Report: Phillies Sign Pitcher Hernandez, Formerly Carmona

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, December 12, 2013 12:02 PM | Comments: 61
Analysis, News, Posts

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies will sign former Indians and Rays pitcher Roberto Hernandez to a one-year deal, pending a physical.

You may remember Hernandez as the artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona. Through 2011, he played with that assumed name, which is the name he used to acquire a visa to play in the US. Hernandez was suspended by MLB for three weeks for the identity fraud.

Last season with the Rays, Hernandez struggled by posting a 4.89 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 32 appearances (24 starts). He won’t strike many batters out – just 113 in 151 innings in 2013 – but does pitch to contact and gets an abundance of ground balls. Since 2009, with starters accumulating 500 innings or more, Hernandez has recorded 54.7 percent of his outs by way of the ground ball, ninth best in the majors.

In 2007 with Cleveland, he finished fourth in AL Cy Young vote by way of a 6.2 WAR season. However, he’s only had one other season above zero on the WAR scale; 2010 at 2.5 WAR.

Hernandez is likely to slot as the Phillies fifth starter.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Brian

    So now we have 2 Kyle Kendricks. Nice.

    • Posts: 21 barry m

      Avatar of barry m

      This year, he will be using the name “Robin Roberts.”

  • Posts: 0 Just Win

    Not a bad move if the dollar value is good. Hopefully he improves coming from the AL to the NL and produces more groundballs.

    Maybe to add another arm look at Gavin Floyd, Clayton Richard, Alfredo Aceves, Suk Min Yoon. Injuries and simply tired arms are what plague some of the young pitchers we have. The new pitching coach really needs to step up bc his track record isnt great.

  • Posts: 0 Just Win

    if they can convince Grady Sizemore to come and be our 4th outfielder. This team def has some front office issues. Every team during the Winter Meetings tries to find out the value of every player on their team. Its funny how this team is the one that it slowly leaks out. First Brown, then Papelbon, finally Lee and Hamels.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      To be honest, I don’t see any difference between the Phillies and other teams in this case, or for that matter, why we would expect the timing of the info getting out to coincide with when talks are actually happening.

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Grady Sizemore was a real player but come April it will be six seasons since he was Grady Sizemore. He’s to the outfield what Fausto Diablo is to pitching. Grady’s running on his hands and knees these days which is not conducive to playing the outfield. Yeah, at least he’d take the right routes. More than you can say for some other guys out there.

  • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

    One year deal for 4.5 million with another 1.5 million in incentives…

    I say good sign Ruben, nicely done…

    • Posts: 0 Rick

      Good sign!?… His era was near 5!… U must be related to ruin tomorrow jr… Or ur a moron

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        Classy guy!

      • Posts: 0 raltongo

        In an offseason where the mediocre-at-best Nolasco, Hughes, Feldman, Kazmir, and Colon got multi-year deals paying 10+mil per season, and the top relievers are looking for close that same AAV, a 4.5mil one-year commitment to Hernandez “Carmona” is not a bad deal. If the guy totally sucks it up, the Phillies really don’t lose anything at all financially.

      • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

        Do you have any idea about salaries in 2013, particularly pitchers’ salaries? If you did you would not have posted your comment sir. In addition, this is not a text messaging board, try if you are capable, to formulate complete sentences.

      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        We don’t call each other “morons” here.
        Perhaps you were looking for wrestlemanianation.com.

    • Posts: 0 c. schreiber

      Gotta agree with him on this clown, Hogey.

      • Posts: 0 Rick

        Looky here butt buddy crew… Remember this wen July comes and this scrub is 1-6
        With a 5.55 era. Decent signen because other teams over pay so it’s ok for us to overpay another Kendrick like scrub??? U guys are clueless

      • Posts: 0 Rick

        This is not a 500 gs signing .. It’s 4.5 plus 1.5 in earned for a fat out of shape felon who could be 50 and real name is Akbar Muhammad for all u know

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        Butt buddy crew?? Is that what you’re coming at all of us with, butt buddy crew, that’s the best you could come up with?? Sounds more like wishful thinking to me… Not to burst your butt buddy crew high or anything but maybe you should go back to grade school and learn some new insults, and also how to spell, not everybody is an English major, and everyone makes mistakes but you’re by far the worst I’ve come across Ricardo

      • Posts: 0 Rick

        That’s alright I didn’t relize I was being quizzed. Il type how I want maybe my English sux but ur sports knowledge is beyond horrible and the names not Richard thanks loser. ;)

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        My sports knowledge is beyond horrible because I’m ok with Hernandez as a 4 or 5 starter on a club that in all honesty will be lucky to win 80 games next year, yeah I guess my knowledge is just god awful, who would you propose that we have start in the 4 or 5 spot in the rotation?? Do you wanna go spend 15+million a year and sign a pitcher who will not turn this club into a winner?? It takes more than 1 signing to make the playoffs, maybe it’s my horrible sports knowledge but that’s what I know about this sport, I know things that you would never understand dick, so go hang out with your “butt buddy crew” posse on the adolescent chat room

      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        “…and the names not Richard.”

        Don’t worry, By now I’m sure everyone here thinks of you as “Dick.”

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        Lol we’re on the same page today, Wbramh

      • Posts: 0 raltongo


        its the lowest annual salary given to a SP this offseason, pal…hardly an ‘overpay’ when you look at the market…Another Kendrick-like scrub? Why, because Hernandez is a ground ball pitcher? check your facts. The one thing that might hurt Hernandez is a Phillies declining infield defense, but other than that…the guy is going to be a worthwhile investment at 4.5mil

  • Posts: 56 RatBastardNJ

    Avatar of RatBastardNJ

    I am sure that the ritualistic RAJ bashing will come in to play as it appears that any move he makes that the bashing of every move he has made in his career follows. This moves seems OK by me and I wouldn’t be surprised if Hernandez actually has a decent year. He seemed to be quite unlucky last year in regards to giving up HRs and he drastically improved his SO / BB ratio. If his HR totals come back down to earth (which I know is a challenge in CBP), along with pitching in the NL, he could be better then one would think.

  • Posts: 0 Bill

    This signing would be ok if he were competing with Kendrick for the number 5 spot in the rotation. Instead, he is going to be counted on to take the ball every fifth day as will Kendrick and Miguel Gonzalez, a guy that has never thrown a major league pitch.

    Is it me or is Ruben Amaro acting more and more like Ed Wade every season?


    • Posts: 0 Just Win

      Sorry this idea that those three KK, MAG and Carmona should be competing for 5th rotation spot is a little off base. MAG has solid talent and could become a potential front rotation pitcher. KK had a great start last season. Carmona before he was caught for identity theft was another lights out kind of pitcher. You add one out of Pettibone, Biddle, Adam Morgan you have a competitive rotation Through out the season its all about the management of these guys. We saw last season with Halladay, Lannan struggling it forced the young arms to step up but they couldnt last the entire season. Remember this was Kendrick’s first full season of pitching in the rotation.

      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        @Just Win -
        Re: “Carmona before he was caught for identity theft was another lights out kind of pitcher.”

        To my knowledge, changing his name should not have made him a different pitcher unless you believe in channeling and he really was pitching out of someone else’s body.

        Pettibone and Gonzalez are both coming off of injuries. We never have had a full explanation of what’s wrong with Gonzalez but there seems to be no rush to fix it via surgery. I hope this doesn’t turn into another case of the medical advice being ” fix it with exercise” as happened in Utley’s case and messed him up for an additional year.

        So with Pettibone, Gonzalez, Kendrick and now Hernandez, we have If-If-If & If.
        Like the game, three Ifs and you’re out. I’m not sure how four Ifs dramatically improves the odds of producing one solid hit #3 starter yet alone a 4 and 5.

