Trey Hillman said he’d mix Luis Hernandez into the shortstop picture while Mike Aviles recovers from his aching right forearm. Sure enough, there was Hernandez in the lineup on Tuesday night against the Tigers instead of Willie Bloomquist.
After Bloomquist hustled to a crucial double on Sunday against the Cardinals, Hillman had him back in the lineup against a tough right-hander, Justin Verlander, on Monday.
“I was hoping he could play on that momentum a little bit against a very good right-handed pitcher. It didn’t work out way,” Hillman said.
Bloomquist struck out both times against Verlander and fanned a third time against Zach Miner. Bloomquist is batting .349 against left-handers but just .244 against right-handers. So Hillman went with Hernandez, a switch-hitter, against righty Edwin Jackson.
“I’d like to see Hernandez a little bit more. There’s less than 200 Major League at-bats to get a numbers read on him. We like the way he can manipulate the bat a little bit as far as bat control and we’ll see how he does,” Hillman said.
Hernandez, who started last season as the Orioles’ regular shortstop but then lost the job, is regarded as an excellent fielder.
“Tremendous, he’s got great hands, knows where to be. Good baseball player. Doesn’t panic,” Hillman said.
Since coming up from Omaha, Hernandez had just eight at-bats with one hit before this start.