Tag: Ramon Hernandez

New York Yankees: With Ramon Hernandez DFA by Rockies, Bombers Should Pursue

I’ve never been comfortable with the Yankees’ current catching situation.

Especially because the Yankees lost their previous one, who was looking for more money, to free agency.

And then, I got an idea for a potential starter.

On Tuesday, I had first mentioned the idea of Ramon Hernandez for the Yankees.

That was after it was announced that Yorvit Torrealba would make the Colorado Rockies and Hernandez was likely either to be traded or cut.

On Friday, the Colorado Rockies designated Hernandez for assignment, and they will have 10 days to either trade or release the catcher.

Hernandez is due $3.2 million in 2013, but if the Rockies end up having to release him, Colorado has to pay him the whole amount, and whomever Hernandez signs with next would only have to pay him the minor league minimum.

Whether it be a trade or signing him as a free agent, I still think the Yankees need to pursue the veteran catcher for the 2013 season.

Back on March 17, Jon Heyman from CBS Sports had said the Rays, Phillies, Angels and Pirates all could have interest in Hernandez, but the Yankees hadn’t inquired yet.

That was March 17. We’re nearing the end of March now, almost two full weeks later, and there are multiple injuries to the Yankees offense to take into consideration.

The Yankees currently have Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart as their two main catchers on the roster, but neither one is really suited to be a starter and should be a backup used for defensive purposes.

With Hernandez, it would give the Yankees a little extra pop in their lineup that they wouldn’t get from either Cervelli or Stewart.

Joe Pawlikowski from River Ave. Blues also talked about the idea of the Yankees looking into Hernandez once he was designated for assignment or released.

In 2012, Hernandez only played in 52 games for the Rockies due to a hand injury.

If Hernandez is healthy, he’s capable of hitting .270-.290 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI while playing 100-120 games.

He also has a career .990 fielding percentage behind the plate and has handled many pitching staffs, as he has played for the A’s, Padres, Orioles, Reds and Rockies in the past.

Some other teams could use Hernandez as a potential backup, but Hernandez makes perfect sense for them the Yankees, because both Stewart and Cervelli are not very strong suitors to be everyday catchers.

Plus, it would only be for one season and wouldn’t block either Austin Romine’s or Gary Sanchez’s progress toward the majors if they got the call.

The most ideal situation would be the Yankees waiting the 10-day period for Colorado to release Hernandez and the Yankees could then sign him for a veteran’s minimum of $400,000.

Or, the Yankees and Brian Cashman could work out a deal with Dan O’Dowd to take Hernandez and work out how much of the $3.2 million the Rockies would be on the hook for.

I know the Yankees have a lot of age and experience already on the roster, but the catching situation has been neglected since Russell Martin left as a free agent.

Acquiring Hernandez would be a short-term solution for 2013, but a good one to make.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.


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New York Yankees: Should Bombers Consider Ramon Hernandez for Starting Catcher?

The Yankees are in major need of offense for 2013.

It’s the reason why they have traded for Vernon Wells and have picked up $13 million of the remaining $42 million left on his contract.

He’ll be the starting left fielder until Curtis Granderson returns from the disabled list.

One position that the Yankees could still look to improve on is catcher.

All winter long, I have been stressing on how the Yankees should look into different options because both Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are not the best options as starters.

I have an idea that could be developing in the near future.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, there is a very good chance that the Colorado Rockies release Ramon Hernandez soon.

Wilin Rosario will be the Rockies starting catcher and Yorvit Torrealba will likely win the backup job, which is why the Rockies are currently exploring a trade.

However, as Rosenthal stated, the Rockies might end up having to release Hernandez and will be on hook to pay him the remaining $3.2 million of his deal.

If that is the case, I think the Yankees should take a look at Hernandez to be their catcher for 2013.

Cody Derespina of Newsday also made the suggestion of the Yankees taking a look at Hernandez for their catcher spot.

As far as money goes, since the Rockies would be on hook for the rest of Hernandez’s salary, all the Yankees would have to give him is a veteran’s minimum for a deal.

Hernandez’s defense might not be as strong as Stewart or Cervelli’s, especially since he’s 36, going on 37 years old in May.

But what Hernandez has to offer over those two is a stronger bat, something they lost when Russell Martin bolted to the Pittsburgh Pirates in free agency.

The Yankees weren’t too keen on the idea of paying Martin $8.5 million per season, but $400,000 for Hernandez might be something they could look into.

Plus, Hernandez would only be signed on for one season, whereas Martin was looking for two-to-three years in a deal.

In the spring, both Stewart and Cervelli are playing good defense, but on the other side, they aren’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball.

Stewart is hitting .225 while Cervelli is hitting .200. Now, normally, these numbers wouldn’t matter since both are known for being defensive-minded catchers.

