2014 Dodgers In Review: SP Roberto Fausto Carmona Hernandez

MLB (w/ LA)
9 31.2 15.4% 9.2% 4.74 5.51(!) 4.43 -0.5

What happened in 2014: The man with many names was acquired from the Phillies in August and was, predictably, bad.

It’s hard to believe the Dodgers, with all their resources, had to acquire guys like Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez Faustowhatever to fill out their rotation. That should have been the first sign the 2014 season wasn’t going to end with a World Series title.

The Dodgers sent two actual prospects in the form of Jesmuel Valentin and Victor Arano to acquire Hernandez, who provided the Dodgers with -0.5 wins above replacement. Great trade. Here’s what Mike wrote when the trade was announced.

“Today, the Dodgers acquired right-handed pitcher Roberto Hernandez from the Phillies because, I don’t know, reasons, I guess. (This is not the Dodger reliever of that name who I think I once drunkenly accused of lighting puppies on fire during an extra-inning live blog back in 2007; this is the artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona.)

Hernandez, if that is his real name — oh, wait — turns 34 in a few weeks, and hasn’t been good in… well… ever? Really? I’m kind of doing this stream-of-consciousness as I’m looking at his stats; back when he was Carmona, he got some press for going 19-8 in 2007, his first full season as a starter, but even then his FIP was barely under 4.00. (Wins!) After a disastrous final two years in Cleveland, he went to Tampa Bay for 24 starts last year (4.89 ERA, 4.63 FIP) and had made 20 for the Phillies this year (3.87 ERA, 4.62 FIP). He’s making almost nothing at all, whatever is left on the one-year, $4.5 million deal he signed with the Phillies prior to the season.”

Basically. I wrote this at the end of August, and I think it still holds true today.

“The Dodgers sent 19-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Victor Arano to the Phillies to complete the Roberto Hernandez trade. That makes it Jesmuel Valentin, 20, and Arano for Hernandez and his nearly $2 million remaining salary. On no planet does that make sense, yet it’s reality.

Arano was my No. 33 prospect heading into the season and moved up to No. 14 in the midseason rankings. Jason Parks, formerly of Baseball Prospectus, ranked him at No. 10 heading into the season. So, Colletti traded two Top-20 prospects for Fausto Carmona. Ducky.

And this isn’t about me being upset they were traded. I’m perfectly OK with prospects being dealt (contrary to popular belief), but Colletti often times sells short on mid-level prospects. Arano gained notoriety this offseason and was having success in Low-A at 19 years old. This isn’t like the Dodgers traded Angel Sanchez again. Oh, and is it weird to anyone else that the Dodgers gave up less for Ricky Nolasco last year (Sanchez, Steve Ames, Josh Wall) than they did for Hernandez? Sure, the circumstances were different, but it still makes me scratch my head.”

It seems this front office knows how to PTBNL, as it has traded Craig Stem and Noel Cuevas for Kyle Jensen and Juan Nicasio. But back on topic.

Hernandez was actually really good in his first two starts with the Dodgers. In 12 innings, he allowed six hits, three runs, four walks and struck out 10. That was against the two teams that were in the playoff hunt for most of the season (Brewers and Barves), but petered out in September. Still, any kind of positive performance was a plus coming from Hernandez. Then, he pumpkin’d. In his final seven starts (yes, because he made nine starts for a 94-win team … ugh), he averaged 4.5 innings per start, posted a 5.68 ERA, allowed eight home runs and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 20/14. He was awful.

When Hyun-jin Ryu went down with the same injury in September had suffered earlier in the season, Hernandez became a little more important for the Dodgers. Thankfully, Ryu came back healthy in time for the National League Division Series, and Hernandez was left off the roster.

Hernandez’s time with the Dodgers was brief, costly (in terms of decent prospects) and is thankfully over.

2015 status: A free agent. Hernandez, somehow, landed a $4.5 million deal last winter. With starting pitchers always at a premium (even ones as bad as Hernandez), he could latch on to a second- or third-division team for a cheap deal ($2-4 million). He’s not in the land of non-roster invitee yet, but he’s getting closer every year he pitches … poorly.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.