What can Ramon Hernandez provide?

April, 6, 2013
4/06/13
4:39
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Interest from other teams in the Los Angeles Dodgers' extra starting pitchers proved tepid this spring, but the team is hopeful it got a useful piece in veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez.

The Dodgers on Saturday traded pitcher Aaron Harang to Colorado in exchange for Hernandez, who had been designated for assignment a week earlier.

They envision using Hernandez a couple of times a week to keep A.J. Ellis fresh. It also allows catching prospect Tim Federowicz, 25, to continue to develop by playing almost every day at Triple-A.

Hernandez, 36, was an All-Star with Oakland in 2003 and hit 23 home runs in 2006, but his production plummeted last year. Hernandez batted .217 with five home runs and 28 RBIs.

"Last year was a tough year to judge anyone by if you're in Colorado," manager Don Mattingly said. "I mean, a lot of things went bad. [Troy] Tulowitzki gets hurt, a bunch of pitchers get hurt, then all of a sudden they went young and that's tough for a guy who's been around the league for 14, 15 years to all of a sudden be in a rebuilding process."

Hernandez was flying Saturday and expected to be in the Dodgers' clubhouse Sunday. Mattingly said Federowicz will catch Sunday's game. He figures to be sent to Triple-A Albuquerque when the Dodgers activate Chad Billingsley to pitch Wednesday in San Diego.

Here are lineups for Saturday's game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Pittsburgh
1. Starling Marte LF
2. Neil Walker 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Gaby Sanchez
5. Russell Martin C
6. Pedro Alvarez 3B
7. Jose Tabata RF
8. Clint Barmes SS
9. A.J. Burnett RHP

Dodgers
1. Carl Crawford LF
2. Mark Ellis 2B
3. Matt Kemp CF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. Andre Ethier RF
6. A.J. Ellis C
7. Luis Cruz 3B
8. Justin Sellers SS
9. Clayton Kershaw LHP

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Hyun-Jin Ryu
WINS ERA SO IP
12 3.44 105 117
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .310
HRA. Gonzalez 15
RBIA. Gonzalez 68
RD. Gordon 58
OPSY. Puig .929
ERAC. Kershaw 1.76
SOC. Kershaw 141