However, with Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez all slated to start the season on the disabled list, the Yankees need help on offense.

Hernandez spent time in 2012 on the DL, playing in just 52 games and hitting .217 with five home runs and 28 RBI.

When Hernandez is healthy, he’s capable of hitting .285 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI while being able to hold his own behind the plate.

With Yankees GM Brian Cashman bargain hunting, but looking for upgrades to the team, Hernandez would make sense for the Bombers in 2013.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.


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Breaking Down the Washington Nationals’ 4 Biggest Second-Half Storylines

The Washington Nationals have been and will be an interesting team to watch.

After years of building up young talent and sending them into the farm system, Washington’s young dream team has finally been assembled. Players like Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper were all drafted by Washington, and they are all making a splash.

And it wasn’t just the draft. Washington signed Jayson Werth in the 2010 offseason and traded for Gio Gonzalez in the 2011 offseason.

Now, the Nationals lead the NL East by 2.5 games, and they’re ready to fight to the finish in a tight NL East race that everyone will be talking about.

Here are the Nationals’ four biggest second-half storylines.

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Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects: How Do They Rate

Jonathan Mayo ranks Reds’ 2007 number one draft pick, catcher Devin Mesoraco, their No. 1 prospect.

Joining Mesoraco on the top ten list are, in order of ranking: 1B/OF Yonder Alonso, 2B/SS Billy Hamilton, OF Yorman Rodriguez, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Brad Boxberger, SS Zack Cozart, 3B/OF Todd Frazier, 3B Juan Francisco and LHP Donnie Joseph.

According to the list, starting pitching appears to be a weakness. Mayo list only two pitchers in the top 10, both of whom are relievers. However, there are a few starters, such as Tony Cingrani and Josh Smith who likely could crack the top 10 soon.

Cingrani, a 6′ 4″ LHP out of Rice University, went 3-2 with a 1.75 ERA and 0.80 WHIP while striking out 80 batters in 51 and 1/3 innings with the Billings Mustangs.

Smith, a 6′ 2″ RHP out of Lipscomb University, struck-out 166 batters in 142 and 1/3 innings, while posting a 14-7 record with a 2.97 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with the Dayton Dragons.

Several of the Reds top ten prospects have some major league experience and below is an outlook on their future.


Devin Mesoraco

Mesoraco was called up in September and played in 18 games for the Reds, batting .226 with two homeruns and six RBI in 50 at bats.

The scouting report on Mesoraco is he can hit for power and average. Has a plus arm, allowing him to shut down the running game. He currently is listed third on the depth chart, but rumor has it Ramon Hernandez will not be returning.

Yonder Alonso

After Johny Gomes was dealt in July, Alonso was called up to play left field. This likely will be his position for the next few years as Reds GM Walt Jocketty says he is not planning on moving Joey Votto.

This season with the Reds, Alonso was very productive, batting .330 with a .545 slugging percentage in 88 at bats. He is likely to play some first base next season, but look for most of his playing time to be in the outfield, for now.


Billy Hamilton

Mayo thinks Hamilton might be the fastest guy in the minors. Could be, he stole 103 bases this year in Dayton. Mayo also says he has plate discipline way beyond his years. That might be wishful thinking. I have not seen it and his 133 strikeouts vs. 52 walks indicates he may not be as disciplined as Mayo would like to think.

Hamilton projects to be a good lead-off hitter but must work on his swing and become a better bunter to take full advantage of his speed. The Reds may move him to the outfield. His arm and speed suit him well for the outfield and defensively he is weak in the infield.

The Reds will not be afraid to move him quickly.

“He’s a kid we cannot, and will not, be afraid to push. He has to much ability,” said Reds vice president of scouting, player development and international operations Bill Bavasi.

Yorman Rodriguez

According to Mayo, Rodriguez has all the tools you could ask for, and he’s figuring out how to use them. Mayo believes he can be the prototypical five-tool right fielder.

This season (2011) Rodriguez hit .254 with seven home runs and 40 RBI in 280 at bats at Dayton. He also had 20 stolen bases.

His estimated time of arrival is 2014 and he appears to be on pace.


Yasmani Grandal

The scouting report for Grandal reads as such: A natural leader behind the plate, he’s a slightly better defender than Mesoraco all-around but not as good a hitter. He does have pretty good pop, thought.

Grandal enjoyed a very successful 2011 season and advanced from A-ball to AAA. Most of his time was spent between A & AA, where he batted. 306 with 14 homeruns, 68 RBI and a .500 slugging percentage.

Grandal is estimated to arrive in the big leagues in 2013. Look for him to become the everyday catcher in 2014 or ’15.


Brad Boxberger

Boxberger is the Reds top rated pitching prospect and seems to have adjusted to coming out of the pen. He has a power arm with the arsenal of a starter.

