While the the Red Sox were enjoying an off day on Thursday, the club’s top pitching prospect, Darwinzon Hernandez, put together a career night in his start for Double-A Portland.
Making his sixth start of the season for the Sea Dogs, the left-hander surrendered four runs, three of which were earned, on five hits and two walks to go along with a career-best 11 strikeouts over a career-best seven innings of work against the Reading Fightin Phils Thursday.
Outside of a rough third inning in which all four of those initial Reading runs came around to score, Hernandez did not yield a single hit from the first until the start of the middle of the third, and then again from the middle of the fourth until the conclusion of his seventh and final frame.
In that seventh inning, the 23-year-old hurler capped off his outing on a high note by fanning four Fightin Phils thanks to a wild pitch that allowed one hitter to reach first on his own part.
The Sea Dogs eventually dropped this contest by a final score of 8-2, and Hernandez was thus hit with his third losing decision of the year.
Ranked as Boston’s third-best prospect overall, we have already gotten a sneak peek of what Hernandez could bring to the table at the big league level earlier last month, where in the second of a day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, the southpaw scattered four hits and one walk while punching out four over 2.1 innings of relief.
He served as the club’s 26th man for the second game of that doubleheader, and was sent back to Double-A Portland right after.
Through the six starts made with the Sea Dogs in 2019, Hernandez has posted an ERA of 4.10 and a batting average against of .198 in addition to 36 strikeouts and 21 free passes over 26.1 total innings of work.
Out of spring training, the plan was to let the Venezuela native develop as a starting pitcher rather than rush him up in a relief role, both of which he has experience in.
As of now, I would say the Red Sox are sticking to this plan, so don’t expect to see Hernandez up in Boston anytime soon barring any unforeseen circumstances.