Young Rangers right-hander Jonathan Hernandez will be shut down for at least the next four weeks after being diagnosed with a “low-grade” sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The team is not yet anticipating surgery will be necessary, but the shutdown means they’ll be without one of the most promising members of their bullpen for an extended period.
Hernandez, 24, had a shaky 2019 debut but broke out with a 2.90 ERA and 3.67 SIERA in 31 innings last season. The young flamethrower averaged 98.3 mph on his sinker and punched out a quarter of the batters he faced against a tidy 6.4 percent walk rate. He’d been expected to be one of the team’s primary late-inning options, but the fact that he won’t throw at all until after Opening Day means that even in a best-case scenario he could miss a month or more of regular season work. Hernandez will need to build back up and go on a rehab assignment before he reemerges as an option in the Texas bullpen.
Injuries pertaining to the UCL carry the risk of Tommy John surgery, and a even a mild sprain, by definition, means there is some degree of stretching/tearing in the ligament at present. The extent of the damage is apparently mild enough that the team will hope to avoid that last-resort scenario for now.
It’s long appeared likely that there are some spots in the Rangers’ bullpen up for grabs, and an absence for Hernandez only adds to that reality. Jose Leclerc is expected to be back from last year’s teres major strain to handle ninth-inning duties. Left-hander Joely Rodriguez has been slowed by a sprained ankle in camp but is expected back on the mound shortly and, if healthy, should get late-inning work. But the Rangers are lacking in seasoned bullpen arms overall, creating the possibility for young arms to break through and for minor league signees to land spots on the 40-man roster. Veterans such as Ian Kennedy, Nick Vincent, Hunter Wood and Sam Gaviglio are in camp on non-roster deals, as is righty Spencer Patton, who has reinvented himself in Japan over the past four seasons.
Rangers are some how getting worse while being the worst team already in the Mlb
The Rangers are not the worst team in the majors. That is a fact. First, you need to mention either the Pirates, Orioles, Colorado, among others.
I dont quite think Colorado is worse then Detroit, but i agree with the overall sentiment
Pirates have decent hitting with Newman, Reynolds, and Kebryan Hayes
Orioles have decent hitting as well with Mancini coming back and Mountcastle
Rockies have Story, Marquez, Gray, Freeland
Rangers have no one other than Gallo whos streaky and Dunning who hasnt done much
Hardly the worst. What a stupid comment.
Sorry to say that I’m in agreement here and possibly the worst in Rangers’ history. I hope I’m wrong.
Concur – massive Rangers fan as well. But we’re playing for a top five draft pick this year. Injuries could easily put us in the running for the number one spot. Team has a ton of holes, especially with pitching and at 3rd. A majority of the players wouldn’t be starters on most teams.
It’s all good as the team needs to build up its farm. Plus we will have a ton of payroll flexibility to sign FA players to get this team back to contention sooner, rather than later. But 2021 is going to be rough.
Whatever happens to Matt Bush? Hope the rangers smartened up and DFA’d that loser.
He was DFA’d 3 years ago, dude. You don’t seem to be very cheery.
Why would I be cheery talking about an abusive drunk? The guys a clown and should be in prison.
Lot of guys like that in Hall of Fame and on rosters all over MLB including probably your favorite team.
He’s in camp actually.. still throwing 95mph.. this actually might help his chances
in camp on NRI
UCL?! I hate the sound of that…
UCL issues are the last thing I want to hear about in any pitcher.
especially on Hernandez no less. this dude is a killer out of the pen and could (and should) be starting
He used to be a starter and moves to the pen after bad stints in the minors as a starter. I doubt they’ll try to move him back at the highest level. He’s just a lethal multi-inning reliever.
i mean, he was usually young for his level and only really struggled in 2019. I guess though its a matter of how much better he is as a reliever, and he does look stellar in that role. (I daresay he had a solid shot to take the closing spot with a lot of the other options also dealing with injuries)
It’s not outlandish to say that he could be the closer, but that role is for Leclerc now that’s trying to regain his lost value.
Right now Hernandez will work as a multi-inning fireman, and it’s the best role for him at this time. I believe he has some of the best stuff in the game today, and his mental state helps a ton too. He loves the pressure. I imagine he’ll stay in this same role with us for a while.
I know you mean well and UCL is typically not great news, but last thing is definitely Skaggs or Adenhart. We’ll all happily take a four week shutdown here. Hope it goes well.
Looking at Hernandez stats on MLBReference I stumbled across something I found rather interesting… he seems to have signed as an amateur, international, free agent (at the age of 16) yet his birthplace is listed as Tennesee… does anyone know the story behind that? How/why he was eligible to sign at 16 and not 18/high school graduate like any other US born player would be?
I saw this excerpt on MLB.com that might answer your question:
“Jonathan Hernández…father, Fernando, pitched professionally for 14 seasons and appeared in 2 games with the Detroit Tigers in 1997…father also spent two seasons in Korea, winning 14 games with SK Wyverns in 2001…was born in Memphis, Tenn., while his father, Fernando, pitched for the Double-A Memphis Chicks in the Padres farm system, but grew up in the Dominican Republic…is a fan of LeBron James.”
Lived in the D.R; born in U.S.
Well this hurts, probably the strangers best reliever
Peart of the game
Wood and Patton look to be contending for a bullpen spot right now
Is this the worst team in Rangers’ history?
haha you must be young. Not even remotely close to the worst Rangers team.
Get Cashner. He did a job when he was here.
Get Cashner. He did a good job when he was here.