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Will the Boston Red Sox DFA Kike Hernandez?

Enrique Hernandez
(Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports)

Will the Boston Red Sox DFA Kike Hernandez?

Boston Red Sox fans will fondly recall how Kike Hernandez played like a man possessed in the 2021 postseason. The utility man slashed .408/.423/.837 and tied the playoff lead with five home runs during Boston’s run to the ALCS.

Unfortunately, Hernandez has not performed well during the 2023 season. He is slashing a meager .221/.278/.324 while pacing MLB in errors with 15. He’s also dead last in MLB for fWAR at -1.3. This has led some to speculate that he could be designated for assignment soon. MassLive’s Chris Cotillo sparked a discussion with his tweet referencing Boston’s recent history of shaking things up coming out of the All-Star break.

Cotillo clarified on Jared Carrabis’ Name Redacted Podcast that this was pure speculation on his part. He didn’t hear anything from inside the organization that a DFA was coming. However, looking at the numbers, it’s not a wild idea. Tyler Milliken, Carrabis’ co-host, offered similar thoughts via 98.5 The Sports Hub:

“Because how bad of a look would it be? They got Pablo Reyes coming back after the All-Star break. Yu Chang is your starting shortstop because he can actually play the position, he’s never going to hit, but he can play the position. And Christian Arroyo. When his roster spot was on the line. What has he done? He’s hit .315 over his last seven games and had big hits. There’s one guy you look at, the guy they gave a reset and when he came back, what does he do? He makes another throwing error at shortstop. 15 on the year, 14 throwing.”

Kike Hernandez: Odd Man Out?

Hernandez had previously been used in the outfield, but with a full complement of Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran, Adam Duvall, and Alex Verdugo, there’s simply no room for him there (especially with a below-average bat). That leaves shortstop, the position he wants to play but hasn’t been good at.

The Boston Red Sox have been playing well over the last month and will likely shuffle things around at the trade deadline. Given how he’s performed this year, Hernandez has to be one of the first options when it comes to making a roster move.

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