Angry David Hernandez Might Have a Point

It’s difficult, as a human person, not to arrive at the conclusion that the world is riddled with injustice. Epictetus felt it keenly. Marcus Aurelius felt it keenly. Owing to the infancy of medical science at the time, probably a lot of other ancients felt it keenly, as well.

Among those feeling it keenly in the year 2018, however, seems to be Cincinnati reliever David Hernandez. On Thursday, the winners of the Silver Slugger Award were announced. Hernandez, it seems, was unimpressed by the results.

It should be noted immediately that Michael Lorenzen and Hernandez were teammates in 2018, so there’s certainly a case to be made that bias is at play here. It should also be noted that, in this case, the “people” who “vote on awards” are major-league managers and coaches. These are important points to establish.

What’s also probably important to establish is that Hernandez, whatever the weaknesses of his rhetorical style, doesn’t lack for evidence.

Top Pitchers by Batting Production
Name Team PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wRC+ Bat
1 Michael Lorenzen Reds 34 5.9% 26.5% .290 .333 .710 173 3.0
2 Kolby Allard Braves 3 0.0% 0.0% 1.000 1.000 1.000 472 1.4
3 A.J. Cole – – – 4 0.0% 25.0% .333 .333 1.333 336 1.2
4 Vidal Nuno Rays 2 0.0% 0.0% 1.000 1.000 1.000 486 0.9
5 Kyle Gibson Twins 2 0.0% 0.0% 1.000 1.000 1.000 481 0.9
6 Dan Jennings Brewers 3 0.0% 33.3% .667 .667 1.000 358 0.9
7 Rick Porcello Red Sox 7 0.0% 42.9% .429 .429 .714 207 0.9
8 Enny Romero – – – 1 0.0% 0.0% 1.000 1.000 2.000 721 0.8
9 Randy Rosario Cubs 2 50.0% 0.0% 1.000 1.000 1.000 410 0.8
10 Brandon Woodruff Brewers 10 10.0% 10.0% .250 .333 .625 151 0.6

This is the batting-runs leaderboard for pitchers from 2018. Batting runs account for everything that occurs at the plate. Walk? That’s a way to first base. Grounder to third? That’s also included, in its way. Most of the leaders here have a figure that’s just above zero because most pitchers regress to something even worse than that that.

Not Lorenzen, though. Over 34 plate appearances this year, he hit four homers and slashed .290/.333/.710. Overall, he recorded the top batting line of the year among pitchers with as few as 10 plate appearances:

Top Pitchers by Batting Line
Name Team PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wRC+
1 Michael Lorenzen Reds 34 5.9% 26.5% .290 .333 .710 173
2 Brandon Woodruff Brewers 10 10.0% 10.0% .250 .333 .625 151
3 Brent Suter Brewers 32 12.5% 18.8% .192 .323 .346 87
4 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 57 12.3% 19.3% .239 .340 .283 82
5 Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers 30 6.7% 43.3% .269 .321 .308 78
6 Dan Straily Marlins 43 18.6% 44.2% .161 .350 .194 74
7 Carlos Martinez Cardinals 36 0.00% 30.60% .242 .235 .394 63
8 German Marquez Rockies 65 0.0% 16.9% .300 .300 .350 60
9 Zack Greinke Diamond 71 4.2% 22.5% .234 .269 .297 51
10 Max Scherzer Nationals 78 1.3% 17.9% .243 .274 .271 47

The actual winner of the Silver Slugger, blameless German Marquez, did reach the .300 threshold, but he also recorded just a single extra-bast hit — a homer off a position player pitching — this season. Lorenzen, on the other hand, hit a double and four homers in roughly half the plate appearances.

Homers like this one, after a weird bunt thing:

There are certainly moments when one is wrong to feel aggrieved. For right-hander David Hernandez, however, this isn’t one of them. His teammate Michael Lorenzen both (a) probably deserved but also (b) didn’t win the Silver Slugger Award for pitchers. An injustice has probably occurred. A minor, minor, minor injustice.

We hoped you liked reading Angry David Hernandez Might Have a Point by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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39 Comments on "Angry David Hernandez Might Have a Point"

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Dustin
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Dustin

“Who needs to stinkin-bunt?!”

A bunt is the only chance I’d have of reaching base in a big league game.

Nats Fan
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Member
Nats Fan

Id have a better chance on a walk, HBP, or error,

Doug Lampert
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Member
Doug Lampert

At no time does the bat leave my shoulder. There was an article a few years ago that estimated a 10% chance of a walk even if the pitcher absolutely positively knows you aren’t going to swing. I’ll take my chances on that 10%.

Thecul
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Thecul

You should show that article to Dee Gordon.

Tulos_Heavy_Legs
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Tulos_Heavy_Legs