The Red Sox on Wednesday claimed right-handed pitcher Gaby Hernandez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners . . . Hernandez, 23, spent all of last year with Seattle’s Triple-A Tacoma affiliate, posting a 10-9 record with a 5.23 ERA, 98 strikeouts and 48 walks in 26 starts . . . He was originally selected by the New York Mets in the third round of the 2004 first-year player draft
The Mets originally traded Gaby to Florida in the Paul LoDuca deal. I hated that trade at the time, but I guess in retrospect it hasn't been such a disaster. How has he been since he left us?
He entered 2006 with the Marlins as a highly touted youngster. Although he was only 20 years of age, he had dominated Low-A Hagerstown the year before and scouts seemed to love him.
He acquitted himself well with a 3.68 ERA and 1.29 WHIP at High-A that year, but continued to slip as he climbed the ladder. A 4.22 ERA and 1.30 WHIP followed in 2007. In 2008 he replicated his AA statistics but was absolutely lit up in AAA with a 7.28 ERA before he was traded at the deadline by Florida to Seattle. Seattle put him back in AA where he finished out the season with an ugly 1.64 WHIP in 32 innings.
Last year Gaby spent the entirety of the year in AAA with the Tacoma Rainiers. He put up a 5.23 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, looking nothing like the pitcher the Mets traded back in 2005. Most tellingly, his strikeout numbers, which were always high, dwindled to 6.0 per 9 innings last season. For his minor league career his k/9 sits at a healthy 7.6, even including last year.
The good news for Gaby is that there is hope. He was only 23 last season (the youngest pitcher on the Rainiers) and pitched in the tough Pacific Coast League. Perhaps the Red Sox saw something in his performance and believe that he can do better. I for one, would not be surprised. Good luck, Gaby - you can make me regret the LoDuca trade, yet.