I cringe every time Carlos Hernandez is brought up in conversation. He was a serviceable pitcher with a 3.68 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 7.8 K/9. The deal is that there were two separate sides to this profile.
In the 13 games in which he pitched in relief, he posted a 11.9 K/9 while that number dropped to 5.9 K/9 in his 11 starts. His fastball velocity started out at 98 mph. While he was able to maintain it for a bit, it dropped to 96.6 mph over his last four starts. Also, he couldn't maintain his production the second time through the order with a 2.96 FIP the first time through and a 5.75 FIP the second time. Simply, he had a 5 K-BB% as a starter. Dallas Keuchel was the only qualified pitcher to have anything close to a 5 K-BB% (next closest was Cole Irvin at 11%). If the innings threshold is dropped to 100 IP, some comparables are John Gant, Jose Urena, Jon Lester, Zach Davies.
My goal is not to beat up on Carlos Hernandez, but he's an example of a 2021 pitcher who had two different starter and reliever profiles. Today, I'm going to dig into several more of these arms who transitioned from starter to reliever.
In all, there were 65 pitchers who started five games and relieved in five games in 2021.
|As Starter||As Reliever|