His estimated time of arrival is 2012 and based on his 2011 season, it appears he is ready. He posted 11 saves with a 2.03 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 62 innings of work between AA Carolina and AAA Louisville

Even though he is not listed on the current 40 man roster, look for him to leave camp with the Reds next spring.


Zack Cozart

Reds fans liked what they saw of Cozart in 2011 and the short-stop position appeared to be his until an elbow injury cut his season short. The injury required Tommy John surgery, leaving the door slightly open for Paul Janish.

Look for Cozart to be the Reds regular shortstop by 2013, if not sooner.


Todd Frazier

Even though Todd is listed as the Reds No. 8 prospect, he really isn’t seen as anything more than a utility type player with the Reds. Mayo labels him a super-utility guy.

He has some pop in his bat and runs the bases well. It’s possible he has a brighter future in the AL as a DH.

Juan Francisco

Francisco made the Reds 25-man roster out of spring training but was later sent down to AAA. He is listed as the No. 1 third baseman on the Reds depth chart and looks to be the 2012 everyday third baseman. The Reds like his power and he should bode well at GABP.


Donnie Joseph

Mayo labels Joseph as a future set-up man, but if he does not gain better command (30 BB in 58 and 1/3 innings) he could be a long way from his 2012 estimated arrival.

Don’t look for him to be with the Reds anytime soon.

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Cincinnati Reds: Does Ryan Hanigan Have a Future with the Team?

Since making his MLB debut in 2007, Cincinnati Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan has without a doubt been a valuable asset to the Reds organization.

As both a backup catcher and a spot starter, Hanigan has proven himself to be a clutch hitter and a solid defender behind the plate.

Many baseball fans, including me, expected to see Hanigan earn more of a full-time role with the Reds once the recent trade deadline had passed, but Cincinnati elected to hold on to veteran Ramon Hernandez and keep Hanigan in his usual on-again, off-again role.

One has to wonder, with Hernandez playing at a high level and with two hot minor league catching prospects in Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal itching to make their way up to the majors, where exactly Hanigan fits in Cincinnati’s plans for the future.

Hernandez is 35 years old and projected to become a free agent at the season’s end, but the Reds didn’t trade him when given a chance to at the deadline, and that could mean that they intend to bring him back in 2012. After all, there are several Cincinnati pitchers, including emerging star Johnny Cueto, who prefer to pitch to Hernandez due to their familiarity with his catching style. 

Whatever the Reds decide to do with Hanigan down the line, there’s no question that he will still have a future in the league. Catchers (even backups) are remarkably valuable in the MLB, and while he’s not a superstar by any means, Hanigan has shown year after year that he can hold down home plate with the best of them.

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Cincinnati Reds Baseball: Rymon Hernanigan Is on Fire

I have never been a fan of platooning players in baseball. I always liked having a set lineup while giving the starter an occasional day of rest. Dusty Baker has a different idea when it comes to the Reds catching situation, and it has worked like a charm.

The combination of Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez has been more than productive both offensively and defensively. Hanigan catches Bronson Arroyo while Hernandez handles Edinson Volquez. The rest of the time, it usually depends on matchups and health.

Through the first three games of the 2011 season, the dynamic duo has put up some incredible offensive numbers. Here are the statistics (at least five at-bats), along with where they rank against the rest of Major League Baseball.

.750 AVG (1st)
1.500 SLG (2nd)
.769 OBP (1st)
3 HR (2nd)
7 RBI (2nd)
18 TB (T-1st)


Are you in Reds Country?

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Opening Day in Cincinnati Was Unbelievable, as Usual

Few experiences can top Opening Day in Cincinnati, Ohio. The parade, sold-out stadium and increased number of media members are just a few things that cause the first baseball game of the year to sometimes take a backseat to the pageantry that surrounds it.

Not this time.

We met up with a group of friends, affectionately known as the Power Stack Pack, on Fountain Square and found a place to watch the parade before heading down to the stadium. The walk to Great American Ball Park is always filled with excitement and anticipation, but Opening Day raises those feelings to a new level.

After the pregame ceremonies, it was time to get down to business. Edinson Volquez tested the patience of every Reds fan by surrendering back-to-back home runs to start the game. Dusty Baker stuck with his starter for six innings despite allowing five runs on seven hits. Volquez turned it over to the bullpen with the Brewers holding a 5-2 lead.

Around the seventh inning, many “fans” began filing out of Great American Ball Park. Most of these people attend Opening Day and won’t be back until the playoffs, if the Reds are fortunate enough to make it.

A friend of mine commented about the people leaving early, to which I replied, “Apparently, they forgot that this team came from behind to win so many times last year.”

Trailing 6-3 and heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Reds went to work.

