PHOENIX, Ariz – He’s back. The Arizona Diamondbacks needed bullpen help and pulled the trigger to bring back David Hernandez.
For Hernandez, this is the second tour with Arizona. He was here from 2011-2015 and was a fan favorite during his first stint. On Hernandez being back, “it’s been quit the journey this year, I’m just happy I’m here. A place that I’m familiar with, and it’s good to be back.” As for coming from Anaheim, where even though the Angels are not eliminated, there was not really the playoff talk or atmosphere like here with the Diamondbacks “It’s always special. You come to the yard and you’re playing for a spot in the playoffs.”
Hernandez, being an eight-year veteran in this game, had an idea he would be moved at the trade deadline, “I figured I was gonna get traded. I had no idea it was going to be to the D-backs. I kind of figured I was going to end up somewhere on the east coast. I’m happy I’m here; it’s been quit the ride.”
On new manager Torey Lovullo, “I got that first hand. I do get the sense he is a great communicator. He makes guys feel important, and I think that’s important in its self. “
For Lovullo, it’s equal admiration. “For me, that was a key addition for us. He is able to go and throw against right or left handed batters. He has weapons against both sides of the plate, and that’s a great luxury a manager can carry around knowing you don’t have to match up late in the game, and he can go out there and complete an inning. On top of that, he’s been locked in, he’s had a great year, and we want that to continue here. So we’re going to give him the ball in some key situations which we have. We wanted to ingrate him a little bit simpler for him, but it didn’t happen. He’s risen to the challenge, and met the challenge each and every time. We really enjoy what we see so far.”
To have success, Hernandez knows he needs to keep things simple and also prove to his new teammates his value. “Doing my job all year is basically what I have been doing. Proving myself again. I came into the season without any guarantees. I think that helped me get that chip on my shoulder. I’m just trying to get guys out, one guy at a time. That’s all I can focus on.”
Hernandez is excited to get out at home in front of the fans here at Chase, “I am. I’m hoping we have a good showing. It’s definitely a big homestand, and we’re playing three playoff teams. I think that will get us ready for the road ahead.”
This home stand features three first place teams. It is something that the Diamondbacks can gauge themselves on, and Hernandez agreed. “I think it’s gonna tells us where we’re at as a ball club. Being back home, I think will give us a little boost. We’re ready and looking forward for the challenge.”