      • Posts: 0 George


      • Posts: 0 George

        You’re stretching it when you say Utley was out for an extra year because he was treated with exercise only. No one really knows if he would have come back sooner or not, and if he’d had surgery, chances are good that he would have missed just as much time, and there’s always a risk with surgical treatment that the condition can get worse or remain the same. Utley just needed to find the right exercises, and that’s what took time.

        The same may be true of Gonzalez, if he even has an elbow problem that needs further treatment. Since there’s been no announcements by the medical staff, he may actually have been reasonablly recovered when he signed.

      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        I think you make a fair point, George. It really isn’t fair of me to say Utley would have returned sooner with surgery. I think there’s less of a question about his initial rehab program not being in his best interests and I don find that disturbing for his sake and the team’s sake.
        As for Gonzalez, reports seem to vary on his ailment. The initial word I read (and I don’t recall where) was bone spurs. If that report was correct it would suggest the need for surgical repair to remove the source of the pain and inflammation. Obviously, if it’s a rotator tear or bursa issue will only get worse. But this is all speculation on my part. What concerns me is the fact that both parties in the negotiations readily agreed to change the deal – and change it by a considerable amount after the shoulder injury was revealed. It’s hard not to conclude there is something more complicated going on than soreness – especially since Gonzalez had been pretty much shut down from pitching anywhere by the circumstances surrounding his defection. Hence, I would be disappointed to hear in April about his need for surgery after nearly six months of inertia.

      • Posts: 0 George

        What I read about Gonzalez is that he had had bone chips removed from his ELBOW, not his shoulder, which is a huge difference. Hamels had chips in his elbow removed not that long ago, and he’s been fine.

        Also, it’s customary for someone not to be able to pitch anywhere after defecting from Cuba. It takes some time to establish citizenship in a new country, there can be visa issues, the U.S. government has to okay the player’s being able to compete in the U.S., and there can be complications along the way with any or all of these proceedings. Even if said player can find an actual lower level team to get some playing time, it still has to be approved, so the only real option is working out somewhere ion an unfamiliar facility.

        The fact that the contract was altered so drastically does raise questions, though. One could wish that the Phils would at least shed more light on just what’s going on with Gonzalez so people like us wouldn’t have to be speculating and either being pessimistic or optimistic, and thus having uninformed debates about his prognosis.

      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Thanks for that information George. In the interim, I found the original article I had read on the subject and it was non-specific – just mentioned bones spurs in his “arm” and a unclear history of an operation in “2010 or 2011.”

        Apparently that information wasn’t forthcoming from Gonzalez’s agent which I’m sure sent up red flags but the article also went on to say the team’s doctors gave him a physical before the contract was signed. Of course, that leaves us just as confused as before since it doesn’t answer why the dollars were so drastically cut back after doctors examined his elbow. I doubt the Phillies were applying punitive measures against Gonzalez for the lack of disclosure. And at any time his agent could have walked and opened negotiations with a half dozen teams who had moved on under the false assumption he was a max dollar lock with the Phillies.

        But you’re right., we’re left to speculate and we could do that for the next 4 months and have no better handle on the real situation. Still, the information supplied doesn’t add up. We can only hope the team did its due diligence and Gonzalez isn’t under the knife somewhere by May 1st. Considering the stakes that would be almost too stupid to believe possible. I keep telling myself that the Andrew Bynum saga was a once per century anomaly – and what are the chances of such an avoidable disaster striking twice in the same city……..?

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Bill – Ed Wade put together most of the team that won the 2008 WS (thats not just me talking, it was Pat Gillick). But Amaro is no Ed Wade. Wade knew he had to live through bad years to get to good years. Amaro seems to be rolling out the same team over and over on some hope that Howard will hit 50 HRS and Chase Utley will bat .300 and Rollins will doubles.
    Amaro has locked himself into the same old same old and he has little room to maneuver. His recent comment about Kendricks # of wins “a win is a win” shows how far back he is in really understanding stats. Wins, RBIs, etc are related to the efforts of others, not just the one player. Amaro needs to go because he does operate with this in mind. His moves are good and bad but his failure to understand modern analytics means he will keep on making poor decisions.
    Leave Ed Wade out of this.

  • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

    Dude, who were you expecting? Garza at triple the years and salary?

  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Whatever… If this move makes your pulse jump you need help. Limited upside,knife downside. Let’s face it, Fausto Carmona is long gone and Roberto Hernandez is a long reliever at worse, a fourth starter at best. The big shoe has yet to drop… I have no confidence in Amaro to make that big move right now. He’s just not creative enough… It’s easy when you have prospects and a fat wallet but we have neither. So the ‘big move’ is to either trade away movable pieces which could help us win now for other pieces which could help us win more games now or to trade those pieces for prospects and future help. The Fausto Carmona’s and other free agents that are available aren’t going to move the needle.

  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    When I first heard the name “Fausto” this morning I thought Ruben had made a pact with Diablo.
    Must confess to my disappointment.

    IAll my fault – I was trying out a new spell with my $2,99 Harry Potter wand and asked for a Tanaka or Price but got “Socks” Deibold instead.

  • Posts: 0 Just Win

    If you are going to call Biddle up at all you should call him up during the season. A September call up isnt worth it bc u would start his free agency clock. Garza, Arroyo, Ubaldo are not worth the price of admission. If you want to sign innings eaters why not just go young or heigh ceiling guys like Daniel Hudson, Jurrjens. Guys that would take a 1 or 2 year deal to re-establish themselves. Even Josh Johnson would have been a great fit if he was willing to stay east.

    If anyone read Seidman’s article on CSNPhilly. Your selling extremely low on Paps right now. might as well hold him till the trade deadline at least. If the wheels fall of this season then i hope we can move pieces like Lee, Papelbon, Adams, Roberto Hernandez, Bastardo, Ruiz, Byrd. Ruben isnt a seller i dont even think he knows how to really judge prospects. He seems like the GM from Seattle. Just fakes it until he gets caught.

    • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

      I agree with most of what you said in the second paragraph, however I wouldn’t trade bastardo, the rest of the guys you listed I would try to trade and get as much value as I could, but I would try to keep our younger talent and see if we could build something good in a short amount of time, much like the Red Sox did, I just don’t know if we could strike lightning in a bottle like that

  • Posts: 0 Phillies Fan from Germany

    @schmenkman: i just checked the projections on fangraphs for Hernandez. Steamer projects 2.5 WAR while Oliver says -0.4. Any idea where that huge Gap comes from?

  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Good lefty relievers are a valuable commodity and Bastardo, while having his ups and downs (like every pitcher) is still pretty effective out there.
    Diekman and Bastardo should be considered untouchable.

  • Posts: 0 frrank

    A one year deal at 4.5 million isn’t bad. Yeah Hernandze has carried a high ERA but hr has a ground ball rate over 50% for his career which should play well at CBP. One year of him and Kendrick..2 more of Lee gives time for Biddle and others to develop and saves money for bigger free agents down the road. This always saves more money now for bullpen help

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Looks like this is one of the low/moderate risk with high rewards type of moves. Not saying pro or nay against this signing. This is what Rube probably considers been creative. You have to take a few chances like this and hope it works out. Unfortunately it seems like it works out more so for other teams and less for us. I suspect the Phillies want to or are trying to pull more moves but payroll is limited. Or they are possibly trying to make a run at another signing. I suspect is a combination of both.

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    It looks like some of us will now have to become Pirates fans after this latest news:

    “Source: #Pirates agree to terms with INF Michael Martinez on a minor league deal with ST invite.”


    • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

      There is a god!!

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      I’m no longer an atheist.

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Hah! Beat me by seconds, Hogey.

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        Lol nice!

