Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have continued to fill out their organizational depth with numerous Minor League signings, all of whom should be in Major League Spring Training with the club.
After recently signing Jonathan Araúz, Travis Swaggerty and Lolo Sanchez to Minor League contracts, the Dodgers have a few buy-low candidates with upside to contribute more.
The club has also added to their pitching depth with Mike Flynn, Daniel Hudson and Nabil Crismatt this offseason.
According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, the Dodgers made an under the radar signing on a Minor League deal to improve their pitching depth even further, inking Eliser Hernández:
Dodgers are signing RHP Elieser Hernández to a minor league deal that includes an invite to spring training, sources tell The Athletic.
Last pitched in the bigs with the Marlins in 2022.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) January 10, 2024
Hernández hasn’t pitched in Major League Baseball since 2022, most recently posting a 6.35 ERA in a difficult season. In a very abbreviated 2023 campaign, he logged just 9.1 innings pitched across three levels of the New York Mets’ Minor League system.
At his best, Hernández has shown a solid ability to strikeout big league hitters while being able to limit free passes. In his career, he’s been used as both a starter and a reliever, but his track record trends more towards him being used out of the bullpen.
When Hernández was moved to the bullpen, he saw an uptick in velocity, which perhaps bodes well for the Dodgers ability to help him become a useful reliever.
Projection for Elieser Hernández with the Dodgers
The main factor for Hernández this upcoming season has been him ability to stay healthy. His best production during his big league career came while with the Marlins, posting a career-high 11.9 strikeouts per nine in 2020.
Since then, Hernández’s numbers have decline as a result of various injuries. A strained lat, right biceps inflammation, and a quad strain cut his season short in 2021. What the Dodgers can do, is look to find a role and a program that can maximize his skill-set, while reducing the risk of hiccups.
The signing presents no risk to the team, as they’ll get a good look in Spring Training. He has no options remaining, so if the Dodgers add him to their MLB roster at any point this season, he’ll need to pass through waivers to go back to Triple-A or risk being claimed by another team.
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