Last year Cesar Hernandez had a breakout campaign of sorts. With Chase Utley injured and then traded, Hernandez received extended major league playing time for the first time in his career. Out of minor league options, it was a sink or swim opportunity for Hernandez who faced a certain DFA if he couldn’t cut it as a starter. Fortunately for him, he passed the test well enough posting a 91 wRC+, stealing 19 bags, and exhibiting passable defense which resulted in him continuing on as the Phillies starting second baseman for another year.
The season, however, has gotten off to an incredibly rocky start for Hernandez. He’s made multiple blatant blunders on the basepaths and at the start of play on Sunday, he was hitting .246/.295/.316 with a painfully low 62 wRC+. But lest anyone start freaking out about his early struggles, Hernandez proceeded to go 5-for-8 with a double over the next two games and raise his season stat line to a markedly more palatable .292/.333/.369 and 87 wRC+. You know we’re still in the heart of small sample size season when a player raises his wRC+ 25 points with two games and just one extra base hit.
Nothing about what Hernandez has done this season indicates that he suddenly became a worse player from last year to this year, but the problem with Hernandez has always been this: nothing indicates improvement either. Let’s quickly run down Cesar Hernandez’s profile: