Phillies Add Hernandez (aka Carmona)

hernandezBefore he left the Winter Meetings today, Ruben Amaro Jr. discussed a mystery man he believes will help his 2014 rotation.

He never mentioned the pitcher by name because he needs to pass a physical before the Phillies announce the deal. But a source said it is right-hander Roberto Hernandez, who pitched under the name Fausto Carmona before he was arrested in Jan. 2012 for using a false identity.

It is a one-year deal, which reported is worth $4.5 million with $1.5 million in incentives.

Hernandez, 33, went 6-13 with a 4.89 ERA in 32 starts (24 appearances) last season with the Rays. He made his last start Aug. 27 before Tampa Bay moved him to the bullpen.

He will join a rotation that includes Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.

“It’s more of a depth guy,” Amaro said. “It’s not somebody who is going to slide into the top of the rotation. But we need some depth. We’re trying to get the best bang for our buck, and in this marketplace it’s tough because the prices have soared pretty significantly. We’re just trying to add a little bit of depth.”

Hamels and Lee are the aces, but there is uncertainty in the rest of the rotation.

Kendrick had a 6.45 ERA in his final 14 starts last season before he stopped pitching because of a shoulder issue. Nobody knows what they will get from Gonzalez, who has not pitched competitively in some time.

Then there is Hernandez.

He made the All-Star team with the Indians in 2010, when he went 13-14 with a 3.77 ERA in 33 starts. He went 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts in 2011 before he missed most of the 2012 season because of the false identity arrest. Hernandez was arrested outside the U.S. consulate and could not return to the United States until he obtained a visa July 21. He made three starts upon his return, but an ankle injury derailed the rest of his season.

The Phillies hope Hernandez can eat up innings, while Kendrick returns to form and Gonzalez pitches like Phillies scouts said he can. Kendrick had a 3.50 ERA in 40 starts from April 29, 2012, through June 25. The Phillies liked Gonzalez so much they originally agreed to sign him to a $48 million deal. But a problem with his physical dropped his price to just $12 million, although the Phillies said Gonzalez is healthy.

“Who knows who’s going to step up to be the No .3?” Amaro said. “Miguel Alforedo Gonzalez could be that guy. We’re just trying to look for depth in that area. If we have to go with threes, four and fives to try to do that, that’s what we’ll do.”

The Phillies made previous runs at Ryan Vogelsong and Scott Feldman. They had been interested in Bronson Arroyo, but it appears that pursuit is finished. They made no effort to sign Bartolo Colon, who signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets.

If the Phillies add any more starting pitching it likely will be a guy that can shuttle between the bullpen and rotation, and free agents that likely will start the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

“I don’t know if we’ll be adding another guy,” Amaro said. “We’ve talked internally about some of our options. We’ll likely have (Jonathan) Pettibone and Ethan Martin stretched out and hopefully that will create enough depth for us. We’re going to try to continue to look for some depth there. The likely signings we’ll have there, if we can get this one done, will probably be free agent invites, that sort of thing, to create some depth in Triple-A.”

Amaro said he is “pretty comfortable” with the bullpen. It includes closer Jonathan Papelbon, who the Phillies have had no luck trading.

“We’re still maybe looking to add one more piece, but again most of those signings will probably end up being invites,” Amaro said. “I think it behooves us to sit back, wait and see how things shake out. There’s still a lot of players out there and I don’t know how many seats there are for them all. We’re trying to be patient to see how things work out.

“Some of the big names, for us, are probably more names than they are talent. I would imagine with the prices that are out there, and what they’re seeking, I don’t think it matches up with the level of talent. That’s my take on it. Someone’s going to pay, I’m sure. Someone is going to get the players. We’re just not targeting those because we don’t think it’s the right bang for the buck.”

They believe Hernandez is.


