Righthander Tom Gordon was placed on the 15-day disabled list today, backdated to May 2. To replace Gordon, the Phillies purchased the contract of righthander Yoel Hernandez from Triple-A Ottawa.
Hernandez, 27, was 1-0 with three saves and a 3.68 ERA in seven relief appearances for Ottawa. After allowing four runs in his season debut, he did not allow another run after that, pitching 6 1-3 scoreless frames. Hernandez held opposing hitters to a .233 batting average, including one hit over his last 4.0 innings. Originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1998, the Venezuelan has a career minor league record of 37-38 with 21 saves and a 3.44 ERA in 225 games (76 starts).
Beerleaguer: I would have never, ever seen this coming. This is Hernandez's ninth season in the organization, and due to numerous setbacks, it appeared his ride the Majors had completely stalled. The Venezuelan right-hander appeared in only nine games for the Red Barons last season due to a right shoulder strain. From the looks of it, the Phils are going with a hot hand, and perhaps part of it is to finally see what they've got in Hernandez after all these years in their system.
It feels like Hernandez had been on the Phillies 40-man roster forever, that is, until February of this year when he was removed from the 40-man, cleared waivers and was sent to Triple-A. That's where I thought he'd stay, for the rest of his life.
Hernandez was rated the Phillies 11th-best prospect in Baseball America way back in 2001 and was converted to a full-time reliever in 2003 with Reading. He was on the fast track until elbow surgery derailed his progress at the end of 2004. He makes his living with a live fastball and crisp slider.
Welcome to the big leagues, Yo-el.