Postscript on Hernandez
One thing that I didn’t mention about the Indians hiring Chuck Hernandez as bullpen coach but should have is the emphasis he places on preparing for an opponent. That was a major thing Tigers pitchers mentioned about the difference he made in 2006, how he put together the game plan for opposing hitters.
As a pitching staff, the Indians accrued a 5.29 ERA against the Tigers last year, including 5.09 from Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee. Only the White Sox hit more home runs off Cleveland pitchers (29) than the 27 that Detroit hitters did. Granted, there were some brilliant performances from Indians hurlers mixed in there, but that was the sum total. Hernandez was obviously brought over for his coaching ability and his work with some of Detroit’s young pitchers, but after three seasons of watching Tigers hitters, he can certainly help the Tribe on one game plan.