Checking on a former Phil
I realized how much I missed during 2020’s shortened COVID-19 season when I just learned that Cesar Hernandez had won the American League Gold Glove at second base.
Yes, that Cesar Hernandez.
The ex-Phillie had signed a modest one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians after being let go by the Philadelphia. At the time, very few fans were shedding any tears.
I was never a big Hernandez fan, probably because he never seemed to get runners home from third with less than two out, which was super annoying. So I was looking forward to line drive-hitting Scott Kingery taking over at second base full time.
But Hernandez had the last laugh. He was likely already a better player than I and many other fans realized. His wins above replacement numbers stacked up well compared to other National League second baseman, believe it or not.
When he arrived in Cleveland, everything came together for Hernandez. And for the first time in his MLB career, he was playing for a competent, winning franchise. That has to make a difference.
And in the meantime, Kingery – the guy who was supposed to be the Phils’ regular second baseman for the next 5-10 years – has regressed to where he can’t even hit above .100.