As reported by Chris Branch, the Phillies have optioned Cesar Hernandez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. While the move drew sighs yesterday on the Twitter-sphere, the move will allow Hernandez, who turned just 23 in May, to play every day in Lehigh Valley. There has been no corresponding move announced.
Analysis: Hernandez’s initial promotion came when Michael Young was placed on the bereavement list and he wasn’t expected to stay up past Young’s return. While with the Phils, Hernandez hit .250/.250/.286 in 28 PA. Hernandez is a .291/.349/.387 career minor league hitter and is 129 of 180 (71%) in career MiLB stolen base attempts. Hernandez definitely has Major-League talent and will be back up, but this is the right move if they didn’t have a spot for Hernandez to play every day.
The puzzling part of this is who will the Phillies call up to replace Hernandez? Michael Martinez, Darin Ruf, and Zach Collier are the only active 40-man roster position players not currently on the 25-man roster. Collier, 22, is hitting just .198 in Double-A Reading while Ruf, 26, is hitting .261/.337/.405 with just 5 HR. Martinez, 30, is the safest bet, having hit .436/.463/.692 in his last 15 games with the IronPigs.