The Brewers announced today that they have claimed right-hander Ariel Hernandez off waivers from the Dodgers. He had been designated for assignment recently.
Hernandez worked at 98.1 mph with his fastball and produced a 12.6% swinging-strike rate in 24 1/3 MLB frames last year with the Reds. But he also handed out 22 free passes in that span, which perhaps led the Cincinnati club to designate him for assignment early in the present season.
It’s also clear, though, that teams are intrigued at the idea of harnessing Hernandez’s stuff. The Dodgers had to give up some value to acquire him in mid-April, indicating that there was competition, and now the Brewers will tie up a 40-man spot (for the time being, at least) in the middle of a pennant race.
Thus far in 2018, Hernandez has posted a 2.52 ERA in fifty frames over 37 appearances in the upper minors. But he has also produced just 49 strikeouts to go with 29 walks on the year. Hernandez has struggled in particular at the highest level of the minors; in 42 1/3 total frames there over the past two seasons, he has retired 40 batters on strikes but issued 39 free passes.