Mike Aviles' forearm injury has forced the Royals to use Willie Bloomquist and Luis Hernandez as shortstop fill-ins, and Trey Hillman has joined everyone else who's ever managed Bloomquist in deciding that he's not an everyday player. However, Hillman isn't so sure about Hernandez:
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.
Hernandez has just 175 plate appearances in the big leagues and Hillman is certainly right that a much larger sample of playing time is needed to properly evaluate someone's potential. Here's the thing, though: Hernandez also has 2,705 plate appearances in the minors that show him to be an absolutely dreadful hitter.
He has a .495 OPS in 105 games at Triple-A, a .619 OPS in 318 games at Double-A, a .694 OPS in 117 games at high Single-A, a .554 OPS in 111 games at low Single-A, and a .675 OPS in 54 games at rookie-ball. Add it all up and he's hit .246/.292/.317 in 705 games as a minor leaguer, which is nearly an exact fit for his .258/.294/.296 line so far as a major leaguer.
Hillman wants to "see Hernandez a little bit more" because he's not yet able "to get a numbers read on him," but 3,000 plate appearances spread over eight pro seasons say that he just can't hit. Normally I'd suggest that the Royals' manager is either clueless or requires the world's largest sample before making a decision, but as Joakim Soria's injury situation showed simply giving the media the runaround is another option.