I don’t want to hear about “bang for the buck”. The fans loyally filled that stadium every game and bought millions of dollars in merchandise. A massive TV deal looms on the horizon. As paying customers, we deserve better. Ruben has managed to ruin a terrific thing by continuing to hand out horrendous contracts and now he has to resort to handing out garbage contracts to borderline minor leaguers. That’s what I call making a splash at the winter meetings. The best splash would have been Ruben being pushed off a dock.

I agree totally, but when Ruben said over and over we have to be inventive, it told me we aren’t spending any significant money. So more of the same next year. A so so team that will be lucky to have a 500 club.

As soon as he mentions the phrase “bang for the buck” Amaro should be fired. What a joke.

4.5 million for this guy? What’s the incentive, he has an ERA under 5.00? He wins 5 games? Amaro has lost his mind.

until they upgrade the lineup, I really don’t see how it matters who is on the rotation in the short term. If you are consistently scoring < 3 runs per game, which they have in the last 2 seasons, you won't win anyway….

that being said, I have no idea why they weren’t interested in a 2-yr deal that would bring Colon in as the 3rd or 4th starter for $20 mil….Are the owners really that parsimonious?

Is there any person on the planet that looks at the Phillies’ roster & says this is a contender? This team totally misreads the fans. They think you can’t sell tickets if you move the WS players, if you replace them with players that can win the stadium will remain full.

Yikes! Of all the “bang for your buck” pitchers out there, we get this guy?!

I wonder if this is a sign then trade type of move. If it works but the team doesn’t, there may be significant trade value at the deadline considering the modest contract. If he and the team work, it was a great sign. If he doesn’t work out, that contract doesn’t eat into the budget THAT much.

So a guy with almost twice as many losses as wins and an ERA of almost 5 is supposed to help us?

The worst part of this whole signing is Ruben’s statement that they’re going to stretch Ethan Martin out. What happened to our new closer-in-waiting?!

It’s nice to know that other GM’s are like us fans, we have no idea what Amaro is doing. (And you can pretty much copy and paste these feelings and quotes to pertain to each if the last three off seasons) Per Jayson Stark winners and losers column on ESPN:

• Philadelphia Phillies — What we have here is a team that can’t say the word “rebuild.” So the Phillies have signed three free-agent position players (Marlon Byrd, Carlos Ruiz and Wil Nieves) who will all begin next season at 34 or older. They signed a 33-year-old starter (Roberto “Don’t Call Me Fausto” Hernandez) whose 5.03 ERA over the past six seasons is the second-highest (behind Luke Hochevar) in baseball among pitchers with 800-plus innings. And amid all that, they floated the names of Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee and Domonic Brown as potential trade bait, to the confusion of many.

“I just don’t understand exactly what they’re doing,” said one AL exec. “If you’re seriously trying to win, you don’t do it this way. And if you’re trying to get younger, you don’t do it this way. At some point, they’ve got to pick a direction and go with it.”


Since the Orioles reneged on Grant Balfour, why not give him a shot? Gu arentee
the first year the second on his health. 15 mil is chump change for the Phils and they could certainly use a set up man, alert hander and if Papplelbom is ineffective they have a closer. They also could have brought back Ibanez he still has pop in his bat. RAJ please, get fired.

Balfour failed his physical. Do you want to guarantee money for a guy like that? They have enough medical reclamation projects.
The only pop Ibanez has is in his refrigerator.

THANK GOD FOR THE EAGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zolecki, wishing you a happy new year. And also wishing for you to start doing a little more hardball journalism, ask Amaro tough questions, holding him responsible for bad moves.

A good beat writer is Alex Speier in Boston. No brown nose on that guy.

The only opportunity left for the Phllies to seriously improve their roster is to go after Tanaka, but I doubt that they will even be in the mix. Pray for god health for an aging team, because that is their only chance to contend right now.

