What happened in 2016: Despite being a fan favorite with a charismatic personality and being a versatile defensive super utility player, Enrique Hernandez‘s 2016 was a disappointment offensively.
Hernandez’s prior success against left-handed pitching was desperately needed by the 2016 Dodgers, especially after the team saw injuries befall outfielders Carl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke and Trayce Thompson. However, Kiké posted just a .668 OPS against lefties, as his offensive numbers drastically declined after his breakout season with the Dodgers in 2015. While Enrique may have become the Rally Banana the year prior, there was no rallying for him in 2016 with a dreadful overall slash line of .190/.283/.324/.607 in 109 games.
Dustin and the rest of us yearned for the 2015 Kiké to come back after he fell off a cliff offensively in May, but it just didn’t happen for him. A ribcage injury that he tried to play through contributed to his struggles, and he missed more than a month over the summer after landing on the disabled list on June 29.
Kiké’s best game was all the way back on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day, vs. the Giants. He went 3-for-5 with two home runs, a double and four RBIs all against an irritated Madison Bumgarner. Hernandez also made a nice catch in left field in the 7-3 victory over San Francisco.
Then on June 19, Kiké hit an eighth-inning pinch-hit home run against the Brewers’ reliever and future Giant Will Smith that preceded Yasmani Grandal‘s ninth-inning walk-off walk (#Shrimp).
For the most part, though, that was about it for him.
Hernandez did not play in the NLDS, but he was added to the roster for the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs. He went hitless over the six games while walking three times and striking out twice in 11 plate appearances.
2017 status: With an annoying lingering vacancy at second base and a continued need for hitters who can find success against left-handed pitching, the defensively versatile 25-year old Hernandez could potentially contribute regularly to the Dodgers in 2017 as long as he returns to 2015 form. If not, a Triple-A Oklahoma City stint could be in his future.