The Blue Jays announced Thursday that outfielder Teoscar Hernandez has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo and that fellow outfielder Socrates Brito cleared waivers and has been assigned outright to Buffalo following his recent DFA. Infielder Richard Urena is up from Triple-A in place of Hernandez.
Toronto has held high hopes for Hernandez since acquiring him from the Astros back in 2017, but while he’s shown flashes of his potential, the 26-year-old has yet to establish himself as a consistent producer. Hernandez treated the Jays to about a half season’s worth of production last year, hitting at an impressive .268/.319/.550 pace with 12 homers, 16 doubles and five triples through the season’s first 54 games (238 plate appearances). Hernandez routinely lit up Statcast leaderboards with premium exit velocity readings and hit some prodigious home runs, but he slumped badly in the season’s second half and has seen his quality of contact take a nosedive in 2019.
So far this season, Hernandez is hitting just .189/.262/.299 with a near-30 percent strikeout rate. He’s connected on three home runs but has seen his average exit velocity dip from a hearty 91.8 mph to just 89 mph in 2019. His hard-hit rate, as measured by Statcast, has plummeted from 45.9 percent all the way to 34.9 percent, and he’s seen both his ground-ball and infield-fly rates increase over last season as well.
The endpoint here is arbitrary, but dating back to the middle of last June when his struggles seemingly begun, Hernandez is hitting .206/.279/.366 with a 35.2 percent strikeout rate through 426 plate appearances. That’s a far cry from his encouraging first two and a half months in 2018, and the Jays will hope that some time against lesser competition in a lower-pressure setting can get Hernandez back on track. If he can rebound, there’s still room for him to be a long-term option in the outfield or at designated hitter, but he’ll need to pare back the strikeouts and rediscover the frequent hard contact he made last season when he was in the 97th percentile of all big league hitters in terms of barreled-ball rate.
Brito, meanwhile, was designated for assignment last week after hitting just .077/.163/.128 in 43 plate appearances with the Jays. He’s already bounced from the D-backs to the Padres to the Blue Jays in a series of DFAs, but he went unclaimed this time around and will join Hernandez in attempting to get back on track in Triple-A.
I have a soft spot for Teoscar for some reason. He has done a good job at improving his defense, some improvement on the walk rates. However he does need the demotion to go find his bat again. He has a lot of good skills if he can use them all at the same time.
Wish they’d give Gurriel or Biggio a chance before Urena to be the super utility player
They are staying in AAA to learn how to play the OF, most likely.
Maybe the Jays want them to be regular position players and not generic 200 AB a year utility guys.
Ideally they’d be Zobrist-esque and still get everyday AB’s. That is an extremely valuable roster player.
Hernandez was a consistent bum, could not catch line drives, could not hit curve balls, could not run the bases intelligently. Never see him again in the bigs. Unless he starts producing, Tellez is next.
728 OPS tells us he is not a bum. A rookie still trying to find his way, for sure. But with massive power and reasonable defense.
Clearly you do not watch Teoscar play. His defense is not reasonable. Not even close.
Maybe he meant Tellez?
You’re right, my bad. I’ll still contest Tellez’ reasonable defense too. He’s not very good at the 1-bag. Jays should hire the best personal trainer to hover over Tellez and Vlad.
whole heartedly agree that conditioning needs to be focused on.
Socrates needs to work on his method.
Ask more questions?
not too shabby this
No chat today?
Teoscar can’t defend, and if he’s not hitting he is useless.
The AAA hitting coach has 1 job; tell Teoscar to stop kicking the back foot during the swing. Try kicking your back leg backward or behind you while you swing in the batting cage. Or do it while you hit the heavy bag. You’ll find it unhelpful.
He is playing for his career right now. He is too talented a hitter to be this bad.
his back foot is planted when he swings. It twists, as proper hitting mechanics dictate, but ive never seen this kick you’re talking about.
It’s especially awful on offspeed pitches. Does it frequently on inside fastballs. Not as pronounced on middle or outside pitches unless it’s offspeed. He’s not engaging the hips the way he’s supposed to, which is why he has the drop in exit velocity and hit-hard rate. When he kicks the back leg backward or sideways he loses power.
Check the opening game highlights against Jordan Zimmermann when he broke the no-no. The back leg ain’t turning.
If it was as simple as his backfoot, it would be cleaned up by now. Watch his final four AB’s before being sent down. It’s not that he looked overmatched… he looked completely lost out there. Hips flying open, feet kicking out, head pulling off, basically flailing at everything… its gonna take more than some time on a heavy bag.
The back leg is the most glaring problem with Teoscar. Obviously not the only problem. He still cannot field. His future is in serious doubt.
Hernandez will be back. He’ll sort it out. He needs to work on the positioning of his hands. He has learned a few bad habits.
That kind of power and speed is valuable in the big leagues.
He has the same issue Aaron Hill had. Only 1 guy could hit with a massive mid-swing leg kick with the back foot – Frank Thomas. Big Hurt was a physical freak and could get away with it.
Teoscar’s early power spree was interesting, but it looks a lot like a fluke now. he probably wouldnt have made it even this far without it.
i dont think the power was a fluke. its his ability to recognize hittable pitches, and barrelling up the ball.
The way Brito plays the only place for him in Buffalo is as the asst. to the guy who loads the equipment. He was a slug before he was traded to the Jays and never got any better.
Another of Shapiro and Atkins smart trades. Jackson is the newest smart move.
Odrisamer Despaigne and Socrates Brito in the news today… Bad day for fun names…
When a guy named Teoscar is at best the third most unusual name on the transaction wire, it’s been quite a day of interesting names.
Teoscar will figure it out in AAA hopefully. His defence has improved a little recently because it really couldn’t get much worse. I couldn’t watch him chase sliders out of the zone all year long. We have no OFs with Brito down as well. I have no idea how he fits into anything the Jays are trying to do…
its looking like the jays are going to have to trade from their surplus of middle infielders to acquire that stud in the outfield. Unless Biggio or Gurriel become serviceable there, nothing really looks to promising as it stands
Would have been wise for him to make the team Burritos before he left.