No new news Zo? In winter Hibernation?
Here I sit in Fort Myers Florida almost January, the pitchers and Catchers report in Feb, so fucking what. Wii see the Phil play the Redsox in Fort Myers good luck with that one, the bum Howard doubt will make the.2 hour trip. the the Twins maybe a win. Clearwater, you kidding me, I will go March 16th against the Bucs because my youngest son is in from Phiily but only until 3/17 what is he stupid why not stay for St. Patty’s day oh well. With all honesty and sincerely I hate Brighhouse field, reasons? for those banwagon fans who came aboard when the Phillies started to win, Jack Russell stadium was a much better place, so it was in aghetto, so was Connie Mack, but they had a field for parking about 100 yards from the entrance a#1 Number price were not exorbitant, a Hot dog or Burger grilled on a grill, was cheap as well as a beer. Not like the fucking boiled or whatever garbage at the Vet or Bank.
Bright House File #1 Parking a good1/4 from the stadium, stand filled now with bandwagon numbers, obnoxious and rude just like the Bank. I have been a partial season ticket holder for 12 years and now that I am in Florida, my kids use the tickets, section 242 row 8, love the seats! but lately nasty people in the section, cursing giving fans of the other team a bunch of shit like the Linc not they mercilessly hassle the whole game. With parking $15 last year, the crummy food for the most part but I do thing several spots are good, not great. Gino’s like Tony Lukes like their places? No way, again hight prices, bottom line cost to go to a game for two, not spending like some drunks there, about $100 bucks. Fuck the Phillies and Arrowmark, they say they don not have any money? Bullshit! We are partially paying bums like Howard, the bullpen, Kyle Kendrick mediocre at best one start look like Cy Young next start like a bum at best on any other team maybe a 5th or spot starter. Take Domminick Brown last year a star? bet this year he looks like steve Jeltz, no offense Steve I mean you are better than that bum or Juan, ring the bell , Bell at least he hit a home run?

. Chase heart of the team worth keeping for whatever, Rollins good by, third jury is out. Outfield scary the center fielder, good defense? lousy arm, bat wise no pop and fast but doesn’t steal? pete Rose God Bless you hope you never watch them !!!!!Chooch great! worth the money???,lee ham els great but suspect after that, bench forget it except maybe Kevin Frandson, not a 4 star talent but at least he hustles more than anyone else. Darrin Ruff as a pinch hitter no, he should be astarter on some team. Mayberry a bum from day one. Sorry for the long discretion. all a Bill Campbell but like Howard Cossell thats the way I see it agree or disagree.
Still loyal to Phils but struggling.


You could be the most negative Phillies’ “fan” I’ve ever heard. You sound much closer to the people in your section than you believe you are.

The Phils don’t win anything w/o that “bum” Howard. He’s the key to the lineup & they missed the playoffs the 2 injury years. Was he a bum from 2006 – 2009?

Sounds like you’re the bandwagon fan. Now is your chance to jump on the Red Sox. Pick a winner close to your home. We certainly don’t need fair weather fans in Phillies’ Nation.

If I have you wrong I apologize but that’s what your comments look like.

