Darwinzon Hernandez barely pitched at the big-league level this season, but the work he did do wasn’t pretty. Over just 6 2/3 innings in the majors, he allowed 16 earned runs. That’s not a typo. 17 runs, 16 of them earned, on 14 hits. He struck out nine batters, but walked eight.
Over three prior seasons, Hernandez posted a 3.66 ERA across 78 2/3 innings, and he’s got some great strikeout material. The killer with him is that he issues walks with about the same frequency as New Englanders buying a coffee at Dunkin. He has a career 17.7 BB%; the MLB average is 8.5%.
Hernandez isn’t arbitration-eligible until next year, so the Sox could keep him around simply because he’s so affordable. It’s just so hard to watch him pitch.
Injuries kept Josh Taylor on the sidelines for the entire 2022 season and now, he could be on the chopping block.
Over the first three years of his big-league career, Taylor had a 3.69 ERA across 121 appearances, including 21 games finished and one save. He pitched fairly well in 2021, posting a 3.40 ERA over 47 2/3 innings (61 appearances), only allowing two home runs all year. Taylor is an above-average pitcher in terms of strikeouts and limiting home runs, but he has struggled to limit walks, with a career rate of 10% (league average is 8.7%).
Taylor is estimated to earn $1.1M in arbitration this year, which is small potatoes for this powerhouse organization. Still, every million counts when you have some big spots to fill, especially if the Sox are going to try and stay under the luxury tax threshold this year so that it resets after last year’s futile spending spree.
The Sox might not be ready to give up on him yet, but there is a chance.