With today came the news that Gorkys Hernandez will be remaining in the Miami Marlins organization. The same can be said for Zack Cox and Scott Maine. This was in question because the Marlins sent these three players (along with Evan Reed, who was claimed by the Detroit Tigers) through waivers after cutting them from the 40-man roster. Hernandez and Maine have been outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans, and Cox has been outrighted to Double-A Jacksonville.
Right up until it was announced that Gorkys Hernandez did not make the Marlins major league team, it appeared as though Hernandez would actually be spending some time in the starting lineup, but then the Marlins made the (seemingly) sudden decision that not only did Gorkys Hernandez not make the opening day lineup, but the Marlins would also try and trade him. Gorkys was out of minor league options and the Marlins were left to either designate him for assignment or trade him, they were eventually forced to designated him for assignemnt. Gorkys Hernandez had left the Marlins organization, never to return, at least until Wednesday.
Gorkys Hernandez first came to the Marlins organization at the trade deadline in 2012 as a part of the Gaby Sanchez deal with the Pirates. Gorkys has always been considered to have one of the best outfield gloves in the game and good speed to keep him in center field. The iss ue with Gorkys has always been with the bat. Not until the 2012 Venezuelan Winter League did we see him come to life with a league leading .367 batting average, filling out a .367/.436/.469 slash line. Obviously the Venezuelan league has nowhere near the talent of the majors, but nonetheless Gorkys Hernandez played as well as he could. The biggest thing we learned from his' time in Venezuela is that he can hit potentially.
We already knew he could field and that he could run, the hitting is the revelation. If Gorkys can field and run at a high level and hit at an average level then I do not see why he off the 25-man roster, let alone the 40-man roster. 2013 ZiPS projections had Gorkys Hernandez projected to finish 2013 with 0.7 fWAR, better than the -0.1 fWAR projected for both Chris Coghlan and Austin Kearns.
Gorkys Hernandez is not a fantastic major league player, he likely never will be. But at any rate he is currently a better player than either Chris Coghlan or Austin Kearns, who are both currently on the Miami Marlins major league roster. Plus Gorkys Hernandez is only 24 and could, if a ton goes well, become a part of the Marlins; future plans.
I am glad to see Hernandez back, partially because I was never happy to see him go. He offers a few plus tools and has had recent success in the game of baseball. Which is more than either Chris Coghlan or Austin Kearns can say. Hopefully we will see Gorkys Hernandez back in an actual Marlins uniform shortly.
Michael's Take: It is good to see that the Marlins were able to retain these players, but the most interesting to me was Zack Cox. Cox was a highly-touted prospect as late as the start of 2012, and his one struggle of a season in Triple-A had him cast off from the St. Louis Cardinals organization. However, the Marlins have a great need for third basemen, and Cox should at least have been given a full minor league season with the Marlins to prove his mettle. His return saves the team the embarrassment of not losing any of the players they acquired from last season's trade deadline deals and gives them another option at third base.
Keep an eye on Fish Stripes to see how Hernandez and Cox develop in the minors.