Cooperstown Choices: Roberto Hernandez

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2013, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty four men on the ballot for the first time this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2013 menu at the top of the page.

In this article, we take a look at Roberto Hernandez

 

Roberto Hernandez
Ten teams would host Hernandez as a relief pitcher over his 17 year career.  He would be selected as an All Star in 1996 with the White Sox and 1999 with Tampa Bay.

Year Tm W L ERA G GF SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA+ SO/9
1991 CHW 1 0 7.80 9 1 0 15.0 18 15 13 7 6 52 3.6
1992 CHW 7 3 1.65 43 27 12 71.0 45 15 13 20 68 236 8.6
1993 CHW 3 4 2.29 70 67 38 78.2 66 21 20 20 71 185 8.1
1994 CHW 4 4 4.91 45 43 14 47.2 44 29 26 19 50 96 9.4
1995 CHW 3 7 3.92 60 57 32 59.2 63 30 26 28 84 115 12.7
1996 CHW 6 5 1.91 72 61 38 84.2 65 21 18 38 85 249 9.0
1997 TOT 10 3 2.45 74 50 31 80.2 67 24 22 38 82 176 9.1
1997 CHW 5 1 2.44 46 43 27 48.0 38 15 13 24 47 181 8.8
1997 SFG 5 2 2.48 28 7 4 32.2 29 9 9 14 35 168 9.6
1998 TBD 2 6 4.04 67 58 26 71.1 55 33 32 41 55 118 6.9
1999 TBD 2 3 3.07 72 66 43 73.1 68 27 25 33 69 161 8.5
2000 TBD 4 7 3.19 68 58 32 73.1 76 33 26 23 61 155 7.5
2001 KCR 5 6 4.12 63 55 28 67.2 69 34 31 26 46 117 6.1
2002 KCR 1 3 4.33 53 42 26 52.0 62 29 25 12 39 115 6.8
2003 ATL 5 3 4.35 66 12 0 60.0 61 36 29 43 45 99 6.8
2004 PHI 3 5 4.76 63 11 0 56.2 66 39 30 29 44 95 7.0
2005 NYM 8 6 2.58 67 20 4 69.2 57 20 20 28 61 160 7.9
2006 TOT 0 3 3.11 68 19 2 63.2 61 32 22 32 48 144 6.8
2006 PIT 0 3 2.93 46 14 2 43.0 46 24 14 24 33 153 6.9
2006 NYM 0 0 3.48 22 5 0 20.2 15 8 8 8 15 127 6.5
2007 TOT 3 3 6.41 50 20 0 46.1 59 37 33 25 31 71 6.0
2007 CLE 3 1 6.23 28 8 0 26.0 33 21 18 16 18 73 6.2
2007 LAD 0 2 6.64 22 12 0 20.1 26 16 15 9 13 68 5.8
17 Yrs 67 71 3.45 1010 667 326 1071.1 1002 475 411 462 945 131 7.9
162 Game Avg. 4 5 3.45 68 45 22 72 67 32 28 31 63 131 7.9
W L ERA G GF SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA+ SO/9
CHW (7 yrs) 29 24 2.87 345 299 161 404.2 339 146 129 156 411 153 9.1
TBD (3 yrs) 8 16 3.43 207 182 101 218.0 199 93 83 97 185 143 7.6
KCR (2 yrs) 6 9 4.21 116 97 54 119.2 131 63 56 38 85 116 6.4
NYM (2 yrs) 8 6 2.79 89 25 4 90.1 72 28 28 36 76 150 7.6
PIT (1 yr) 0 3 2.93 46 14 2 43.0 46 24 14 24 33 153 6.9
SFG (1 yr) 5 2 2.48 28 7 4 32.2 29 9 9 14 35 168 9.6
PHI (1 yr) 3 5 4.76 63 11 0 56.2 66 39 30 29 44 95 7.0
ATL (1 yr) 5 3 4.35 66 12 0 60.0 61 36 29 43 45 99 6.8
LAD (1 yr) 0 2 6.64 22 12 0 20.1 26 16 15 9 13 68 5.8
CLE (1 yr) 3 1 6.23 28 8 0 26.0 33 21 18 16 18 73 6.2
AL (13 yrs) 46 50 3.35 696 586 316 768.1 702 323 286 307 699 138 8.2
NL (6 yrs) 21 21 3.71 314 81 10 303.0 300 152 125 155 246 117 7.3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2012.

Why He Should Get In
The question of Hernandez reaching the Hall Of Fame comes down to a question of how to judge his career.  When you spend your entire career as a relief pitcher, and over half of it as a reliever that is not closing games, it becomes increasingly hard to judge your worth.  He has over 300 saves in his career and an impressive 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings, but will it be enough?

Why He Should Not Get In
In short, relief pitchers that are not closers simply don’t find their way to Cooperstown.  While Hernandez’s numbers were sufficient to make him a sought after arm for many years, it is hard to see his credentials ever ending with “Hall Of Famer”.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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