Elieser Hernandez's pitching splits favor him as SP depth over a bullpen role

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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The splits New York Mets pitcher Elieser Hernandez had during his years with the Miami Marlins point toward him being a much more reliable starter than reliever. Acquired earlier this offseason from the Fish, he’s someone already in line to fight for a longman role out of the bullpen.

Taking his performance in Miami as a preview of what may lie ahead, Hernandez might not be such a good option for the bullpen.

Mets pitcher Elieser Hernandez has struggled as a reliever

Hernandez has actually pitched far more as a starter for the Marlins than a reliever. In 223.2 innings as a starter in 48 games, he went 7-17 with a 4.67 ERA. It’s not exactly the type of performance that you’d want even as a fifth starter. Given this, it makes sense why the Mets and everyone else wouldn’t be so interested in having him start in anything other than an emergency situation.

The relief numbers are amazingly much worse. At 3-4 with a 6.33 ERA in 42 games spanning 64 innings, Hernandez is one of those strange pitchers who has never found his best stuff pitching more minimally.

With someone like him, we do need to take into account more recent trends. The 2022 numbers don’t do him any favors. The 5.98 ERA as a starter versus the 7.47 ERA performance as a reliever worsen the case for him to have a spot in the Mets bullpen next year.

The numbers all line up closely with Hernandez’s career numbers which haven’t been much to get excited about. He joins the Mets at a 5.04 ERA overall as a starter and reliever. His 2022 season, a 3-6 record and 6.35 ERA, was arguably one of his least productive years of all.

Hernandez is merely a candidate for the Mets bullpen and not someone who’s guaranteed anything more than a chance. He is on the 40-man roster at the moment. We’ll have to expect the Mets to look for other options this offseason, even those that could push Tylor Megill into a relief role.

An expectation for Hernandez seems to be that he’ll take on the role held last year by Trevor Williams. It’s a lofty one, but who would have ever guessed Williams would have been such an important part of last year’s team?

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