Jim thanks for your comments but you are wrong, first of all in Fort Myers it is also the spring home of the Twins, the Red Sox good team but the Phillies are my team good or bad yes? I have plans to go with my friends from Philly to see the Fighins in Sarasota againts the O’S. I have been a Phils fan since I was a little boy, Dad used to take me to Connie Mack, $4 for a deluxe Box behind the Phils dugout. My first game was in 1952. I was a fan ever since, through miserable years Yes? 1964I went into the US Air Force the fighins in first place! Obviously no radio or tv in boot camp.came home you know what happened I was disappointed but STILL A FAN!
First season tickets to the Vet, with my company 1974 to 1980. Had tickets for game seven as you know no game 7 we won in 6. I then had a partial plan on my own from 1983 to the last year at the Vet, broke my heart not to continue first year at Citizens Park but I was unemployed, resumed in 2007 till now. You remember the “Fans” boed Mike Schmidt? I never did! Yes Jim I remember Ryans product from 2006 to 2009 but Jim its now 2013! Do I appreciate it yes. Jim unfortunately in Baseball its not what you did for me yesterday or last year its what you do for me now. Since his “Big Contract what his production?” Injured last two years yes, thats part of the game. Two strike curve or slider on the outside corner or in the dirt whats Ryans record? Strike three yes? This is not recent in in his best years. Major league pitchers are smart after his hugh first few production years guess what they knew he was a sucker for a in the dirt outside and down third strike pitch. After a year or two don’t you think he might have a clue with two strikes on him? you draw your own conclusions, even Darin Ruff is smarter than that, gets a lot of walks.Check the facts Jim whats his home run production been the last 4 or five years? At 67 I am a student of the game, disabled now but I pay over two hundred dollars a year I do not have to watch all the Phils games every year. So no Jim I am not a bandwagon jumper with my record and not negative just critical of the team I love and I have that right to formulate my own thoughts, free speech yes? for now anyway. So if you still think I am the most negative bandwagon jumper thats your opinion but you know about opinions yes? they are like assholes everybody has one! Glad you can formulate a conclusion about section 242 are your season tickets there? For your information below row eight the seats row 7 through 1 are not available sold via stub hub or the Phils to outside fans or single game purchaser, fair to the season ticket holders?.Again read carefully before you draw any rash conclusions, I complained about the drunken fools who curse and are abussive as a Christian I find that repulsive yes? or do you judge me like Phil on Duck Dynasty? A christian man fired for expressing hi faith view? In my country which I love, a Vietnam Vetern am I critical you bet ya, it is my right yes? Christian the only ones the media has balls enough to be critical of, Muslim same or Jews? they do not have the balls to!
Sincerely, God Bless You.

First, about your section, no U’m not fortunate enough to have tickets. My conclusion is based on your comments about your section.
Second, I’m not criticizing your displeasure with any member of the team, from the president & owners to the ball boys. I’m not even saying you should like Howard but to call him a bum is, in my opinion, out of line. He’s a former ROY & MVP in back to back years that is not a bum.
Carlos Beltran was fantastic for close to 10 years then had knee problems & went 3 or 4 years where he wasn’t so good but his last 3 were fantastic. Same thing with Utley. As a student of the game, you should see this. It happens all the time.
Third, the biggest mistake we make as fans is counting players money. No mega deal players ever live up to the back end of their contract. Like it or not these guys don’t get paid when they’re at their best, their first 6 years. Look around baseball examples are everywhere
Third, your age & faith are irrelevant. I’m a 53 year old coach & part of what I do is understand that what the average person sees isn’t always what is fact. I don’t know you & I’m not judging you. I was simply responding to your comments. That is why I offered an apology if I was incorrect. However, that is the way it read to me.
Lastly, I too am not one to boo. A little about me. I am a devout & avid “homer” & used to be an Eagles’ season ticket holder at the Vet. I had tickets for 8 years til I couldn’t take Braman any longer. Unfortunately he sold the team the year after I gave up my seats. In all that time, I booed one time & never booed an individual player. I booed when the team quit against the Cardinals.
You say you never booed Schmidt & neither did I. But if you look at what you say about Howard are much of the same things Schmidt was booed for. My grandfather hated him & called him “strikeout Schmidt”. He never got to see the MVP years. But he always had protection – the Bull, Dick Allen, & others.
What you have to realize is, calling someone a bum in a public forum is the same as booing. And what he’s done lately is received MVP votes from 2006 to 2011. 2012 & 2013 he missed more than half of each year with injuries & easily would have 100 RBI if prorated.
I don’t mean to try & change your opinion because that’s not fair. I only hope that you will refrain from name calling. You could have said how he’s not living up to his contract without calling him a bum. Rollins’ & Utley’s numbers are way down too.
Anyway we probably could be good friends. I really respect your passion. I’ve been to Ft. Myers & have been to the Twins & Red Sox (old, can’t think of the name) complexes for my nephew’s baseball tournament.
I hope you enjoy this coming season & that somehow the Phils are in contention.

