking out 13 in 17 2/3 innings. Opponents hit .309/.422/.529. On June 26th, he struck out a season-high eight batters in just four innings, but took the loss in a 5-3 decision to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Marlins were 0-7 in games in which he appeared through the month.
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Aside from giving up 10 runs in an 18-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on July 7th, Hernàndez gave up just three hits and struck out eight over 9 2/3 scoreless innings in July. Four days after that meltdown, Hernàndez earned his first career win, striking out three over the final two innings of a 5-4, 12-inning win over the Milwaukee Brewers. August would see him hold opponents to a .222/.271/.444 slashline in 12 innings of work, with 11 strikeouts and 13 baserunners allowed.
To make a long story short, if you forgive Hernàndez the 10-run debacle in July, he pitched a pretty good season. A 3.98 ERA and a 1.342 WHIP are right around league average. I mean, I’ll give him a pass if you will.
The Miami Marlins are free to continue developing Hernàndez at the double- or triple-A level starting in 2019, but did he show us enough to maintain his spot at the top? We think he may have fallen just short, and will probably begin next year with the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League.
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