The Toronto Blue Jays have signed starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) to a minor league deal. The 35-year-old Dominican had been with the Blue Jays this spring, but chose to opt out of his contract after it became apparent that he would not be making the Major League roster.
Hernandez will begin his return in extended spring training, and should eventually land with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
After evidently not finding Major League interest elsewhere, Hernandez will soon factor back into a crowded pool of secondary depth that is building in the upper-minors. This is especially relevant given the recent comments by manager John Gibbons that the team will likely use a sixth spot-starter soon to rest the young arms of Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman.
Hernandez comes to Toronto with a Cleveland connection, where he played until 2012 after first joining the organization as an international free agent in 2000. In 2015, he was a member of the Houston Astros where he 11 starts and nine relief appearances. Over 84.2 innings pitched, Hernandez had a 4.36 ERA and 1.370 WHIP.
Looking at his past five seasons of Major League action from 2011 to 2015, he’s earned a cumulative WAR of just 1.3 while his ground ball rate and velocity have both regressed. The Blue Jays clearly like some of what they see, however, and Hernandez will at minimum supply a quality piece of veteran depth to the triple-A level.