Skip to main content

Health is the Focus for LHP Prospect Hernandez

After undergoing shoulder surgery last April, lefty pitcher Nick Hernandez has been striving to get healthy so that he can continue living his dream of playing professional baseball. A 12th round draft selection in 2009 out of the University of Tennessee by the Phillies, Hernandez expects to return to the mound soon after being out of action for a lengthy stretch.

Hernandez, the nephew of Major League umpire Angel Hernandez and the son of former Brewers 1st round draft pick Nick (father is Nicolas, son is Nicholas) Hernandez, became an All-Star in the South Atlantic League with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws in 2010 by posting a 3-1 record with a 1.61 ERA while striking out 52 and walking just 8 in 56 innings pitched in 2010. Following his tremendous start that year, Hernandez began experiencing discomfort in his throwing shoulder and was shut down for much of the remainder of the season. He rehabbed that year, making four starts with the Gulf Coast League Phillies but experienced a setback and did not return to action until the Florida Instructional League that autumn.

After being diagnosed with another labrum issue last April, rest and rehab were clearly not enough to get Hernandez back to full health, so surgery was required. Hernandez, a Hialeah, FL resident, has been recovering ever since.

With a self-described 80-85% health in his shoulder right now, Hernandez has progressed to a throwing program at 120-feet distance and has not begun pitching from a mound yet. The lengthy rehab process is not discouraging to the 23-year-old, however he is extremely determined to return to game action. Beyond that, Hernandez doesn’t quite have any goals yet.

“It’s been a long road with a couple of setbacks during the process, but I think the last setback was my final hurdle,” Hernandez said. “Right now my only goal is to get completely healthy. I can’t have pitching goals because, right now, pitching in games is still some ways away for me.”

The 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound Hernandez will begin throwing full bullpen sessions in early April, coinciding with the first week of extended spring training. A return to game action should come in the form of extended spring training outings in Florida, in late April or early May. If everything goes well, Hernandez expects to join a full season roster by the minor league All-Star break in June.

Missing as much time as he has, Hernandez has found it difficult to muster internal drive, at times. Competition is often what pushes a player and once that is taken away, a guy on the sidelines might struggle to progress forward. Hernandez found other motivators to keep things moving both mentally and physically.

“Competition is always something that has driven me to get better and with that being taken away, you have to find other things that motivate you. Like watching guys you’ve played with continue to get better and guys that have been in rehab with you getting out on the field again. You crave for the competition again and when my opportunity comes, to compete again, I have to take complete advantage of it,” Hernandez stated.

A starter for the entirety of his professional career, a change could be in store for the youngster. Regarding what role he will have going forward, Hernandez declared specifics on that were unclear.

“They haven’t really discussed anything about starting or relieving once I am pitching again,” Hernandez said. “To be honest with you, I’m not even thinking about that. I just want to get back on the mound again. It’s been way too long!”

And while it's not yet known exactly which team Hernandez could be assigned to this year, what is certain is that with almost two years of stifled competitive energy pent up, a healthy Nick Hernandez has the potential to be a force once again in the Phillies' developmental ranks in 2012.

__________________________________________

Image- Williamsport Crosscutters

You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

LHP Brown speaks on recent release and his future

Aaron Brown, image- Jay Floyd Please consider supporting my work and subscribe to  my Patreon page .  Your patronage will get you exclusive interviews and other prospect related material as well as early access to all of my other content such as this post.  Thank you. Aaron Brown was released last Friday after nearly six years in the Phillies organization. Brown, the Phils' 3rd round draft selection in 2014 out of Pepperdine, was primarily an outfielder after turning pro.  A two-way player in college, Brown switched to pitching in 2017 after struggling on offense (.224/.313/.360) at the Double-A level. A dominant hurler in college, Brown posted a 13-1 record along with a 1.95 ERA in 17 starts in 2014.  A solid performer on the minor league mound as well, the California native notched a 5-4 record with a pair of saves, a 3.82 ERA along with an 11.0 K/9 mark in 45 relief appearances for the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils last season. With free agency on the horizo

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________