Brandon Phillips led off with a single. After Joey Votto walked, Scott Rolen reached on a fielder’s choice when Phillips displayed some fancy footwork to avoid a tag on his way to third base. Jay Bruce struck out before Phillips scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonny Gomes.

That brings me to my question of the day. The Reds now had Rolen on first, Votto on second, trailed by two and were down to their final out. Ramon Hernandez was coming to the plate. What happens if Hernandez hits a ball in the gap? My guess is Rolen, the tying run, either gets held at third or takes the risk of being thrown out at the plate. The point is I would have liked to see someone run for Rolen.

None of that mattered thanks to Hernandez. He launched a ball into the Milwaukee bullpen for a three-run, walk-off funkblast!

Yes, it was one game…but it was a great game.

Baseball is back.

Are you in Reds Country?

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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Don’t Pass on These Players Before It’s Too Late

It has only been a few days of baseball, but fantasy owners are already looking for players to add from the waiver wire.

You always want to be that owner who picked up the Buster Posey’s or the Neil Walker’s on the free-agent list.

It makes you look like an absolute genius. 

Below is a list of players should be available in most leagues:


Freddy Sanchez: 2B San Francisco Giants:  After signing his extension with the Giants, Freddy has been on a tear in the opening week.  He is tearing the cover off the ball with seven hits in fifteen trips.  For those of you who are thin at second base, Sanchez is your best bet.


Brandon Belt: 1B San Francisco Giants:  Could the Giants have another Rookie of the Year candidate this season?  Brandon belted his first career home run against the Dodgers on Friday, and it was not a cheap one either.  The strong and powerful lefty has a chance to make some noise this season, however, his playing time will be limited.


Ramon Hernandez: C Cincinnati Reds:  Hernandez was the weekend hero with his game-winning, three-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers. 

In a year where the market of catchers is thin, Hernandez could provide decent pop and a respectable average.  He is in a dangerous lineup with Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips which will allow him to get numerous opportunities with men in scoring position.


Chase Headley 3B/LF and Nick Hundley C San Diego Padres:  When you think of offense, a player on the Padres does not usually formulate in your head.  However, Headley and Hundley can hit for average and come across home plate often.  Both categories are vital in fantasy baseball.


Alberto Callaspo SS Los Angeles Angels:  It’s a shame the Royals never gave Callaspo a shot, because he could be one of the promising short stops of the future. He caused problems for the Royals in the opening weekend series and may be a headache for opposing hitters all season.  He is a great contact hitter who also has surprising power.


Justin Masterson P Cleveland Indians:  Masterson was able to halt the Chicago White Sox arsenal on Sunday after they shelled the first two starters they faced. He did not record a strikeout in that game, and that will be a category he will not help you with.  But, if you are short of arms and you are looking for a person who will give you innings, Masterson is your man.




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MLB Trade Rumors: Lance Berkman To The Cincinnati Reds?

Much has been said about Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt during the trade frenzy, but not quite as much has been mulled over Houston’s Lance Berkman.

Sure, the Yankees are mentioned anytime someone serves his name into play; And he would be a helluva Designated Hitter, but that is not what this article is about.

What kind of fit would he be for the Cincinnati Reds? Wait, don’t laugh yet. I know we have Joey Votto at 1B, but Berkman can also play in the outfield.

Keep in mind this is all based on the assumption that Lee doesn’t come to the Reds.
I know he is having a down year at the plate, but seriously I believe much of that can be ascribed to the lousy team he is playing on. If nobody gets on base it is extremely difficult to drive them in.

One of the biggest reasons I can see for the Reds to try to get him, is the fact that he is the best active hitter against the Reds, especially at Great American Ball Park.

Look at this: In 51 games played at GABP he is hitting .339 with an OBP of .458 and a SLG of .765, with 21 HR and 55 RBI. The only places he has done better (other than Minute Maid Park) is Petco and the old Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.

So, do you want him for ya or agin’ ya?

Where would we put him you say? I thought you would never ask. As a switch-hitter, he is even more valuable.

Berkman could platoon with Jay Bruce, who is a notorious poor hitter facing southpaws. Against right-handers, Bruce could move to center, while Berkman stays in right. He could spell Gomes in left and be available to play first whenever Votto needs a break. So, finding a place for him is not a problem.

What would the Astros want in return for Fat Elvis? I am glad you asked.

Their pitching is horrible across the board, so a pitcher who has been tried by fire would be essential. Enter Homer Bailey.

They are inadequate everywhere with the exception of the outfield and Jeff Keppinger in the middle of the infield.  Todd Frazier and Miguel Cairo can both play all around the infield, so they would become attractive entering the deal.

Ramon Hernandez would be a good suggestion as well behind the plate, since the Reds have a more than capable catcher in Ryan Hanigan.

My offer: Send Bailey, Hernandez and Cairo to Houston for Lance Berkman.

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