Thanks Jim for your comment! I apologize for calling Howard a bum out of line for me, thanks for pointing that out. Your right faith has nothing to do with the conversation.Notice I never said anything about Chase, I wish we had twenty like him!! Hustle etc, glad they resigned him you betcha, he is the heart and soul of the team! I respect your knowledge as coach. Just for your FYI, I coached all my four sons in Baseball first Little Leaugue, then CYO at St. Pauls East Norriton, I umped coached and managed my team to the Archdiocesan final 4 in 1991, the school never won a Championship in Baseball, we won at least the league championship. I stayed thru High school with one on my sons outstanding Pitcher made all suburban Colonial League, all four years, pitched in the all star games at the vet all four years, you know the classic held every year first at the Vet and then now at the bank. He pitched in college at MONTCO CC pitched a NO hitter against Penn State got a scholarship to Widner, did not go and went to culinary school, so yes Jim I do know a little about coaching, people and especially the fans in the stands, I won’t say anything else about that. So You probably care less about the above but you need to know my background.
Moving back to Pa. in April, had enough of Florida. Anyway we could be friends so lets move on for these discertations, hope you have a healthy and good New Year, go Fightins.


John, I’m glad you related your background. It makes you a human, not just words on a screen.
I hope you & your family have a happy, healthy & prosperous new year.

By the way the Sox have a new stadium now Jet Blue Park or Fenway south, layed out just like the real Fenway, the Twins play at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers and The Nationals might move here in 2015.

Took a look on Google Earth, that complex is sweet. My nephew played 1 game at the Twins’ complex, 1 at a high school & 5 at Terry Park. Collegeville Pirates finished 5th out of 64 teams. Very good since most of the teams ahead of us were big time academies or sponsored teams.

Thanks Jim, you as well have a healthy New Years, I am as prosperous as needed but thanks!
Jim, Jet Blue park is sweet! but as anything else now tickets are expensive as well as Parking and concessions, I can not afford it, the Twins stadium Hammond is in my opinion is classic, poor twins guess who gets the attention here the sox, Twins are a second thought. They want to bring the nationals here as well, refurbish the old City of Palms Park the old Red Sox home, at a cost of Millions of Dollars, guess who pays?
Sports coverage here is strange, winter and summer the number one story Red Sox, maybe a cursorary mention of the twins. No coverage of the Marlins, about 150 miles away, scores of major league teams nothing.
My youngest son 26 is coming March 14th, no teams here then, taking him up to Brighthouse Field about a two hour drive, for Phils vs the Bucks. Since being disabled I am on a budget, I make out okay with SS and a Pension from my ex company, however I don’t have many to burn? FYI two ticket behind the on the third base line row 26 guess how much? $over $70 thru the Phils, to me I don’t know about you but thats alot of money for me. Made a decision that after he leaves I am as the great Kalas would say “I am out of here” going back to the place I love Pa. I have had it with Florida, very18th century in thought and laws.

Well JT, I welcome you back with open arms upon your return.
Funny thing, when we were there in July of ’11 we got to see the Phils play the Marlins on TV as well as TB games on the hotel cable.
I’ve never been to any of the stadiums but those prices are ridiculous. We did get to see a Twins Rookie league game while waiting for our tourny game to start. the game was on a side field, open for all to see,
I was more speaking more about the complexes as they related to youth tournaments & how nice the surrounding fields are.
Unfortunately, everything is a money grab today

Enough with the sausage party already!

Just kidding. Great to see fans from all parts of life join the conversation.

For what it’s worth, I think Howard is terrible. But I don’t blame him. Its all on Amaro.

He’s the culprit who’s making Phillies the laughing stock of the league.

You are so right, thanks Pountas! RAJ worse than Ed Wade? Yes.


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