Cincinnati Reds Rookie Ariel Hernandez struck out five in 2 2/3 innings last night in Milwaukee. Albeit in a mopup role, Hernandez was dominant on the mound when manager Bryan Price needed to control the game a bit more after Amir Garrett had his first rough outing of the season (10 runs, nine earned in 3 1/3 innings). Hernandez replaced Garrett in the fourth inning and gave up no hits, runs or walks.
He threw 30 pitches, four of which reached 100 mph. After starting the season at No. 23 on the MLB Pipeline Prospect List in the Reds farm system, Hernandez is looking to solidify a spot on the big league roster. It would not be out of the question, especially with the recent struggles of relievers like Robert Stephenson (5.59 ERA, nine walks and 1.96 WHIP) and given Hernandez’s own excellent stuff. Reds starters have also failed to pitch deep into games leaving Reds skipper Price with a worn-out bullpen and few options when he must go to relievers early in games.
Hernandez skipped AAA Louisville this season after posting a 1-0 record in AA Pensacola in eight appearances. His ERA this season with the Blue Wahoos was 1.13 to go along with 14 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP. You can read the fuller report we filed on Hernandez yesterday here.