Here’s to a great New Year’s!
To make room for the Tribe’s new 2B, the club designated catcher Eric Haase. From Mandy Bell:
Heading into the offseason, the Indians’ top priority was finding a second baseman to replace Jason Kipnis. After Hernández was non-tendered by the Phillies, the switch-hitter appeared to be a perfect fit for Cleveland. In 161 games with Philadelphia last year, he hit .279 with a .741 OPS, 14 homers and 71 RBIs. He was also worth 1.7 Wins Above Replacement with a 92 wRC+, according to FanGraphs, while owning a .313 batting average on balls in play. Comparatively, Kipnis posted 1.1 WAR with an 82 wRC+ and a .265 BABIP in 2019.
According to Baseball Savant, Hernández ranked in the 88th percentile in sprint speed and in the 69th percentile for expected batting average. The 29-year-old switch-hitter has posted a career .290/.354/.372 slash line against left-handed pitching (807 at-bats), while hitting .272 with a .736 OPS (2,108 at-bats) against righties in his seven seasons.
Some thoughts from Terry Pluto, including more front office love for Delino DeShields Jr.