    • Posts: 146 photoFred

      Avatar of photoFred

      So who will fill that gaping .350 OPS hole?

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        The only thing I’m really worried about, is if Ruben is going to trade one of our prospects to reacquire mini mart…

      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Kidding, presumably…

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        I hope so lol

      • Posts: 2980 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Watch the Pirates win the 2014 World Series on a walk-off hit by MiniMart…

      • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

        Ryan Howard….just kidding.

    • Posts: 5085 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      NIce, so the Pirates improved our bench, how thoughtful of them.

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        Lol I didn’t even think about it like that, good call lefty

  • Posts: 0 Just Win

    Boy at the time when we traded Pence I thought it was a solid move but looking at the lineup if we had kept him we still very much could contend. His $90mill/5 year deal isnt bad based off his production. Pence was never the guy to carry us all season but putting him with Brown puts a diff dynamic in the outfield and lineup.


  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I only read part of the posts and just skipped to the end. RAJ is working under a few hard guidelines:

    Do not trade young assets unless young MLB players under team for many years are the return.
    Do not sign lengthy contracts.
    Try to trade expensive players for an overpay.

    It’s a holding pattern. Honestly, this is RAJ’s best off season. A gazillion dollars comes off the books the next 2-3 years(expect lee, Paps.. to be traded next year). Then the healing begins. Need Biddle, Franco, Martin, Morgan, A young catcher and OF or two to rise up in the next 2/3 years. It’s not a bad plan, but it should’ve started last year.

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    It’s funny that 3 of those 4 names at the end were members of the 102-win 2011 Phillies, who were quite arguably better than the 2008 team.

    Larry, a couple of your points change if Amaro was told he could only have one of Halladay or Lee, as many contend.

    And without Oswalt there’s a good chance there’s no postseason in 2010.

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    (I plead no contest on Pence and Wigginton)

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    @Dave P, you’re right that KK has better stats out of the bullpen:

    Relief…. 64 innings, 3.50 ERA, 3.98 FIP, 4.6 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 0.28 HR/9
    Starts.. 875 innings, 4.44 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 4.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.19 HR/9

    His relief stats are in only 64 innings, so it’s a very small sample, and it’s susceptible to fluky things. He has walked almost as many as he’s struck out, for example. But he’s done well in spite of that because he’s been very lucky (it appears) on home runs:

    In relief, only 2.8% of fly balls have left the park.
    When he’s started, 11.9% have, which is more what you’d expect, although on the high side.

    Unless he’s doing something very different in relief, that 2.8% is not sustainable.

    So I think what we have in KK is a decent back of the rotation starter, who has had his ups and downs, but I think overall is no worse than Jason Vargas, or Phil Hughes, or Bronson Arroyo (but not in the same class as Garza, no matter what RAJ says).

  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    While I would advocate picking up Arroyo anyway I agree that KK is in the same quality range – arguably more erratic than Arroyo (either great or terrible) but worth keeping around if only for his secondary ability to be a long reliever on a team thin on long relief. I also believe that going into the season with 7 or 8 starters is not so insane (as John Moseliak will tell you).
    Especially since they’re entering the season with two guys coming off of injuries (and one of of the two has never pitched a major league inning). Hernandez is a cheap but relative long-shot and Biddle probably won’t see action before September if at all.

  • Posts: 0 jeff orbach

    I wonder how many of those Hr’s he gave up while starting was on the 2nd or 3rd time thru the line-up. His relief rate may be lower because the batter only saw him 1 time

  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Good thought Jeff, but that doesn’t appear to be it…

    As a starter:

    1st time through: 43 HR in 1447 PAs (3.0%)
    2nd time through: 34 HR in 1304 PAs (2.6%)
    3rd time through: 36 HR in 937 PAs (3.8%)

    As a reliever: 2 HR in 278 PAs (0.7%)


    So he gets a little worse the 3rd time through, as expected, but even his first time through as a starter is much worse than his relief stats.

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