The more I watch the Reds this year (and it’s not like I’ve talked to anyone … it’s really just an observation) the more I get the impression that Ramon Hernandez has had a LOT to do with the team’s early-season success. Daugherty just wrote a column about how great he’s been with the starting rotation, and they plugged him in at first base for just his second start there in his MLB career when Votto came down with a bug and he looked great there. Had a nice stretch on a Rosales throw (after a bobble) to get a runner by a step and then had a nice stab on the final out of the game. And what struck me is how he sort of celebrated that stab with Rosales moments later … they both had big smiles and it would appear on the surface that Hernandez – even though he’s almost 33 and in his 11th Major League season – is able to relate to a guy like Rosales, who’s got 12 Major League at-bats, as easily as David Weathers or Arthur Rhodes.
How about a few numbers? (C’mon, did you really think this was just going to be some lame “that’s the impression I get” opinion post?) Remember when he was hitting .067 after going 1 for his first 15 of the season? Now he’s hitting .280. And while we haven’t really seen a ton of power from him yet (just the one home run he hit in the ninth of the 2-1 win in Houston on April 17), Hernandez has had two hits in five of the Reds’ past six wins. He’s gone 22-for-66 since that slow start (first four games). He’s been fairly quiet about it because he hasn’t driven in a ton of runs but it’s hard to ignore his contribution.
Also, Laynce Nix is hitting .351 now. And Micah Owings’ triple was pretty outstanding.