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PhillyVoice: David Hernandez Closer

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http://www.phillyvoice.com/former-set-up-man-david-hernandez-ready-for-phils-closer-role/

The Phils zeroed in on Hernandez ? a 30-year-old Sacramento native ? early in the free agent process, plucking him from the open market with a one-year, $3.9 million deal. Since the Dec. 9 signing was followed a week later with the trade that sent Ken Giles to Houston, it was viewed in retrospect as not only a precursor to the Giles deal but also an effective piece of insurance should the trade go down.

?We had wanted to add a veteran to the back end of our bullpen anyway whether we were trading Kenny or not, so I think we would have signed David regardless,? general manager Matt Klentak said at the time. ?But I do think once we had David in the fold and we knew that we had someone who had pitched in late innings, high leverage situations before, it does make it a little bit easier emotionally to trade someone like Ken Giles.?

And now, with Giles gone and Jonathan Papelbon long gone, Hernandez begins camp with his new team in Clearwater, Fla., as the favorite for the Phillies closer job. Part of it is simple math: the front office gave Hernandez a guaranteed major league contract worth nearly $4 million.

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Wow, good for him. Liked him when he was on the O's. Plus, imagine all the Complacent Reynolds memes that would never have existed if it weren't for David.

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Good for him. Glad he's still in the league doing well. I think I remember his father posted here. Hope he does well with the Phils. they're going to have a tough year but maybe they can have a nice start to their rebuild.

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Maybe the Orioles will be in the hunt for a playoff position and maybe David can or will be traded to the Orioles after he saves 15-18 games for the Phillies. One can only hope!!

We'd love to have him back. The best of luck to both of you.

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oo

Hernandez is one of my "Original Big 10" from 2009:

OFFNY's Original Big Ten from 2009:

1).. Brad Bergesen

2).. Jason Berken

3).. Chris Tillman

4).. David Hernandez ........ These were the 4 "AA Boys" at that time that anchored an excellent staff at AA-Bowie the previous season (2008). Between the 4 of them, they racked up 48 wins and 5 complete games with 3 shutouts in the 5-month season that year.

5).. Brandon Erbe

6).. Chorye Spoone

7).. Brian Matusz

8).. Jake Arrieta

9).. Zach Britton

10) Troy Patton

At that time, all of these pitchers were playing in the Orioles' minor league system at the level of at least Advanced-A or higher, and were either highly touted, or at least fairly highly. Some of them are still with the team, some have been traded, and some are still in our minor league system.

My feeling at that time was that the numbers alone were in our favor. I thought that out of those 10 pitchers that were high-level (or at least fairly high-level) prospects, we should be able to get at least 3 or 4 starting pitchers that would have pretty good (or better) major league careers. I wasn't sure which of the 3 or 4 would make it and live up to those expectations, because sometimes the "can't miss" prospects miss, and sometimes the "middle-tier" prospects surprise and pitch like that of the "can't miss" prospect. And of course, sometimes they bomb out. :o

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Maybe the Orioles will be in the hunt for a playoff position and maybe David can or will be traded to the Orioles after he saves 15-18 games for the Phillies. One can only hope!!

Best of luck to David. It sounds like a good opportunity for him to build his resume. If he has a good year, he could be in line for a pretty good contract next year (not that $3.9 mm is anything for us mere mortals to sneeze at!).

That said, I hope the Orioles are not in a position where they need to be bolstering their bullpen this July. It should be one of our strengths, and if it isn't, we probably won't be in contention at the trade deadline.

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Maybe the Orioles will be in the hunt for a playoff position and maybe David can or will be traded to the Orioles after he saves 15-18 games for the Phillies. One can only hope!!

He still has a lot of fans here. Best of luck.

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