Brewers sign former Marlins starting pitcher to help patch battered pitching staff

The 29-year-old has pitched both as a starter and reliever in his MLB career
May 29, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Elieser Hernandez (57) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Elieser Hernandez (57) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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It's looking more and more like the Milwaukee Brewers might have to make a big move to add some external talent in an effort to reinforce the pitching staff. That doesn't mean the team can't make some minor moves as well.

The Crew made one of those smaller moves yesterday when they signed free agent pitcher Elieser Hernandez to a major league contract for the rest of the season. The move was announced by the Brewers prior to Saturday's road win over the Tigers.

Hernandez was in his first year as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers after signing a minor league contract with them last offseason and then being added to the 40-man roster in May. After giving up runs in four of five outings, he was designated for assignment and ultimately became a free agent, clearing the way for his signing with the Brewers.

The Brewers signed free agent pitcher Elieser Hernandez to a one-year contract on Saturday.

Hernandez was originally an international signee by the Houston Astros back in 2012. Before being able to clear the High-A level, he would be placed on waivers by the club and be claimed by the Miami Marlins in December of 2017 where he would quickly work his way to the big leagues the following season.

Hernandez would bounce between relieving and starting with the Marlins before mostly gravitating toward starting for the rest of his career there. Over five seasons in Miami, he would go 10-21 with a 5.04 ERA and 1.321 WHIP over 90 appearances, 48 of them being starts.

Hernandez has definitely seen more success as a starter as opposed to being a reliever in his career. He has a career 4.66 ERA, 1.228 WHIP, .247 batting average against, and 23.2% strikeout rate as starter versus a 6.78 ERA, 1.626 WHIP, .283 average against, and 17.9% K rate from the bullpen.

The lefty does come with some recent injury risk. He hit the 60-day injured list multiple times as a member of the Marlins and pitched in only eight games, all at the minor league level, in 2023 as part of the Mets organization.

Hernandez works off a four pitch mix these days that includes a four-seamer, slider, changeup, and sinker that he added in 2021. His four-seamer and sinker generally sit in the low 90s while his other two average velocity in the mid 80s.

The Brewers haven't stated whether they intend to use Hernandez as a starter or reliever moving forward. So long as he stays healthy, he'll have a chance to contribute somewhere either way.

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