So the Dodgers actually took their first steps towards reshaping their poorly constructed roster by shedding one of their roster spot wasters. Color me impressed. The Dodgers today announced that veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez was designated for assignment. The Dodgers also activated A.J. Ellis from the disabled list. A.J. had been on the DL with a strained oblique muscle. The move was made to clear room for A.J. who is in the starting lineup tonight against Pittsburgh.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 14, 2013
I am almost in shock. This is the first time this season that the Dodgers actually designated for assignment someone from the major league roster. Hernandez was a 37 year old catcher acquired in the Aaron Harang trade from Colorado back in April. Hernandez has been predictably atrocious in his short stint with the club.
Hernandez played 17 games this season for the Dodgers, playing primarily behind the plate, but also logging some time at first base. Hernandez was hitting just .208 (10 for 48) with a .291 OBP, and three home runs, six RBI in 55 plate appearances. Hernandez was in the final year of a two-year 6.4 million dollar contract. The Dodgers are responsible for the 3.2 million dollars still owed to Hernandez leftover on his contract. Hernandez has played for 17 major league seasons, and has a career average of .263 with 169 career home runs. Hernandez has caught 1,526 games.
We were told that Hernandez was needed as a third catcher for depth just in case A.J. Ellis got hurt. Of course Hernandez is no better than your standard minor leaguer, and was indeed wasting a roster spot for weeks. If something happens to A.J., or to backup catcher Tim Federowicz, then the Dodgers would have to dip into Albuquerque. Any minor leaguer they call up would be no worse than Hernandez was. So Hernandez was indeed useless. There is a chance that if Hernandez clears waivers he could end up at Albuquerque, but that’s if he accepts a minor league assignment. That’s unlikely considering I would think he would probably choose to become a free agent and sign with another team.
This should be the first of several moves by the Dodgers to try and strengthen their bench and shed the dead weight from their roster. I’ve said before that I think the Dodgers need to start firing people. With the team buried in last place 8.5 games behind Arizona and nine games under .500, there is no reason to keep the flotsam on the roster. Cut the dead wood adrift.
Hernandez was old and busted anyways. There is no great loss here. One Bum down, many more to go.