Cincinnati Reds sign David Hernandez to a two-year deal

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds sign the veteran righty to take on the set-up man role.

Last season Michael Lorenzen and Wandy Peralta dominated the last two innings for the Cincinnati Reds.  They each had eighteen holds.  The next highest was free agent Drew Storen at six.

In response to this the Reds signed a pair of right-handers in David Hernandez and Jared Hughes.  Initially Hughes looked like the only major league free agent that the Reds were going to sign.  Then they signed Hernandez who is even more of a true set-up man.

Last year, Hernandez had a total of eighteen holds and two saves between two teams.  He pitched for both the Los Angeles Angels and the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He earned a hold in nearly 40% of his appearances for Arizona.

Hernandez initially came up through the Baltimore Orioles’ organization as a starter.  After a year as a starter and a year as a reliever, Hernandez moved onto the Diamondbacks.  Since then 2015 is the only season in which Hernandez didn’t collect double digits in holds.

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That season Hernandez was injured and only pitched in 40 games.  His next lowest number of games pitched in that span was 62.  Hernandez is a reliever that can pitch every other game.

The signing of David Hernandez totally changes the Cincinnati Reds bullpen for 2018.

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Adding Hernandez and Hughes to Peralta in setting up Raisel Iglesias changes the way the Reds will approach leads in 2018.  Regardless of whether or not Lorenzen remains in the bullpen, the Reds have a better arrangement in the bullpen.  They can protect a lead for three or four innings with the new arms.

Hughes, Peralta, and Hernandez can each take one inning sixth through eighth.  That leaves the ninth inning for Iglesias.  If Lorenzen ends up in the bullpen, then Hughes and Peralta can be mixed and matched during the sixth inning.

It also gives the Reds at least four pitchers that can pitch late in games.  If Iglesias and Peralta pitch on Monday, then Hughes and Hernandez can pitch on Tuesday.  It just looks better if Lorenzen doesn’t move to the starting rotation.

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Two years ago, the first half of the season was the Reds’ worst from the bullpen in franchise history.  Until Iglesias and Lorenzen joined the pen, it was Ross Ohlendorf and pray.  In 2018 it will be Iglesias, Hernandez, Hughes, and Peralta, if the offense can provide the lead.